The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Perception Request

09/27/2020

Most of us see of a slippery slope from forgetfulness to dementia to Alheimer’s, but one does not necessarily lead to another.  Forgetfulness is normal and even has the fancy name of “mild cognitive linguistic deficit”.

I have been fortunate to work with senior citizens for most of my life.  At least a thousand times, I have reassured a person that forgetting names or losing keys are not proof of dementia.  I have told them that, yes, their memory bank is getting full — but their judgment is improving.  Nothing new about this, except that I now seem to be saying it to somebody almost every day.

In the last few months, the number of seniors who are overly-worried about forgetfulness seems to have increased dramatically.  We know the diagnosis of dementia has been increasing in recent years, but that data is suspect, as it has become “fashionable” to make that diagnosis.  Has self-diagnosis of dementia also increased?  Primary causes of dementia include diabetes, high blood pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, or depression.  Numerous unscientific surveys indicate an increase in depression, as a result of the pandemic, but has that increased level of generalized depression from the pandemic caused increased anxiety about dementia?

I suspect but cannot prove that the long siege by the coronavirus is raising anxiety levels in general and fear of dementia in particular.  Have you seen the fear of dementia increase significantly over the last seven months?  If you have any perception on this, please share it with me at jim@baycapitaladvice.com

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