Dear Donna:

My dad will be 90 years old a few days before Father’s Day. He’s had some real health challenges in the last year that gave us a real scare.

My siblings and their kids will all be traveling here to spend Father’s Day with Dad. Then my brother and I will be looking for an assisted living community in the Saginaw, Michigan area for him to move to this summer.

We are hoping to make Father’s Day extra special for him this year, but are having a hard time coming up with ideas!

Do you have any suggestions?


Dear Pam:

It sounds like a good plan! Father’s Day is a day we set aside every year to remember and honor dads. But finding meaningful ways to do so can be tough when Dad is a senior.

Honoring an Older Michigan Dad on Father’s Day

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Reenact Childhood Memories. Think back to those times when your dad made you feel special. Were you at a ball game? Did he take you for ice cream or another treat? Was it when he was teaching you how to ride a bike? Try recreating one of those favorite memories with your dad. Go to a Little League game or plan an afternoon in front of the TV watching sports together. Take him to a place you used to go to together. Pose for a picture of the two of with him holding onto the back of your bike seat.
  • Put on a Show. Gather up old home movies and photos and use them to create a family video. Plan a time on Father’s Day for your family to sit down to watch the video together. Press the pause button every so often to ask questions and to share your memories. Show your dad how much you love him by taking time to set the scene by darkening the room and serving his favorite snacks. Be patient as he tells you the same old stories you’ve heard a thousand times.
  • Update Photo Albums. Take old photos and arrange them in albums. Add captions to as many of the pictures as possible. Write in your favorite takeaway from the scene in the picture: “This was the time when ______.” Ask your dad to help you name the people and places in the pictures.

Remember to Consider Your Father’s Special Needs

As you are making plans for your Father’s Day celebration, remember to take any special needs your dad has in to account. Plan your outing around his regular meal and nap times instead of pushing him to eat or nap later. If he needs to follow a special diet, remember to plan for it.

As be aware of the potential dangers sun and heat can create for seniors. If you plan to take your dad to a local ball game, be sure to bring a comfortable chair or cushion for him to sit in rather than on the hard bleachers.

A hat that shields his face or umbrella that attaches to his chair will also keep him safe from the sun’s harsh UV rays if you will be outdoors. Sunscreen and water are also necessary.

I hope this helps your family plan and enjoy a special day with your Dad!