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THE TALK

Science can’t fix dementia’s most heartbreaking problem

a roller coaster in the middle of an shoreline
Nobody can teach you how to navigate the tangled web of conversations about dementia.
  • Katherine Ellen Foley
By Katherine Ellen Foley

Health and science reporter

On a balmy weekday afternoon around the time spring was melting into summer, my partner and I made plans to meet up after work. We picked a spot in my neighborhood, which happens to be near the Nationals baseball stadium. As we sipped our beers and chatted about the week, my partner, Ben, saw two of our friends, Tom and Hannah, on their way to a baseball game. He waved them down and invited them to join us before the opening pitch.

It would have been a perfectly forgettable evening—pleasant and ordinary. DC is small enough that it’s not too uncommon to run into friends. We hadn’t seen Tom and Hannah for a bit, and I knew Tom had been visiting his hometown in Connecticut. “How’s your family doing?” I asked.

Tom and Hannah exchanged glances. 

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