The forgetfulness of others

To grow old, as Simone de Beauvoir said “is to define oneself” and being defined is privative as well as positive”

I have always been interested in the history of my profession. In what follows I am going to offer my personal look-back at the last year in the world of dementia as it reached me as a medical professional. This year is now confined to history, just like every other year before it. I shall try not to leave anything out, but the world is a big place and I was born into it backwards and so I may not spell it out in the same way as you would. My twitter name is PeterDLROW[1]. All I ask is for your forbearance and hope that you may find something of interest in these personal reflections.

For clarity I shall divide what I am about to write into two sections: the first section (PART I) shall explore the language used in discussing dementia, and the second section (PART II) shall look at dementia policy as it has developed in the United Kingdom. Whilst I will look back over the last year, it is quite likely the time-frame may reach back further. Sometimes dates don’t always stay clearly with me and I find this a little more so when I am trying to recall so many happenings.

Written by Dr Peter J. Gordon, 31st December 2013

PART I: Dementia: the “epidemic” of metaphors

PART II: Dementia: who is in the “driving seat”?

[1] Folstein M.F,et al (1975). “Mini-mental state”. A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician”. Journal of Psychiatric Research 12 (3): 189–98. As part of the mini–mental state examination (MMSE) the rater will ask you to spell WORLD backwards. The MMSE is now under copyright

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