Thirteen things Dad can still do

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.

13. Cry.


22 thoughts on “Thirteen things Dad can still do”

  1. What a great idea to focus on what he can do and not what he can not do. Glass half full, right??? It is such a long road and your family has certainly shown over the years that you are all strong and determined and so very loving. This is definitely showing through in your dad these days. Thanks for the sweet post today—it made me smile knowing that he can still do so much even though he has such a debilitating disease. Hugs.

    1. My mom was frustrated on Monday when I visited. She said if he could just do one thing, she wishes he could talk. She took care of Annie for 51 years never knowing for sure if she was in pain. Now she has basically the same thing with Dad. But I reminded her that Dad can give affirmative and negative responses to yes and no questions. That’s a big plus.

      1. That is a huge plus. I am sure your mom is overwhelmed…..she has such a responsibility and full time care taking is so difficult….I am glad you are able to offer respite as often as you do. That makes a huge difference to her I am sure.

  2. God bless you AND your dad. 🙂 Thank you for reminding us to be grateful. I believe gratitude and focusing on our blessings are keys to finding joy in life. Happiness depends on outward circumstances, but joy comes from the heart. I pray your dad has a good day!

  3. I think 13 is still a pretty good number. I stopped by to see them a couple of weeks ago, they both looked great. I miss seeing them everyday. I think he still knew who I was, he was already shedding a tear when I arrived. Always focus on the positives! 🙂

    1. Some days are better than others. Some days I despair. Other days I think we’re going to make it on this steady course we’re on. My moods are pretty well
      Inked with how well my mother is doing. In situations like this you don’t really have much choice in going forward, your only choice really lies in how you deal with what you are faced with.


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