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Father’s Day gifts for senior dads 2024

It’s that time again in the UK, when we scratch our heads and wonder what on earth we can give dad for Father’s Day that would both show our appreciation and actually be appreciated. Dads can be difficult for presents, especially older dads who may already have all they think they want.

If that’s your challenge, here are a few ideas that might help. Some we’ve bought and trialled ourselves or with friends and family. Some have been specifically supplied for review – and we’ve made that clear when that’s the case. And some are just ideas that have passed our way, which we haven’t tried but look like they have potential.

Tasty morsels

Have you noticed dads developing a sweeter tooth as they get older? Certainly some around me continue to deny they usually eat puddings or cake, but they seem to be increasingly willing to ‘help out’ by taking a portion. If your father does enjoy sweet things in small doses, you could try him on cupcakes. We are trying the famous Lola’s Bakery cupcakes. Carefully packaged and delivered, we’ve found them moist and not too sweet, despite their vivid decoration.

As a child your father may have spent pocket money on sweets of all shapes and colours. Today there are a number of suppliers of retro sweets, harking back to treats of years ago. Amongst those are Swizzel, which offers a wide variety, including the best-selling Sweet Shop Favourites Tubs, containing memories such as Drumstick Squashies, Love Hearts, Refreshers Cheves and Parma Violets. Available from supermarkets and convenience stores for RRP £5. Vegan options available too.

And still on the edible track, but not so sweet, we’ve been sampling review packets of Joe & Seph’s popcorn. Available in savoury or popcorn versions, the range includes Marmite, Budweiser Beer, Cheddar Cheese, and Goats Cheese & Black Pepper (£4 for 80g), as well as a selection of chocolate popcorn bites (£3.50 for 63g). So far we are very taken with the Double Salted Caramel. On the other hand, the Marmite flavour did exactly what you would expect, and divided people into ‘love it’ and ‘not so much’. For dads who haven’t grown up with the idea that you should clutch a bucket of popcorn to yourself at the ‘movies’, these are packs are a good size be shared at home with a few or kept to oneself. The £4 packs are particularly suited to this with their robust, resealable packaging.

Out in the garden

There aren’t many of us who don’t start to have twinges in our backs as we get older, and for gardeners this can be a literal pain. I have discovered the joy of long-handled tools of late, and I wish I had found them sooner. Ideas I’ve tried and liked include:

  • bulb planters – I love daffodils and narcissi in general, but the effort of getting them into the ground has become increasingly trying. A long-handled bulb planter lifts out a good-sized plug of soil so you can drop the bulb in and just recover it. I would plant tulips this way as well, but sadly the squirrels mistake them for lunch
  • weed grabber for lawns – when I raved about this new addition to my potting shed I found that both my children already owned one. It’s very satisfying to use. You position the tool over the offending large weed (in my case an influx of thistle-like plants) and press the lever with your foot. The tool removes the weed with soil, and you can slide it off the bottom of the tool before binning the weed and replacing the soil. I bought this one from Amazon but there are plenty of suppliers available
  • weed removal knife for patios and paths – getting down on my knees with a bladed tool is too much effort, and the long-handled brushes can be helpful, but I’m now trying out a long-handled knife. So far it’s good, but it can’t get in all the gaps, as our slabs seem to have been set at different distances apart. Reviews do suggest there are two widths of blade available, so worth considering what will work best for dad if this is your choice. Again, there are plenty available if you search. I ended up with a Fiskars weeding knife, as I know their reputation is excellent in the scissors and cutting wheels for fabric department.

All that work deserves a break. I’ve just wheeled out my birthday present of a new wooden steamer chair from the very helpful team at Jati for a summer of relaxing in the garden, and it’s a joy. Reminiscent of those chairs lined up on the decks on the Titanic (more successful passenger steamers are available), the chair we chose is made of teak, and has wheels, a couple of sitting positions, and a detachable foot stool. We’ve been advised that there’s no need for a cover to protect it from the elements – it will just season with age. We are protecting the cushion we bought at the same time though. The cushion is very comfortable, although in our case the headrest is not quite central. Not a problem from a comfort perspective but somehow it bothers my brain.

Spending warm, sunlit hours in the egg chair or a deckchair with a good book can be classed as an excellent use of retirement time. But then you have to balance the need for reading glasses against protection from the sun. Wear them one on top of the other? There is an alternative in the widely available sun protecting reading glasses. It’s worth checking that the sunglasses aspect has good UV protection, as this is said to be helpful in delaying the onset of cataracts.

On the move

A friend who chauffeurs for a living has been finding night time driving increasingly difficult. He thinks it’s down to a combination of ageing eyes and newer designs of headlights which he finds increase the glare. He was a little sceptical when he was given some anti-glare driving glasses with yellow lenses, but he’s found them really helpful. You can find out more with the help of your favourite search engine.

I will admit I got this idea from a Facebook ad and I haven’t seen the real version. It just sounds like a great idea for anyone winding down work and wanting to spend more time seeing the best of the UK. It’s the Great British Bucket List. The blurb on the website describes it as ‘a treasury of crowdsourced local intel, ​​road-less-travelled experiences and (mostly) free fun… your golden ticket to the adventure of a lifetime (and a lifetime of adventure).’ £14.99 plus P&P.

Here’s a top of the budget idea. Electric cars, electric scooters, electric bikes – this is definitely the way transport is moving today. There is plenty of choice for the cyclist who’d like to give their muscles a bit of help. An interesting alternative is an electric tricycle. Jorvik, for example, offers test rides at its showroom in York and has also set up a home demonstration service for a £100 fee, refundable against purchase. We haven’t tested this ourselves, but the TrustPilot reviews are mostly positive.

Back to sport

We asked the experts at TennisHQ about the best style of racket to choose for a dad who’s getting back into the sport after years of not having time. They suggested you should look for a racket that offers:

  • a larger head size for a larger ‘sweet’ spot for striking the ball
  •  a vibration damping mesh which helps prevent injuries like tennis elbow
  • a light weight that can assist with injuries and helps provide more power on the swing
  • easy manoeuvrability to help with timing on the shot

The company’s suggestions from its own range are the Babolat Evo Lite or the Yonex Ezone 100L.

We’ve also taken some advice from a sportwear company on the socks to choose as a gift. Pro Performance Max suggests Grip Sock Pro from its range. These are specialised socks designed with rubberised/silicone patterns on the soles which provide enhanced stability, traction and grip. The base of the socks makes contact with the inner surface of the shoe, meaning the foot stays firmly in place. That means they can reduce the likelihood of slipping, sliding, and blisters, as well as improving gait performance. We’ve received a couple of pairs of the socks for review, and are finding them comfortable for walking. £7.99 per pair/£22.00 4 pair pack.

And relax

Retirement is a great time to get reading again, and a subscription to Readly, the digital magazine and newspaper app can open doors to general and specialist publications. A Readly subscription gives dad unlimited reading of 7,700 digital publications via his tablet or desktop computer, and the subscription enables access for five users in one household. A subscription is £12.99 a month and there is a range of giftcards available. Readly has a special Father’s Day offer of £25.98 for 3 months (one month free) of unlimited reading, and we’ve been given a guest membership to try out. Visit readly.com/giftcards/fathersday24 for more information.

Header Image by freepik

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