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I am frightened of three things: 1) spiders; 2) heights; and 3) senility. The first I take care of by calling for my wife or younger daughter to dispose of the demon spawn as quickly as they can. I avoid the second whenever possible. The third…that’s what we are going to talk about today.
A number of our readers, writers and non-writers alike, are getting up there in age. We wouldn’t have it any other way, I assure you, when one considers the alternative. I would venture to say that all of us, if not all, have family members, loved ones (those are sometimes mutually exclusively groups, but that’s a topic for another time) and acquaintances who are experiencing or have experienced the beginning of the long cognitive fade. I’m not talking about occasionally being unable to place a name with a face, misplacing the car keys or cell phone, or forgetting an appointment or task. I’m referring to repeating questions or stories several times within a period of a few minutes; failing to recognize an immediate family member or member of the household, frequently getting lost in one’s home or other familiar surroundings, or finding oneself in a place with no recollection of getting there; to name a few. The most terrifying aspect of this for me is that people so afflicted often seem to be blissfully unaware of what is occurring. I’ve had some experience: literally all of the members of my paternal blood line going back two generations died in the grip of some form of senility or dementia, and all would have denied that there was anything wrong with them.
I don’t know what my situation will be if or when the same happens to me. I have decided, however, that I want at least some warning, other than people telling me second-hand stories of what I have and have not been doing. I have accordingly taken the step of leaving notes to my future self. The Google Calendar is wonderful for this, though I am sure that there are plenty of other apps that will do the same job to a greater or lesser extent. I am 63 right now (yes, yes, I know, you don’t believe that someone of my youthful appearance, virility, and mental acuity is 63, but it’s true! No I do not need the original VigRX male enhancement pills or any other enhancement!); commencing on January 1, 2019 I have left a notation, repeating weekly, asking myself if I am 1) missing appointments; 2) forgetting important dates; 3) getting lost; and 4) having people tell me that I am asking the same questions and/or telling the same stories over and over. I have also noted that if the answer to any of these questions is yes I need to seek medical help immediately. I close with a message from my (by then) younger self. I don’t know if this will help, but it’s a step, if I need it.
If you are of a certain age, are you doing anything like this as a hedge against what might be inevitable? Do you know of anyone who is? Or are you not worried about it?