Dads are often notorious for being hard to find good gifts for. Now that your father is in assisted living, it can be even harder to figure out what to get for him that won’t take up space he can’t afford to lose.
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Whatever else you think about getting, consider offering to take Dad out to do some of his favorite activities for the day first. Maybe that means dinner at his favorite restaurant or a trip to the theater. Whatever it is you know that your dad likes doing best, plan a day that’s all about him and what he loves.
An activity tracker like a FitBit or Jawbone can provide Dad with a good incentive to become more active. If you buy one of these for your father, he can track how active he generally is and how much sleep he gets. It can be an eye-opening tool to help encourage someone to develop healthier habits.
If your dad is more inclined to listen to things than read them, then an Audible subscription may be valuable. With Audible, your dad can download up to one audiobook a month, choosing from just about any audiobook out there. Whether he loves fiction or is more of a history buff, there’s definitely something on Audible for him.
It gets harder to read books as you get older and your eyesight gets weaker, but e-book readers take care of that problem by making it easy to make the text larger. If your dad’s a big reader, or used to be before it got too difficult, a Kindle or another type of e-reader can put the wealth of literature back into his hands.
If Dad already has a Kindle (or if you get him one), then a nice gift that makes that possession much more valuable is Kindle Unlimited. The subscription program provides access to over one million books and a number of audiobooks and magazines. Your dad should easily be able to find plenty to read on his Kindle with this subscription.
If your dad is into movies and has a smartphone or tablet, this handy gift can provide him a way to start projecting movies to share the experience with others in the community. It can both be a good way for him to watch the movies he likes with an improved visual experience and provide him an excuse to get to know some of his neighbors in the assisted living community a little better.
If Dad’s the type to get cold in his assisted living residence, you can give him a gift that combines aesthetics and heat by buying a space heater that resembles a fireplace. It looks good, provides warmth and doesn’t take up too much space.
While there’s a stereotype that seniors are slow to adopt a technology, two-thirds of seniors over 65 now use the internet. While only about a third of them have a tablet, people who work to help teach tech literacy to seniors have found that a tablet is often the best type of device to get started on. If you want to give your dad a way to tap into the possibilities of technology – from watching TV shows to Skyping with family – a tablet may be the best way to achieve that.
If Dad already has a tablet, you can make it immediately more useful as a way to watch TV by buying him a tablet floor stand. You can set it up next to the bed or his favorite chair and he can easily watch his shows in comfort without having to argue over the channel on the TV in the shared room.
Cords are a pain to deal with, but sometimes in assisted living, headphones are important for being able to listen to something you want to hear without worrying about bothering the other residents. Bluetooth headphones give your dad the power to listen to an audiobook or watch his sports without worry about what Joe next door thinks about the noise. They can give him back a little extra privacy while allowing him to access entertainment he loves.
Assisted living can take some getting used to. Think about how best to provide your dad with something new to fill his days within an assisted living community, or be the something he can fill his days with by showing up to spend time with him. The best gift is something that shows him you’re thinking of him and that you care.
Are there any other gifts for fathers in assisted living that you would add to this list? We’d like to hear your suggestions in the comments below.