I was at the end of a very long, stressful, and exhausting overnight shift years ago. I was evaluating an 88-year-old woman with dementia. Her family brought her to the hospital due to her worsening confusion and poor appetite.
After introducing myself, I asked her several questions to evaluate her thinking and overall health. Below are a few of my questions and her responses:
What is your name?
Where are we right now?
I don’t know.
Are we at church, a hospital, or in the park?
It looks like a hospital.
You’re right! How old are you?
24 years old.
It looks like you are a bit older than 24.
When is your birthday?
Do you know what year?”
Of course, every year, silly.
Key Point: This innocent response to my questions really brightened my very long day.