Sunday, September 3, 2023

I’m turning 85. Is Alzheimer’s coming for me?

Estate planningAuthor Elaine Soloway penned an Opinion piece for The Washington Post last week titled, I’m turning 85. Is Alzheimer’s coming for me? Below is an introduction:

They are walking toward me. Elizabeth? No, that’s not right. She is tall. Her long, blond hair is partially hidden by a wide-brimmed straw hat. I start an alphabet wheel in my head: Alice, Betty, Carol. And whew, before the wheel completes its circle, it comes to me: Kathleen! That’s it: Kathleen. Now what about him?

I have just a few seconds to remember his name. He’ll soon unlatch the clanging metal door, alerting the dogs inside to raise heads and wag tails in anticipation of a chase.

Kathleen’s partner is smiling. He’ll soon greet me with an “Elaine, good morning!”

I can’t ask him again. I know it’s something short, tough, current. Josh, Chad? Then, just in time: “Lucas, Kathleen!” I wave, just a bit too eagerly. Like a relative signaling family members arriving on an ocean liner.

When memory falters, as in the case of Kathleen and Lucas, I forgive myself and blame the lapse on the sheer number of young people I’ve met in this place. But recently, with daily reminders of Alzheimer’s treading on my heels, I’m not sanguine. I worry that every buried name is a step on the path to disease.

For more information see Elaine Soloway “I’m turning 85. Is Alzheimer’s coming for me?” The Washington Post, August 22, 2023.

Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (University of Virginia) for bringing this article to my attention.

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