Dentures, specs & hearing aids

I wrote this two years ago… still seems relevant.

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Amongst the piles of lost-and-found that accumulate in wards, care homes, clinics and hospital laundries across the UK, surely the missing dentures, spectacles and hearing aids point to something wrong with the way care is operating.

‘I’m fine, thank you,’ smiles Mary.

‘Do you know where you are?’

No response

A little louder, ‘Mary, do you know where you are?’

Puzzled look

Bending over and shouting in Mary’s ear, ‘Who is the monarch?’

Mary smiles and replies, ‘I’m fine, thank you, I don’t need any more tea.’

And the rest is history, what is sensory impairment becomes cognitive deficit, what was originally a strong Scottish, Nigerian or Indian accent – (take your pick, us medics come from everywhere), becomes a disjointed grouping of vocalisations, gestures and eyebrow raises.

Rapidly, if we are not careful, Mary develops dementia. Sometimes, if the conditions aren’t right, she develops ‘severe dementia’, she becomes senile, her…

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