This is as close as I can get to the exact conversation I had this morning with my “demented” mother in the grounds of the Surrey Lunatic Asylum. (I like to call it that rather than Springfield University Hospital because it once was the Surrey Lunatic Asylum and it’s a much more interesting name.) I put “demented” in inverted commas because dementia comes in many forms: my mother has no short term memory (can’t remember what happened a minute ago) but uses complex language and has a great sense of humour, both high mental functions.
Hazel [my mother]: I’m happy in my life.
Hazel: Mind you, I keep my expectations low, and I don’t expect high standards. I give myself leeway. If I didn’t I might be depressed.
Me: That sounds wise. You’re a philosopher.
Hazel: No, I don’t have the training.