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Dementia – or is it old age?

A recent article in The Times set out the signifiers of dementia (viz. forgetfulness of something told an hour ago, putting objects in strange places, losing track of the season or passage of time, getting lost in a familiar place, becoming withdrawn and losing interest in hobbies and friends, anxiety and fear) and symptoms of old age (viz. forgetting something several a months ago, misplacing and finding things, confusion of day or week, needing to concentrate harder, getting lost in a place you don’t know well, occasional reluctance to join social events, mild irritation when routines are disrupted).

Virtually all of the symptoms of old age apply to me and none of the dementia signifiers.

Sadly though, such is the coverage of dementia, that us ‘old farts’ suffer stress in fearing we might have dementia.

Over the last week I mislaid my wallet which had fallen behind the bed and been difficult to locate.

I left my mobile phone in a taxi but it had fallen from a pocket. Bad luck – not dementia.

I spoke to Ivan Conway, who was nearly knocked down recently when crossing the road.

His reaction was “What was I thinking, walking out into the road?”

In fact the potential accident was caused by a speeding motorist emerging from a single lane caused by building works and anyone might have been knocked down.

Bad and inconsiderate driving – not dementia!

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About Oliver Fortune

A doctor formerly specialising in sexual health, Oliver has written widely on matters relating to sex, relationships and counselling. He is divorced and has one daughter. He is a keen skier and mountain biker. More Posts