A Carer thinking about dementia and memory problems

Guest blog by Carol Munt

Last week I found out how frustrating and annoying it is to be stopped by the traffic police, have my car impounded and issued with a summons for no  vehicle insurance and a £150 bill to retrieve my car.
All because I missed the printing mistake on my certificate of insurance which said 736 instead of 376 as part of my car registration and I couldn’t remember who I had insured with.

The infuriating thing is that when I showed the insurance certificate, with the MOT,  to get the road tax renewed they missed the reversed digits too.
So, the first reason for telling you this is, check your documents carefully. It’s no joke to pay out £150 for a damn silly mistake.
The second reason is that I have a mild problem sometimes with the order of certain numbers, for example I will write out a phone number with two of the digits mixed up. Probably because I don’t think things through and am impatient, want it done now!
This got me thinking how difficult it must be for people who have dyslexia or learning difficulties which affect their perception of letters and numbers.
Then I thought about what it is to have dementia and memory problems.
I felt an absolute idiot that I couldn’t think who I had insured my car with this year. I gave the police the name of my previous insurers by mistake and they said my policy expired in November 2012, which it did.  I had changed insurers to get a better deal (ironic, when I had to pay out £150 for loss of memory!!).
So as no policy showed on the police data base against my car, and being told my policy had expired, it’s not too difficult to work out why they issued the paperwork.
At least this was an isolated incident for me , (well, I hope so) and I’ll get over the inconvenience.


I can’t help wondering how my Mum felt when she realised there was something wrong with her memory. Struggling to remember the names of flowers and plants in her garden. Not being able to recall the names of birds coming to feed. Forgetting that we had been to visit a friend of hers the week before and so on, and so on.
Of course my lapse of memory was an expensive inconvenience and I know it was an isolated incident, but the feeling of helplessness and despair was immense at the time.
I’m going to talk to the police about dementia and will use this incident as part of my talk. It will be something they can identify with and hopefully keep in mind when coming across someone with dementia.
I’m going to make a cup of tea now and you’re going to check your car policy documents.
When you see it’s all O.K. you can have a laugh at my expense, I deserve it.
Carol Munt