His fingers are covered with strings...a classic, if not exactly fool-proof, old-fashioned method for remembering things.
Billy forgets George's wedding. He forgets where he put the $8,000. He forgets where he put his hat (with the aid of alcohol). He forgets how old he is.
According to the symptoms listed by the Alzheimer's Association (http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp), Uncle Billy clearly suffers from dementia. According to the Web site:
"While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:
- Communication and language
- Ability to focus and pay attention
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
We see almost all of these factors at different points in It's a Wonderful Life.
I plan to enlist the help of my wife, who studied gerontology, works with hospice, and who has lost family members to alzheimer's disease, to help me examine Uncle Billy and look at this question more closely in the near future.
To learn more about the warning signs of alzheimer's disease, visit http://bit.ly/1wz9oxO