So many times when we lose abilities, that is where our focus lies, on our loss. As we approach the fourth anniversary of Dad’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, I’m trying to focus on, and appreciate, what he is still able to do. I am very proud of how hard he continues to try and how he hasn’t simply given up. I tell him every time I see him.
Thirteen things Dad can still do
1. Stand up from a seated position on the side of his bed or from his wheelchair, with assistance.
2. Walk a few slow, short, and shaky steps while using his walker, with assistance.
3. Respond to yes or no questions, with an affirmative nod or negative shake of his head, once you have his attention.
4. Give a thumb’s up.
5. Write his first name in cursive.
6. Wash and dry the kitchen table after a meal.
7. Chew and swallow soft or ground up foods, and drink with a straw.
8. Feed himself his breakfast cereal, peanut butter crackers, and select dinner foods using his right hand.
9. Chew his pills when given them in a spoonful of pudding.
10. Speak a word, or even a short sentence, on rare occasions, creating a moment of amazement and joy for all who witness it.
11. Wave good-bye.
12. Recognize me.