There's a novel way
to deal with people like me who may soon be faced with dementia and/or
According to the Telegraph in Great Britain, the Benrath Senior Centre
in Düsseldorf, Germany had problems with patients wandering off.
Residents, because of short term memory loss, inevitably forgot why they
had left the facilities.
The solution was to build a
fake bus stop. The demented seniors recognized the bus stop and
apparently walked over to it to go somewhere.
The joke was on them because no buses stopped. The staff
of the center rounded up the confused residents and lured them back to
the facility with a promise of coffee and biscuits.
This was a real cost savings since medical personnel don't have time to
chase down old people on the loose.
I'm going to open up a chain of such Senior Centers. They will be called
I know the concept is a winner because when my mother hit 90, a health
care specialist suggested I move her out of our home and pop her in a
facility where they could strap her down and sedate her.
Her problem was that her short term memory was starting
to burn out. (This worked well for me because I could get her to give me
my allowance money three or four extra times a month.)
My reason for keeping Mother
in our home was that her long term memory was fine and we had not moved
the bathroom in 40 years.
She always knew where it and the kitchen was. Also the
mailbox and telephone.
She died quite happy at 96 in her home knowing where the
bathroom, kitchen, TV clicker and phone were. As a matter of fact she
remembered where all the spices were and could cook chicken better than
anyone I ever knew when she was close to a 100.
But getting back to my "Gotacha" rest homes −
if we set them up correctly then we could keep costs down.
For example, when we round up the old people and bring them back for
coffee we will give them empty cups. When they ask where the coffee is
we will tell them they have already drunk it.
Entertainment is important to the elderly so we would have all the
current movies screened every night.
Actually, we would simply put up film posters to lure the
old people to the theater. They would sit down and we would turn off the
lights and the staff would clap and we would then turn the lights back
on. We would tell the old people that they had just seen the latest Bond
You guessed it, we would sit them down at beautiful
tables with sparkling silverware and fine china. We would tell the old
people they had just polished off steak and lobster.
This would not only save on food costs but could reduce
energy consumption. We would not even need to run dish washers, come to
think of it we would not even need dish washers. In these energy saving
times I think we could expect several community awards.
For those who enjoyed wine we would make certain their tables had
bottles of the most expensive brands. Empty bottles that is.
The mind boggles at the amount of money one could save by instigating
the theory of the fake bus stop through a growing empire of Gotcha Rest
Of course some of the old people might still retain a part of their
short term memory and become agitated when they twigged to what was
If these trouble makers created any kind of resistance, we would
microwave them and explain that the entire group had met and decided
through a vote that it was time for trouble makers to be cleansed. (The
macro-micro wave oven would seat four and resemble a sauna or shower.)
I think we could count on over 90 per cent of the old people to support
the non-existent vote since they would have no memory of it and they
would be quite appreciative of the excellent steak and fine theater they
enjoyed living out their golden years under our compassionate care.
And of course the elderly rabble rousers who had been microwaved and
were now more or less toast, would fall into line.
Quick Check for Alzheimer's
The following was developed as a mental
age assessment by the School of Psychiatry at
your time and see if you can read each line aloud without a mistake. The
average person over 40 years of age cannot do it!
1. This is this cat.
2. This is is cat.
3. This is how cat.
4. This is to cat.
5. This is keep cat.
6. This is an cat.
7. This is old cat.
8. This is fart cat.
9. This is busy cat..
10. This is for cat.
11. This is forty cat.
12. This is seconds cat.
Now go back and read the third word in each line from the top.