With Father’s Day around the corner, many British Columbians have already opened up their social circles, making celebrations a little easier. But what if your dad lives under lockdown in his apartment or at one of the province’s many senior care homes?
That’s the question a local in-home care agency is helping families answer as they look to break the isolation forced upon so many seniors.
Here are four tips from Home Instead Senior Care to help show your appreciation at a distance:
1) Decorate the front lawn or window.
From driveway chalk artwork to notes of gratitude pinned to the front door, there are many ways to brighten up a father’s day from a distance. If he’s in a seniors home, window paint and artwork are great ways to keep his spirits up.
“Throw some old pictures of you at the lake,” said Mandi Strickland of Home Instead. “Show them that you care.”
2) Wash his car or mow the lawn.
While your father might be the busy type, everyone needs time to relax now and then. If your father is at home, try picking up the housework for a day by washing the car, mowing the lawn or weeding the garden.
3) Deliver barbecue to his doorstep and dine over video
With so many businesses now offering take-out and delivery options, you can have your father’s favourite foods delivered right to his door. From there, share it over your go-to video chat application. Alternatively, prepare the same meal in your respective kitchens or backyards, sharing the moment over FaceTime or Zoom.
“The best gift you can give to a senior is the gift of time,” suggested a local care aid known as Laverne in an email to The Tri-City News. “Take a trip down memory lane — talk about what you were like as a kid, tell your father what you learned from him, ask him about how he met your mom.”
4) Shop local for this year’s gift.
Small businesses have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and its financial fallout. So consider shopping local and pick up some craft beer, something special from the farmer's market or a hand-crafted keepsake.
“For families who are confined to their homes for Father’s Day, ask your father what they really treasure,” wrote Laverne.
“More often than not, the things they treasure most are inexpensive and small. I had a client who loved cinnamon buns — so I would bring him a dozen cinnamon buns from the best shop in town. For someone who loves gardening, but can no longer do so — buy them a small, inexpensive Bonsai tree. Small things like these go a long way.”