Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Decline can last an inconceivably long time. Periodically, they get the bad days. Then the body somehow claws its way back to ambulatory stability. Things are back to an always-different normal.
The cycle continues until that last day when they go.
After 30 years of watching my mother slowly and relentlessly destroy her physical form, I’m always ready for that phone call. It’s a bit like exposure therapy using visualization, except that she is intermittently taken to the ER in physical reality.
Every time I get to go through the “and then what”. Done enough times, the resignation sets in.
There’s not much left of the parent I knew. Only a pale, bitter, more obviously manipulative shadow remains. She’s never comfortable, confined to two adjacent rooms by lack of mobility and very limited transportability.
In such a one, an end would be a blessing.
It’s really quite wonderful that your dad is still positive and somewhat switched on. I hope he retains his capacity for delight. Enjoy the good days. Blessed be.