By the time your dad reaches age 75, chances are he's got all the gadgets and clutter he can use. Instead of adding more "stuff" to his life, focus on gifts that enrich and improve it.
Replacements and Repairs
Elderly people are sometimes reluctant to part with things they've had for many years, but this can be a dangerous habit. Replace your dad's ancient stove or iron and help eliminate a fire hazard. If he lives in a very old house, the flooring may need to be replaced. Fix leaks in the roof or bathroom, rebrick a crumbling walkway or repaint chipped shutters. Pay an electrician to repair faulty wiring and diagnose any potential electrical dangers. You could also replace smaller things, such as a worn wallet or belt, or have his favourite shoes resoled.
Trips and Activities
Get your dad out of the house and let him have some fun. Rent a boat for the day and take him fishing or just cruise along together. Take him to lunch or dinner at his favourite restaurant or out to a movie or show. You could also simply take him to the mall, have a cheap meal together at the food court and chat while you people-watch. Festivals and crafts fairs are good places to take elderly parents as well. If your dad is still reasonably active, sign him and you up for a fundraiser health walk or do a dad-daughter competition together.
The most meaningful gifts are often free, and that's especially true for parents. Bake your dad a batch of his favourite sweets or create a CD of home videos from years past. You could also make him a coupon book full of favours you're willing to do for him, such as mow the lawn or drive him to the barber shop. Or give your dad a gift basket with fruits and vegetables from your garden.
Gifts of Time
Give freely of your time to show your dad how much you love him. Schedule a weekly trip to the grocery store, the mall or the movies together. Make a regular telephone or in-person date just to chat and catch up. Buy season tickets to a mutually favourite team and take him along once or twice a month. If you live nearby, drive over and pick him up once a week so that he can have dinner with you and your family.
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