April 30th 2006In our local Volunteer Centre thereâ€™s a large room upstairs thatâ€™s used for activities such as Tai Chi and Pilates sessions and charity coffee mornings, that sort of thing. Add to that now, according to the sandwich board-type notice outside on the pavement that I noticed yesterday morning, an Alzheimerâ€™s Club.
Â â€˜Alzheimerâ€™s Club, 3pm Thursdayâ€™, announced the notice in bold letters. I was intrigued. If someone has Alzheimerâ€™s how do they remember to go? I had to know, not least because Iâ€™m fast approaching the age when I might become a victim of Alzheimerâ€™s myself, and forewarned is forearmed as they say.I went in and said to the pleasant-looking young lady receptionist behind the desk: â€œThis club for people suffering from Alzheimerâ€™s disease? How do they remember to come?â€
â€œWe pick them up in a minibus,â€ the receptionist smiled.Problem solved then. Nothing to it. Ask a silly question. I was halfway through the door on my way out before I realised her answer threw up another question. I returned to the desk.
â€œThen why put a notice outside?â€â€œPardon?â€
â€œAnnouncing a meeting of the Alzheimerâ€™s Club? If you pick them up in a minibus why bother putting a notice outside?Her frown, added to her vacuous expression informed me that she obviously had no idea. But equally obviously she felt she had to defend the use of the notice. After a moment or twoâ€™s thought she smiled and announced: â€œWell itâ€™s for people who havenâ€™t got Alzheimerâ€™s now but get it later. Soâ€™s theyâ€™ll know we have an Alzheimerâ€™s Club here every Thursday at three.â€
â€œNo they wonâ€™t,â€ I said. Because when they get Alzheimerâ€™s theyâ€™ll forget theyâ€™ve seen the notice, wonâ€™t they.â€ â€œThatâ€™s all right,â€ she said brightly, â€œweâ€™ll pick them up in the minibus.â€It was like the Goon Show re-visited.