IT’S well known that as we age our ability to remember diminishes – although I like to think memory loss is Nature’s way of allowing elderly people to filter out annoying clutter. A sort of biological spam defence.

Yet forgetting can be problematic. Especially medical appointments. One of the most embarrassing things must be when you actually remember to turn up for the appointment but forget what it is that’s wrong with you.

If memory loss is the ailment, imagine the difficulty explaining the fact when you can’t actually remember not being able to remember in the first place.

That’s why the public at large has to understand the potential difficulties and be as supportive as possible.

Likewise, it’s up to the victim of memory loss to not be afraid to ask for help when it’s patently needed.

Take the following incident that once occurred in a local pub I once frequented.

After arriving back from holiday, an elderly couple of regulars decided to call in the hostelry for a lunchtime tipple. The landlord greeted them warmly and the old lady toddled off to sit by the window.

"Did you have a nice holiday, Bill?” asked mine host.

“Oh yes,” replied the man. “Very nice.”

“Where did you go?” inquired the landlord further.

“We went to one of them . . . er . . . let me think. Yes, one of them Greek islands.” replied the man.

“Which one?”

“Erm . . . it was . . . let’s see . . . it was one of them holiday islands,” said the increasingly confused old gentlemen. “Yes I’m sure it was Greek.”

“Yes, but which one?”

The old man paused for a while then said:“What’s the name of that plant that grows up the side of a house?”

“Ivy,” said the landlord.

The old man turned to his wife.

“Ivy – what’s the name of that Greek island we’ve been to?”