Recognizing How Father’s Day Can Be Complex
Prioritizing Meaningful Connection Over Gift-Giving
It is no secret that the relationship between fathers, or father figures, and their children and loved ones can change over time. Celebrations that were once simple can become much more complex. If you are approaching Father’s Day feeling uncertain of how or if you want to celebrate, we have some advice that might help ease the situation.
First, consider asking your father or loved one how he wants to spend the day. Maybe he does not want to celebrate or be recognized in any way: He may prefer simply to spend the day together. Take the pressure off the holiday by treating it as any other visit and focus on meaningful connection. Father’s Day doesn’t require presents, a card, or a public display of affection: It can look like sitting together at a table playing cards, watching a movie, or taking a drive.
If you do want to do something special and your father has limited mobility, you will want to plan in advance. Many places, like the zoo, sports facilities, and museums, offer accessible options for older adults with mobility needs. You could also adapt an activity that your father used to enjoy in the past: If he loved to go fishing, take him by the lake to enjoy a scenic drive. Or, drive through old neighborhoods and let the conversation flow about past memories and experiences.
If your father is experiencing cognitive impairment, you could try to spark old memories by looking through old photos together. Instead of asking if your father remembers this or that, which may result in frustration or confusion on his end, ask him to tell you about a photo. Quality time like this together can be incredibly valuable to both you and your loved one, and more meaningful than any material gift.
As you approach Father’s Day, our team is here to provide any support or guidance.