My Folks get an exam

I was able to visit my folks on the trip that made me rich. It was nice to get back home, if only for a few hours.

Mom & Dad were very amused by their recent visit from a nurse who needed to do a ‘qualifying exam’ (or something like that) for their long term care insurance. They had a great time, and found it very entertaining.

The parts they liked relating most were “spell the word ‘World’ backwards”: mom had no trouble, and dad said, truthfully, “I can’t spell half the words I use daily forward”, and proceeded (while the nurse was doing Mom’s test) to win 7 of 8 games of Freecell, vindicating his thinking ability. (I wonder if they have a blank for that on her form, dad)?

Mom very much enjoyed being asked to “fold this piece of paper in half”, to which she asked ‘which way?’

“Any way”

(Folded paper presented). She couldn’t believe this.

The nurse told them they were way beyond what she was used to seeing in their age groups mentally, and I’d agree with her assessment. I assume they passed.

Here’s hoping it’s genetic!


  1. RayeAnne Hawley says:

    I have known your Mom and Dad for at least 30 years and would definitely agree that they are way beyond just about anyone I know mentally. Conversations with your Mom lift me to another level of intellect and I love talking to her because of that. Also, I feel it is a pretty sure bet you received the good genes. I love your web site.

  2. Before I knew what the Folstein mini-mental test was, my grandfather was evaluated for “forgetfulness”. When the doctor got to the question about folding the paper in half, my grandfather just exploded at him, “this is b*llsh*t” I think he said. THe family was entertained at the expression of his personality. I now realize that he was failing the mini-mental test and responded with verbal aggression. He died of complications from Alzheimer’s within five years.

  3. Its very good when your loved ones receive good results from this test. I sat and observed while my Mom horribly failed this same type test. She has since passed away from end stage alzheimers but until the day of this test I had no idea she had slipped so far in her mentally. I have terrible memories of observing that test.

  4. At “THEIR” age the nurse sees much less ability in most folks? That’s really scary. Is it because your parents are preparing WAY in advance for the possibility of long term care – when most are only addressing the need when it arrives?
    ps Your Dad taught me how to play FreeCell, and I hate playing it in front of him – he ALWAYS sees better plays than I do!

  5. In a medical examination I was once asked to start at 100, subtract 7, then continue subtracting 7 from the result. I got down to 23 and the doc stopped me.

    Now I go through that mental exercise when I can’t sleep at night. When I get into single digits I’ll add 100 and continue. Every so often it reaches an even zero which usually means it will be a long night.

    … ho hum, this is making me sleepy. zzzzzzzzzzzz

  6. What was surprising about the folded paper? The speed of your mom’s response? Or, did she do something clever like fold it on the diagonal?

  7. Actually, I folded it top-to-bottom. But I THOUGHT about corner to corner!

  8. I love to read the Comments. Doc’s blog is really a family affair. It’s great to have such support and interest from one’s family. Congrats to all.