I’m Not Losing My Faculties

I’m not. That’s right. At least not as much as some think I am.

Pre-pandemic, the health system thought it essential to monitor my health, including my mental health. I was shrinking in size despite my best efforts to stand up straight. I started on a couple of pills for the rest of my life. And there were signs my mental faculties were decreasing.

My favourite test, though very informally applied, was to ask me what day it was and what the date was. The length of time, combined with my accuracy, gave one indication of my mental acuity.

As my 48 years of continuous employment wrapped up, and I Moved On into what is commonly referred to as retirement, I rarely had a daily routine that different from any other day. Monday felt like any other day of the week.

I logged the occasional appointment into my calendar. I set an alert for the day before and an hour before the time. Out of mind it went, until the beep.

I rarely needed to know the day or date except that it was “on the test.”

In this pandemic, many folks are staying home, some of them without jobs to do each day, I’ve noticed they, too, are losing their faculties. They mention that one day blurs into another. They make frequent mistakes regarding the passage of time. “Oh, that happened a couple of days ago. No, wait. It was last week.”

I think the current practice of using today and/or the passage of time should not be used as a measure of failing faculties. There is a correlation, not a cause and effect.

Most seniors seem to retire about the same time they lose their sense of day/date. It happens more frequently because the day/date is of increasing less importance. Who cares what day it is? Many seniors don’t. I think that those seniors who do maintain a firm grasp on the day/time concept are very engaged in regularly structure activities and need to know that, top of mind.

If you asked me which ocean Australia was in, I’d know it was way down there someplace. But if you asked me where my favourite pub was, I could quickly pinpoint it on a map of London, England. I’m going back there when travelling is safer to have a pint.

So, here’s how to have some fun during the C-19 (covid-19) pandemic. Ask this question of some of your younger acquaintances that don’t have a regular routine. What is the date? What is the day of the week?

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.
Glenn Walmsley