Aging Parents: Gifts for Fathers and Grandfathers–Part 1

Father’s Day sleeveless sweater vest cake made by Esperanza

Round-up of 46 Gifts for Fathers and Grandfathers
Click for 2015 round-up of 50 gifts

More gifts ideas for aging fathers and grandfathers–than I think a man could possibly want–have filled my posts over the last three years. I’ve reread them, remembering the time and outside-the-box thinking that went into compiling the list. 8 categories, arranged alphabetically: “Accessories and Clothing” to “Vision.”

Not needing to reinvent the wheel, I’ve updated the list and added a bit. It’s long now. I’ll post in 2 parts so it’s not overwhelming. Hoping that your shopping is made easier and that the aging men in your life will have smiles on their faces when they open their gifts.


–Cane (measured correctly) or walking stick
–Hat (to shade a bald/potentially balding head)
–Sport shirt. (Dad liked long sleeve ones to protect his arms from skin cancer–a definite concern as he aged.)
–Sleeveless cardigan sweater vest (not over the head). Easier to get off and on if buttons aren’t a problem. Older people are often cold. Dad wore one at home. It also looked good under a jacket when he went out. (This style is hard to find…know someone who knits?)
–An easy-to-use umbrella collapsible–opens and closes with the push of a button. (Totes makes a good one.)

Computers–especially designed for seniors: Check the 6 options’ details in previous post .

A-Plus Senior Computer
Big Screen Live
GO computer
iPad (See Marti Weston’s  iPad for Dad posts not included in 2011 link above)
WOW computer
Pzee computer

For the even less-technology-talented, check out
Paw Paw and the
Presto Printing Mailbox.


–Subscription to a Favorite Magazine
–Subscription to newspaper–financial, current local or hometown they grew up in
–2 Tickets to sporting events etc.–accompany Dad or make it easy for Dad to take a friend.
–A short outing with Dad (fishing trip, golf game, movie, zoo, his old neighborhood if it’s near–you might learn additional family history).
–Add a premium TV channel


–Membership to the YMCA or a gym
–Membership to Silver Sneakers
Panosonic’s Nose and Facial Hair Trimmer was older men’s most popular 2012 purchase according to the NYC Hammacher Schlemmer store or catalogue–($19.95)
–A good blood pressure gauge can be a gift that helps parents age well and may be recommended by doctors. Recently the easy-to-use OMRON intellisense Bp652 Series wrist blood pressure gauge (like the one below) was used on a patient at a doctor’s office in one of NYC’s prestigious teaching hospitals. Check with your dad, your dad’s, or granddad’s doctor
before purchasing.

Product Details

–A great pair of shoes for walking
–Pedometer. Hammacher Schlemmer’s full-screen pedometer $34.95 (2 5/8 Hx 1 1/2 Wx 1/2 D). Steps walked, distance travelled, calories burned, time elapsed, average pace–all seen at once, on one screen operated by one button.
–Toe Nail Clippers: for elders with still-steady hands who don’t have diabetes.
–This Guardian medication reminder was featured in a respected hospital’s magazine, sent to seniors in surrounding communities. Good idea for forgetful elders?

4 more categories to go–next post.

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus practical information–to help parents age well.

Aging Parents: Father’s Day– A Most Appreciated and Useful Gift

I’m reminded once again of the loss of flexibility impacting some of the things chronologically younger people take for granted–not because Father’s Day is June 17th, but because an older person was recently talking about how difficult it’s becoming to bend as far as necessary to cut his toe nails.

We know how important it is to keep all body parts moving. We also know parts stiffen with age. In addition, as some people age their hands aren’t as steady as they once were. And nails that are not taken care of–as with anything else-can cause problems. Thus, I’m re-blogging a 2011 Father’s Day post because its first gift suggestion is pedicures for men. (The other suggestions, of course, provide additional ideas far enough in advance that they should be easy to get–and send.)

Aging Parents’ Appearance: Helping Fathers and Grandfathers Look Their Best

Ever wonder why Dad doesn’t look as good as you think he should?

Appearance is usually the first thing people notice, isn’t it? Conveniently it’s one area–in our efforts to help parents age well–where we can make a significant contribution. By focusing on men’s grooming and clothing we not only do something thoughtful which brings immediate pleasure, but there’s that old saying,”Look Good, Feel Better,” and that feeling can last.

Grooming and clothing: they make such a difference. A clean-shaven man makes a good first impression. Stubble and that unshaven look tend to be vagrant-looking on most old/older/elderly men… unless of course your dad or grandfather has the looks (and wardrobe) of a Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake.

Some older men (especially lacking a woman in their life), seem to let themselves go appearance-wise. Perhaps it’s laziness. Or they may find it difficult to shave or put clothes together so they match, due to dexterity or vision limitations. Do they have difficulty getting to laundry facilities in a basement or elsewhere?  Or if they can access laundry facilities, are they clueless as to how to operate the machinery. So many factors.

Yet many are correctable once noticed. We can obviously help older men get to a barber shop if they don’t drive, and arrange for their laundry to be done–even if we decide to do it ourselves. Teaching a willing aging father how to use a washing machine and dryer or gifting a new, easier-to-use razor, an article of clothing and/or an appointment with a good barber may be options.

Perhaps a professional shave is a luxurious gift idea. When Dad was 94 and in his final months I remember his delight when the caregiver gave him a shave in the morning, complete with a warm, damp towel. Dad looked forward to this morning ritual which made him feel pampered in spite of his failing kidneys.

While thoughtful overtures–in and of themselves– bring pleasure, helping an aging father look better offers 2 additional benefits: improving strangers’ reactions to him–be it at the grocery store or wherever; and generating compliments from people who notice the change. All enhance self-esteem.

Hair loss, an issue for men, leads to some strange/creative hair styles 

which a good barber should be able to restyle more suitably. Dad solved this problem with a hat to protect his balding head and avoid more skin cancer. Here, at 91, he’s at my oldest, best friend’s beach house. We stayed overnight reminiscing, with the priceless warmth countless years of friendship provide.

While older men don’t need fashionista clothing, it needs to be neat, clean, color coordinated and appropriate for the occasion. This 72-year-old, recuperating from major illness, had just come from physical therapy and was waiting for his wife. “She’d kill me,” he said, “if she thought I was having my picture taken looking like this.” But he’s clean-shaven, his hair looks fine on this windy summer day, and his clothes are in order.

Many elderly fathers have favorite clothing combinations that they wear again and again–like a uniform. Before everything wears out, what about taking dad shopping? Visit stores or websites with dad–or surprise him with a gift of clothing that enhances his wardrobe. 

Be it Father’s Day–or any day …we can help aging fathers/grandfathers in more ways than one with a single gesture.

Changing often: “Of Current Interest” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.
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3/26/14 Help! Aging Parents was just nominated again for the Best Senior Living Awards 2014, “Best Blogs by Individuals” category. It was a finalist in 2013. I appreciated your votes last year and would very much appreciate them again this year by clicking if you’re on Facebook. Deadline 4/28/14 Thanks so much!