Friday, April 24, 2015

Blogging From A to Z - U is for Uncle Billy

Welcome to the It's A Wonderful Blog's Blogging From A to Z April (2015) Challenge. For this challenge, I will post every day in April (except for Sundays) about topics related to the Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart film, It's a Wonderful Life.

Uncle Billy: 

Uncle Billy.
Uncle Billy forgets to remember what he forgot.

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 (, 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:
  • Memory
  • Communication and language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Visual perception
People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood."

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

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