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Remembrance of Things Past

The construction of the PVE Memory Care Unit has been an astonishingly rapid one. Contrasting the memory care addition to Quail Creek with the progress of the underground parking garage, which slogged on indefinitely, residents cannot help but wonder Why the hurry? I believe that the haste of construction is due to the need for containment.

I have always loved tests.

As a matter of fact, I renewed my subscription to Cosmopolitan because their tests on any given subject were so much fun to take. Well, the “any-given-subject” part invariably involved whether one was a good “partner.” If you’ve ever looked at the cover of that magazine, you’ll recognize what kind of a partner I’m talking about.

So when the Memory Care Unit became a real place, I decided to take one of the tests offered on Internet that helps one assess the condition of one’s mental faculties. I chose the UCLA test because their football uniforms are so non-threatening and the picture of the professor who developed the test looked non-threatening, too. I was wrong.

Accustomed to the usual 6 question test that the manager of PVE’s Wellness Clinic administers annually, I was surprised at the depth, intensity and specificity of the questions.

Here are a few:

How often do you recognize a face but forget a name?

Well, that proves that PVE is a premier retirement community, because Marketing furnishes us with name tags that are easily readable from a handshake-length distance.   Of course, when you come home and try to describe the interesting conversation you had with a resident, it is not helpful to say, “You know, the lady with the white hair and the great perm.” Or “I had a meaningful conversation with that guy with the comb-over about global warming.”

Do you have trouble locating your car in a crowded parking lot?

Doesn’t everyone? I use a fool proof system to avoid wandering aimlessly around the parking lot in the mall. First, I find a sidewalk where I can see the parked cars. Then I eliminate the SUVs and Mommie-vans. Next, I identify cars that are the same color as mine and relatively compact. That used to work, but in recent years the price of gas has dictated the purchase of hybrid and small efficient vehicles, and that technique became obsolescent. Anyone with positive suggestions is asked to leave a coping strategy on car-finding in my mailbox.

Do you have difficulty remembering the name of a movie, tv show, or book that you have enjoyed and want to recommend?

This question is an invitation to a game of Charades. The recommendee shouts out: “Sounds like. . . ?; “How many syllables? “ “Comedy or documentary?” and bedlam ensues.

Do you repeat a story or statement in the same day?

That depends. If recounting a humorous experience gets a laugh in The Club, repeating the story over dinner earns you a reputation as a raconteur of note – as long as you are having dinner with someone else.

Do you ever forget an appointment or errand?

This is obviously a trick question. With the preponderance of calendar apps on our ipads and smart phones, it is virtually impossible to overlook an appointment for dental work. Now if I can just remember where I left my cell phone. . .