The word “senile” defined in this more narrow way, though, did not come into common usage until the middle of the nineteenth century. But even if people did not have an exact medical term during the Regency period to describe mental decline in the elderly, such decline was clearly recognized by both the medical community and the public at large.
Pilippe Pinel at the Salpêtrière by Tony Robert-Fleury (1876)
Pinel orders the removal of chains from patients at the
Parish Asylum for insane women. Credit: Wikipedia