Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has dementia.
In her forthcoming book, which is serialized in the Mail on Sunday (a paper which, I hasten to add, I do not read), Carol Thatcher reveals that her mother’s mental faculties have been in decline for the past 7 years:
When she learned Latin at school, she absorbed the vocabulary and declensions with her blotting-paper brain. It was a skill honed to perfection during her chemistry degree at Oxford, when scientific equations added yet another dimension to an already orderly mind.
Whereas previously you would never have had to say anything to her twice, because she’d already filed it away in her formidable memory bank, Mum started asking the same questions over and over again, unaware she was doing so.
It might be something innocuous – such as ‘What time is my car coming?’ or ‘When am I going to the hairdresser?’ – but the fact she needed to repeat them opened a new and frightening chapter in our lives.