We went to the bank first to renew a CD. My grandmother always introduces me as, "Katie, my granddaughter. I have macular degeneration so she is my driver." Not, "Hi, I'm Virginia, and I'm mentally retarded." Just because my grandma is legally blind DOES NOT mean she's slow in the head. The lady at the bank was nice and everything, but she started using baby talk with my grandmother. "Now Virginia, you can't renew this now. You have to wait another week, okay?" I wish I could orally express how slow she was talking to my grandmother in a voice that you would use to a toddler. The bank woman would look at me and smile in a way that signalled she was amused by my grandmother. You know what I'm talking about... one of those smiles people give you when they're secretly laughing at the other person. It was rude, and I don't think people realize how rude it is.
After that, we went to the grocery store. As we were checking out, my grandmother gets out her money. The cashier looks directly at ME and says the total. Listen, lady. I'm no more than a driver. My grandmother didn't even tell this woman she was blind. I hate the fact that customer service employees think, "Old person = slow = talk to the other person." My grandmother has often complained to me that she wishes people would talk to her instead of the other person. This isn't one of those "you gotta speak up" situations because no matter how many times you tell the person, they and other people will continue to talk to the "more competent looking" person.
Point of the story-- not all elderly have mental handicaps. They're just as competent as you and me, maybe even more. Talk to them. They're more likely to know what's going on than us.
ETA My grandma is eighty-five, not eight to five years old. haha.