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Dining Out With Family


Registered User
Feb 19, 2009
Torquay Devon
Dining Out

The last few days have been so busy, we had family down for a couple of days and I always feel as if I am letting people down if I don’t join in as much as I can. After visiting nearby Teignmouth with my brother in law and his family arrangements were made to all go out for a meal last night. Now normally I would shy away from these types of things but I had had such a good day I was quite looking forward to it. As the day progressed I knew I was getting more tired and eventually just before we met up with the other eight members of the family at the restaurant near Paignton Pier my speech was awful. The thing is with AD the clouds never come when you want, like bedtime, always when you don’t want!!
By the time we were all settled as we ordered my wife did the ordering for me and a nice Chilli was on the way. The thing is the conversation; I am not the quietest person in the room normally and when I am people tend to notice!!LOL We hadn’t seen our relations for nearly seven years and a lot was being talked about.
To say it was frustrating to try and keep up with the conversation would be an understatement, let alone try to join in! I think I managed to dodge and weave most of the talking but then it was time for pudding. Everybody ordered and my wife could quite clearly tell i was struggling so ordered me ice cream, it’s easier. Then, twenty minutes after it had arrived I looked up from my pudding to find everyone looking at me. I later found out I had just been playing with it and must have gone into some sort of Catatonic trance as I had just stirred it and stirred it into a cream paste! I tried to make light of it but it wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t so much the older ones but the two teenagers who are my niece and nephew i felt sorry for as i don’t think they quite understood what was going on.
After the meal we made are excuses and said our goodbyes, with them being most understanding. I staggered back to the car with my wife holding me up as if i was drunk!! (Chance would be a fine thing!) i was home and in bed by eight thirty and sound asleep soon after. I suppose what i am trying to say is even when you have family all around you, and we are all very close, as an AD sufferer the embarrassment never diminishes as I’m sure it doesn’t for carers and loved ones..The reason we get so frustrated and very down is even though we know most of our families/loved ones understand we can still see the hurt in their eyes and it hurts us so much, knowing we are unable to ease those feelings for them. Last night’s sleep was a peaceful one and we got a call to say the family are all home safe and sound after a four hour drive home,
Best wishes, Norrms and family


Registered User
Feb 3, 2009
as an AD sufferer the embarrassment never diminishes as I’m sure it doesn’t for carers and loved ones

Hi Norms, sorry the meal didn't go too well, but I'd be very surprised to find that Elaine was embarrassed by you. I can understand you being embarrassed on her and your family's behalf (because I probably would be myself!) but I'm sure you'll find that it is only concern that your loved ones feel for you.

I've occasionally been cross with my mum, impatient yes, frustrated absolutely...embarrassed never.

Vonny xxx


Registered User
Feb 19, 2009
Torquay Devon

Thanks Vonny, i got that wrong somewhere and didnt get over what i meant, so sorry, i think its me that gets so embarred rather than anyone else, sorry again, best wishes, Norrms and family

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Norms

It isn`t you who should be the one understanding, it`s the family. However close a family is, a person with any difficulty can still be stressed out by being part of a big group.
It isn`t just dementia , although on this Forum, dementia is the closest to our hearts, it`s many other disabilities too, hearing loss, blindness, anything that means communication is affected by slower processing.
People do need to be more empathetic. Physical presence and invitation to be part of a group is not enough. It has to be carried through to enable the individual to feel part of the group as well as to be part of the group.


Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
Hello Norrms

I can see that your little light is off so I am hoping that you are having a sound, peaceful sleep:) I remember discovering that Alan found it hard to cope with a programme full of events and people. It was such a lengthy process for us to start trying to stick to some kind of routine. Alan now always has a rest in the afternoon and this is mostly very therapeutic. I organise events around this rest and family have now just got used to it.

It must be so hard when your family are quite a long way away and I can understand wanting to cram everything in to make the most of the time.

Here's hoping that you now have plenty of time to recover. Sending love to both you and Elaine and wishing you a dreamless sleep.

Love and best wishes


Registered User
Oct 14, 2006
Hi Norrms,

This is a very good clear insight into how AD affects not just us but also our family and friends, and like you I can sometimes still feel very distant from family even when they are close by, quiet often my wife will put a meal in front of me but I just seem to be in a world of my own and start playing with the food in the same way you did with your ice cream and the problem is we don’t even realize we are doing it until we are jolted back to reality, to be honest I’ve got past the point of feeling any embarrassment for myself but not for the embarrassment it might cause my family even though they understand and as for other people beyond my family well now I say:

(I couldn’t give a dam you must except me for whom I am and not for the way I am now)

Try not to let it get to you

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