Father's Day Ideas: How To Make the Day Festive With Physical Limitations
Are you struggling to come up with Father’s Day ideas? Planning something fun and meaningful can be challenging if your dad is elderly and has mobility or travel limitations.
COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being rolled back, but many seniors still need to be mindful of where they go and which activities they participate in. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Father’s Day with your loved one, whether they’re wheelchair-bound, in long-term hospital recovery, or a resident of a nursing home. To make the process a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite suggestions.
1) Bring the restaurant to you. Many families celebrate Father’s Day by going out to dinner, but with a pandemic still happening, it’s risky, especially if your dad is immunocompromised. Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring the elegance of a luxury restaurant home for an affordable price? Hestia Harlow makes it possible.
The catering and rental service ships everything you need to host an amazing Father’s Day celebration right to your front door. Offerings include table settings, centerpieces, catered food boxes, and even floral arrangements. Once you’ve finished hosting and the guests go home, pack up the rented items in your custom, sustainable event box and attach the included shipping label. It’s that easy!
2) Make a custom Father’s Day video. If your family is spread out all over the country (or world) it can be difficult to get everyone together in person. Instead of stressing over logistics, create a Father’s Day video montage with personal messages and memories.
Not a photographer or filmmaker? No worries! There are many companies that provide video editing services at an affordable price point. Take VidDay, for example. Once you sign up, VidDay creates an Event Page with a private link. Family members can access the Event Page and upload their own photos, videos, or written messages. When you’ve received everyone’s contributions, select your background music, fill out the title cards, and click the publish button. As soon as you do, VidDay’s computer algorithm creates a stunning video that your Dad can watch over and over again.
3) Send flowers. If your dad loves horticulture but is no longer able to get his hands dirty, bring the garden inside. That might mean picking up a bouquet at the grocery store or the local florist or ordering a specialty arrangement from a company like Postal Petals.
Postal Petals is a farm-direct flower delivery service for do-it-yourself flower arrangements. Founder, Talia Boone, came up with the idea in 2020 when she was unable to find fresh, high-quality flowers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of shipping a traditional bouquet, Postal Petals sends a box of handpicked, seasonal flowers directly to your door. The flowers are sourced from one of nearly 20 domestic, eco-friendly farm partners. You can order between 6-15 bundles of fresh flowers and arrange them as you wish. It’s a great way to spend some quality time with your Dad while taking in the fresh scents and colorful sights. To ensure the longest shelf life possible, each box of flowers arrives within 36 hours of harvest.
4) Compile a care package. If your dad is on the road to recovery, either in a hospital, assisted living facility, or rehab center, they’re likely unable to get out and about. But that doesn’t mean you can’t send them a meaningful gift from the heart. Unable to settle on a single token of your appreciation? Compile a care package instead.
When determining what to include, consider your dad’s personal interests and passions. If he enjoys reading, send him some books or a gift card to the Amazon Kindle Store. If he likes mental challenges, send a jigsaw puzzle or purchase a subscription to the New York Times crossword. For dad’s living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, send photos and postcards or share some of your favorite memories in a letter. There’s no right or wrong. Get creative and have fun!
If you’re too busy to compile a care package on your own, check out The Hospital Box. The Hospital Box is the world’s first and only “care package kit.” It helps busy caregivers save time and energy by making it easy to give a personal, inspiring, and meaningful gift from the heart.
5) Get outside. June is the perfect month to get outside. The temperatures are warm, the days are longer, and there’s plenty to do, even if your dad is in a wheelchair or living with mobility issues.
Senior-friendly outdoor activities include:
Taking a walk around the local park
Having a picnic
Visiting a state park or National Park
Attending a baseball game
Quiet reading time
Listening to a podcast or music together
Enjoying a conversation, reminiscing, or telling stories
If your dad has cognitive limitations, like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, Sean Marchese, a Registered Nurse and Oncology Writer at The Mesothelioma Center recommends avoiding long conversations.
“Extended periods of talking can be tiresome and stressful. Instead, bring gifts that help strengthen memories of your time together, such as photo albums, books, or personal keepsakes that have shared meaning for you both.”
6) Spend quality time with him. If you’re a full-time caregiver, it’s easy to fall into the daily pattern of preparing meals, changing diapers, managing medications, and running to-and-from doctor’s appointments. These acts of service mean a lot, but they’re no substitute for quality one-on-one time.
Sometimes, dads just want to bask in the glow of their loved ones. That might mean playing a board game, watching a movie, or reminiscing about the good old days. As long as you’re there and engaged, it’s bound to make a positive impression.
These are just a few of the ways you can celebrate Father’s Day with someone who has physical limitations. If you found the suggestions helpful, please share this blog with your family and friends!
Chad Birt is a freelance B2B and B2C medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.