Alzheimer’s Club

April 30th 2006In our local Volunteer Centre there’s a large room upstairs that’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 Alzheimer’s Club.

 ‘Alzheimer’s Club, 3pm Thursday’, announced the notice in bold letters. I was intrigued. If someone has Alzheimer’s how do they remember to go? I had to know, not least because I’m fast approaching the age when I might become a victim of Alzheimer’s myself, and forewarned is forearmed as they say.I went in and said to the pleasant-looking young lady receptionist behind the desk: “This club for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease? How do they remember to come?”

“We pick them up in a minibus,” 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.

“Then why put a notice outside?”“Pardon?”

“Announcing a meeting of the Alzheimer’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 two’s thought she smiled and announced: “Well it’s for people who haven’t got Alzheimer’s now but get it later. So’s they’ll know we have an Alzheimer’s Club here every Thursday at three.”

“No they won’t,” I said. Because when they get Alzheimer’s they’ll forget they’ve seen the notice, won’t they.” “That’s all right,” she said brightly, “we’ll pick them up in the minibus.”It was like the Goon Show re-visited.