I'm struggling to decide what to make of Carol Thatcher's book, serialised today in the Mail on Sunday. If my mother had dementia, would I be inclined to tell the world about it in this manner? Probably not, but then my mother is only an iconic figure within her own family, not all over the world.
The downside of making all this public is that the media will now obsess about the issue. Up till now, most newspapers and journalists have been quite respectful of Lady T's position and have been careful not to be prurient. I hope the publication of Carol's book will not change that, but I fear otherwise.
Dementia is a terrible disease. I've seen the effects it can have on partners and families. It's also a disease that people find embarrassing to confront and talk about. By being open about the fact he was suffering from it, when he wrote his famous letter to the American people, Ronald Reagan did a huge amount of good. Dementia charities were deluged with money to plough into medical research. If Carol's book has the same effect, it will have achieved a positive result.
But I can't sweep from my mind the thought that I wish she had kept her counsel. It's as if she has intruded on her mother's privacy.