Father’s Day is a time to celebrate dads for all they do for their families. However, finding ways to make the day special for people with dads living in nursing homes can be challenging. It can also be a time when families worry about their dads’ safety in nursing homes. Learn how to celebrate your dad in his nursing home safely and how you can protect him on Father’s Day and every day.
Honoring Dads in Nursing Homes on Father’s Day
Nursing homes can feel isolating for some residents since they no longer have their loved ones around them. Living in a care facility can also lead to depression since people are forced to come to terms with whatever conditions require them to live away from home.
Holidays and special days like Father’s Day can feel especially lonely. Chronic understaffing in nursing homes worsens the feelings of loneliness that residents must endure. Additionally, many nursing home residents worry about their safety due to being frail and the widespread problem of elder abuse.
All of these factors make it especially important to honor your loved one on this special day and make sure they do not feel alone. Thankfully, with some planning, you can make Father’s Day special for your loved one living in a nursing home.
Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dads in Nursing Homes
Getting a Father’s Day gift for your loved one in a nursing home can be challenging. In addition to limited space, there are also heightened safety requirements brought on by COVID-19.
The best way to take the stress out of Father’s Day gift-giving — and more importantly, to keep your loved one safe — is to call the nursing home in advance. If you tell them what kind of Father’s Day gift you are thinking of bringing in, they can tell you if it’s allowed.
Depending on the nursing home’s policies, here are some potential Father’s Day gift ideas:
- Birdfeeder if he has a window view
- Books or audiobooks
- Crossword puzzles
- Gripper slippers or non-slip socks
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Large-print playing cards
- Music from his youth
- Photo albums
- Plush heated throw blanket
- Sports team merchandise
- Weighted blanket or lap pad
- Wheelchair blanket with velcro
It may not be wise to bring expensive gifts, even if you are tempted to do so. Remember that belongings can get misplaced – or, sadly, stolen – when thinking of Father’s Day gifts to bring to your loved one’s nursing home.
The Best Father’s Day Gift Is to Visit Him at the Nursing Home
Provided it is safe and practical to do so, often the best Father’s Day gift is just you visiting them! Many seniors living in nursing homes do not get guests frequently enough, and one of the reasons is that loved ones don’t always know how to pass the time. When a loved one is confined to a bed or has limited mobility, you might feel limited in what you can do. But there are things you can bring that can help you spend the time.
Consider these activities when you visit a nursing home on Father’s Day:
- Bring in photo albums to look at together.
- Do a puzzle with him.
- Have a relaxing meal with him on-site.
- Invite family or friends to join you.
- Participate in the facility’s scheduled Father’s Day events.
- Play board games or cards.
- Read out loud from his favorite books.
- Watch his favorite sports or TV shows together.
Visiting your loved one on Father’s Day is likely the most meaningful gift you can give – for both him and you.
Conversation Starters for Father’s Day Nursing Home Visits
One of the biggest challenges to visiting a loved one in a nursing home is knowing what to talk about. In fact, paying a visit can feel uncomfortable, as many wonder what there will be to say. Remember that the most crucial step is just getting yourself there to visit.
Consider asking some of these conversation starters:
- Are you worried about anything?
- Can you tell me about this photo?
- How are you feeling today?
- How did you propose to Mom?
- When did you serve in the military, and what was it like?
- What did your home look like growing up?
- What do you remember about your parents or grandparents?
- What was the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
- What was your favorite subject to study, and why?
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
- What’s the secret to a happy and healthy life?
Connecting with your elderly loved one may require a few more tools than it once did, but it can be just as meaningful. Make sure to listen as well as speak. Most importantly, be patient and don’t interrupt. If you become frustrated, take some deep breaths and wait to respond.
Safely Visiting Nursing Homes on Father’s Day
Remember that COVID-19 is still circulating. Nursing homes will follow the same protocol as hospitals and other health care facilities. Take appropriate safety precautions and learn the facility’s procedures before visiting your loved one’s nursing home on Father’s Day.
Keeping Dads in Nursing Homes Safe Year-Round
While planning for your loved one’s safety when you visit his nursing home on Father’s Day is important, it is also an excellent time to reflect on his safety year-round.
You can take steps to prevent abuse and neglect by staying involved in your dad’s life, getting to know the staff at his nursing home, and making sure that he is comfortable and happy with his care. It is critical to be aware of the risks of nursing home abuse and neglect so that you can protect your dad.
The best defense is to learn the signs of abuse and neglect. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you suspect your dad is being abused or neglected!
This Father’s Day, don’t forget to do what you can to keep your dad safe. Whether that means visiting him often, hiring a professional caregiver, or simply being on the lookout for signs of abuse or neglect, take whatever steps are necessary to ensure your dad gets the best possible care. After all, he deserves nothing less.