There was a time when we just used to get old. We still do.
There was a time when getting old was just part of the natural process of life. It still is.
They used to say “Don’t mind Auntie Gladys she’s gone a bit ga-ga now – well it’s to be expected she is getting on a bit. Still we all look after her.”
But you can’t say ga_ga or loopy-loo any more. For a while everyone became senile but then that again was deemed NON-PC and so we have finally arrived with the wonderful twins of today’s world – dementia and Alzheimers.
Now before I continue I am in no way denigrating the wonderful work that carers, wives, husbands and families do to look after their loved ones as they get old and deal with all the problems that this throws up. What I question is the rushing headlong by all these so called experts, advisors and what used to be called in the Wild West – snake oil salesman – to classify anyone who becomes a bit forgetful with what appears to be a fatal and untreatable disease.
I’m always forgetting where I put my glasses and frequently don’t know which date of the month it is. So if I was taken to the doctor in UK and asked a series of questions to determine my mental state, the fact that I can’t remember a day or an address immediately puts me on the slippery slope into the twilight zone – another disallowed expression.
The mental state of the brain is still, one of the last unexplained areas of medicine and who knows may still remain so despite all the dissecting and computer analysis. Its what makes everyone different from everyone else.
The dementia ‘industry’ is growing fast every day with millions of pounds spent on this research and that research, building special sets to put people in so they feel at home. Drugs and more drugs.
From my point of view we just need to go back to recognise that everyone gets old and both health and mental problems will occur. Lets just accept that and give people care, compassion and dignity in what the French brilliantly call La Troisième Age.
Guest blog by @mikec