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I have a rough-and-ready mental model of 3 stages of dementia:
- I once picked up a shift on a geriatric psych unit. Walking in the locked door, I ran into a couple of very sweet ladies who were having a conversation. “I don’t know why they keep this door locked,” said one. “I need to get to my dental appointment downtown,” said the other. I explained that the door needed to stay locked right now, and that the staff would help make sure they didn’t miss any important appointments. “Oh.” If you ignored the fact that the content of the conversation was not particularly connected to reality, they seemed perfectly normal. And, of course, I had exactly the same conversation with them again a couple of hours later. They didn’t remember talking to me.
- The person’s posture, gait, and facial expression are immediate giveaways, if you know what to look for. If you’ve worked with dementia patients, you just know, and almost immediately.
- The patient is non-verbal (or nearly so), incontinent, and unable to perform self-care.
Joe Biden is in stage 2:
It baffles me that anyone can pretend otherwise.Published in