But that doesn't mean that I wasn't interested yesterday when 84-year old Hetty, one of my dear, spunky retirement home readers, told me that she had been tested for Alzheimer's.
I asked her about it and she proceeded to describe the battery of tasks and questions used to detect the disease: draw a clock face that shows 10 minutes to 11; give today's date, month and year; give your age and birth date; count back from 100 by 7s; recall the three items named earlier....
Surely someone who can itemize the details of a test for Alzheimer's passed it. I wondered why they bothered to test Hetty in the first place. We speculated that every resident was being tested. I had just come from another part of the building where everyone who used a scooter was being given a driver's test. Perhaps it is the "screening season".
However, thanks to Hetty, if I ever get screened I will know what to expect and I will be prepared. I can start right now practicing subtraction by 7's. Math was never my best subject.
But it might be more to the point if I just kept on with a new knitting project.
It appears that knitting (or any kind of crafting or creative pursuit) is faaabulous for the brain. A recent item from CNN Health enthuses about its extraordinary benefits. It is relaxing, it stimulates neural activity, and releases dopamine. The zen state that accompanies a period of intense concentration while we figure out a tricky pattern is as good as meditation. Don't knock us knitting grannies. We are doing more than making mittens. We are engaged in dementia prevention and enjoying a perfectly legal knitter's high.
Hetty has always been a knitter. Last winter she made so many frilly scarves that she got sick of them.
|One frilly scarf = lots of new neurons + great satisfaction|
I never doubted it. I'm sure all that knitting gave her an edge.