How to Buy Gifts for Your Grandfather and Father
I have read that some people are already shopping for Christmas presents! That is incredibly organised, but with shopping still not the experience we are used to due to social distancing, it is understandable that people want to get their shopping done early, and online. We have Father’s Day coming up in September in Australia so I thought I’d make a list of gifts that would be suitable for the older gentleman (father/grandfather) in your life. They are notoriously hard to buy for, because they either have everything or are stuck in a time-warp and not keen to try new gadgets or technology. But I have some ideas that might hit the spot, having shopped for my father, father-in-law, brothers and husband who all fit the description.
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Choose gifts for older men with the following in mind: comfort, safety, convenience and love
As my father and father-in-law have aged, their mobility and dexterity have decreased. Gifts that can help them with tasks like reaching or picking things up, removing lids etc. would be much appreciated. Try these ideas:
- Long handled brush
- long handled shoehorn
- jar opener
- long-handled loofah
With age, many people suffer back pain and poor circulation. Add some comfort to their days with the following:
- Lumbar support pillow
- Wheat hot pack – please avoid buying if he has problems with his memory or sensation. Leaving heat wheat packs on for long periods, heating them too high or placing them on an area of the body with reduced sensation can lead to serious burns. Use with caution
- Throw rug
- Tray table
- Portable fan, heater or air conditioner – ensure they have a safety cut-off switch if they are knocked over. Avoid heaters with a naked flame or gas fuel.
- Foot stool
The safety of your older loved one is important, so make sure you look at the design of slippers and shoes. They should be non-slip and fit snugly to their feet so that trips and slips are avoided. Try these:
- Non-slip slippers
- Non-slip socks
As my parents and parents-in-law have aged, they spend more time at home. In order to keep their mind active, and improve their quality of life, the following gifts would be appreciated:
- Kindle e-reader loaded with his favourite books
- Subscription to their favourite magazine or newspaper
- Weather station – for his obsession with the weather
- BBQ set (long handled) and gourmet sauces
- Valet stand to keep all their necessities in one place
- Puzzle books to keep his mind young
- Keyring locator so he never loses his keys again.
What Not to Buy For Older Men
After many years of buying presents for older men, I would recommend that you avoid buying the following:
- T-shirts and shirts. They usually don’t fit well, and are not to your loved one’s liking. For example, they may only wear crew neck, a certain colour or style, or spend their days wearing old t-shirts and not the beautiful button-up dress shirt you lovingly chose for them. Most shirts end up in the back of the wardrobe or as oil rags.
- Shoes or slippers that are poor fitting or not safe e.g. scuffs. Slippers and scuffs are the cause of many falls which is detrimental to their health – elderly men don’t bounce, they break.
- Anything to do with their hobbies, or a hobby that you think would be a good idea for them to try. For example the men in my family all love fishing and gardening but they have very specific requirements when it comes to equipment for their hobby. Likewise tool organisation – I bought my husband a work bench and tool organisation system and I have never seen him use it. The shed still looks a mess.
- Lotto tickets or gift cards. One of my relatives buys these for every birthday, Christmas etc. as gifts – I personally think it’s a cop-out with very little thought put into it. The one actual present she bought us – a beautiful soft baby blue blanket – is memorable and very special.
- Alcohol – This falls into the same category as lotto tickets. Alcohol is neither special nor memorable and why feed a bad habit?!
- A coffee mug – he will still drink out of his coffee stained, chipped mug because it’s his favourite one.
- Anything that is too technical, for example a smart phone. My in-laws both went back to their old mobile phones because they couldn’t get used to a smart phone.
I hope you can find something suitable from my gift guide for older men – feel free to comment if it has helped you choose a gift, or if you can suggest any other gifts that he would like. You may also like to read Gifts that Inspire a Healthy Lifestyle.