A friend and I often joke about the time when we will end up at Shady Pines.
We are well aware that the slightest slip, any small sign of forgetfulness - like a bowling ball put into the fridge by mistake, a kettle left on the boil too long, a small house-fire, - and it will be Shady Pines, here we come. A 20 year old putting a bowling ball in the fridge would have her friends grinning indulgently over the mistake but, hey, we older folk would be raced into a care facility faster than one can say "Alzheimers".
There are questions asked by the medical profession to see if an older person is ripe for induction: "Name the Prime Minister?" "What's the date?" "Count backwards from a hundred in sevens". "Draw a cube". "Draw a clock face that reads ten-fifteen".
I'm pretty sure I would remember the name of the PM (phew!), I'd be somewhat hazy over the date, I can't count in sevens forwards let alone backwards, and as for drawing a cube? - well, I have no eye for perspective.
When a relative was asked to draw the clock face, he drew a digital watch with the numbers "10:15" on it. Five stars for being creative?
From now on, I'll have to watch my P's and Q's. And my boiling kettles. And my bowling balls. This very morning I'm going to start in on drawing cubes ...