"...so, aside from the dementia, your mother's doing pretty nicely, all things considered."
"Great. I just wanted to ask if you could write a letter to her boss saying she's healthy enough to work."
"I'm sorry, what?"
"A short letter -- her boss wanted to see a doctor's note to just make sure she was OK to work."
"Your mother works??"
"Yeah, she's a secretary at a law firm."
"She's 88 and demented."
"Yeah, it's okay, she brings her aide."
"She brings her aide to work? I'm sorry, does her aide do the work?"
"No, she just helps her."
"I'm sorry, I must be missing something. Your mother doesn't recognize you. She didn't realize this was a doctor's office. I'm kind of floored to imagine she could do the job of a secretary."
"It's a low-volume desk."
"Look, I just need you to write a note saying she is physically healthy enough to go into the office, with her aide."
"I'll tell you, you are right that she is physically healthy enough to do that. But she's not mentally equipped to still be working in any capacity that requires her to remember things."
"I think that's for her and her boss to figure out. He just needs to know that she's not at risk of anything medically."
"I can write some kind of note saying she's physically healthy, but I can't write a note recommending she have a job in an office."
"That's okay. The physically healthy part should be fine."
"I'm sorry, I have to ask-- why does her boss keep her on the payroll?"
"He's also 88. He likes the company."
"Okay. That's fine. I'll write the note and be right back."