My dad is in mental decline but not yet demented. He has always been very lazy. Now nearly 88 years old, he resents not having the body he had at age 70. He has so many reasons to be grateful. When Mom died, he started living in filth, and his health was deteriorating rapidly. Now he receives devoted elder care from loving family members. I wish he could appreciate the good things in life: sunshine, rain that keeps things green, and of course, the love from family members. Are there any ways to teach elders to be appreciative?

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Alas, my dad has always been lazy (I will spare you the stories), and he never developed a hobby. He is under good medical care. The only gift I can see him having is his memory, such as growing up during the Great Depression. Maybe he will be willing to help us write his memoirs. Thanks for reminding me of the need to be needed!
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Your dad sounds very sad and depressed. Sometimes laziness is a sign of depression, as in not being able to get motivated. Depression will render a person unable to be appreciative, recognize the good things in life, etc. He may need a good physical and physcological check up if he hasn't had one lately. At 88, he's entitled to feel resentful about his inabilities to be 70. Of course he shouldn't take it out on you. Heck, nobody likes to get old. If he isn't on meds, that might be something from which he could benefit.
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No. He misses your Mom. He's depressed. He needs a reason to keep living. How about NEEDING HIM? What does he have to offer the family, or a neighbor? When people know they have value and are needed for something, anything, sometimes they change their attitude. What are his talents or gifts?
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