Trying not to think about what it means for her: This week, the newswires buzzed about revelations in a new memoir by Carol Thatcher, daughter of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, that the former Iron Lady has had her memory dimmed by dementia. (Though the video above, from an interview only two years ago, suggests that even after her 2002 stroke, the lady is formidable.)

Readers across Britain called the publication of details of Thatcher’s decline “exploitive” and “opportunistic.” But reaction to the memoir also underscores the shame many feel about the consequences of dementia especially when it strikes the most intellectually powerful.

In the case of Thatcher, she suffered several mild strokes before doctors advised her against public speaking in 2002. In March she was admitted to a hospital for tests after she felt ill during a House of Lords dinner.

Serving as prime minister from 1979 to 1990, she had been an intellectual powerhouse, reportedly sleeping just four hours a night. Her daughter Carol Thatcher, a television personality, said she first noticed her mother’s memory problems in 2000.

In her memoir, “A Swim-On Part in the Goldfish Bowl,” which will be published next month, her daughter describes Thatcher’s inability to remember world affairs or even the 2003 death of her husband, Denis. “I had to keep giving her the bad news over and over again,” the younger Thatcher writes. “Every time it finally sank in that she had lost her husband of more than 50 years, she’d look at me sadly and say ‘Oh’ as I struggled to compose myself. ‘Were we all there?’ she’d ask softly.”

Ignore our teeth, and they will go away: Like much else, women’s shifting hormones affect our dental lives, Pennsylvania’s dental association reminded us in a release yesterday:  “In fact, women’s oral health needs change at different stages throughout their life, including puberty, pregnancy and menopause.” However, after a long discussion of the impact of puberty, pregnancy, and birth control pills on dental health, midlife women were dispatched in a single sentence: “During menopause, it is not uncommon for women to develop dry mouth and sore and sensitive gums.” We appreciate the reminder to revisit the dentist (lest that maxim about ignoring your teeth come true), but we’d also appreciate a touch more attention to the myriad impacts of menopause next time.

Forget Invesco Field: we’re talking power women speaking around the country.
Now this is an interesting merger; More magazine and Smart Talk Media, which sends many of the women Newsmix loves most (from Katie Couric to Irshad Manji) on lecture tours around the country:

“More is delighted to partner with Smart Talk Media, as we celebrate the magazine’s 10th anniversary,” said VP/Publisher Brenda Saget Darling. “The two properties are perfectly aligned both from the top-notch roster of speakers to the upscale audience of women this lecture series attracts. At More, we feel anything that brings smart talk to the forefront of public dialogue is all to the good.” Smart Talk’s 2009 speaker lineup will be announced in late September, and subscriptions only — no individual event ticket sales — will be available for purchase through December.

Before the Boomers Carnival leaves town, you might want to check out its offerings, says host blogger GenPlus.  This week, the offerings include 1968 memories from Don’t Gel Too Soon, a video tribute to the “Slinky” from I Remember JFK, and some invaluable advice from  SoBabyBoomer for supervisors of Generation X and Y employees: “Since Gen Y are new to the
job market (and might be oblivious to your company’s culture), let them
know that dressing better will help defeat “slacker” misconceptions, build credibility with executives, and help their career over the long haul.”

— Chris L.

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