• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

London and its fears


Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
Co Durham
On a recent visit to London where we were working on a committee at the Alzheimers Society, we stayed over one night so that we could return to the office the following day to attend to some other business, and we were also meeting our daughter who lives in Farborough. On that night we went for a walk to see some of the sights, but as we went around one corner I was confronted by a wall of people coming the other way. This was one of the most frightening this I have ever seen in the last few years, but luckily for me I had my wife and daughter with me. They grabbed me by my arms and steered me through all this mass, until it cleared. It appeared that the underground had ground to a halt so everyone had come out of one station and was walking to the next. Years ago this would never have bothered me but since the Dementia has kicked in life has taken on a new meaning.
I have often wondered how people in my condition actually live in London, or whether they get used to this sort of thing happening.
Coming from the North East I have not seen this since I went to Football matches in the 1960-1970s, but I suppose it happens all the time in London.

Best Wishes


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Ken

good to see you here again!

I think that, to anyone from outside the capital, the sheer numbers of people in London can be scary, especially if they come en masse towards you.

I think the answer to your wondering what people in London wdo who have dementia - it is probably much the same at a certain stage, as a similar person elsewhere... they just go out less.

I know these days I tend to go to central London to do something specific. I don't go simply to take in the atmosphere, which is sad, really.

The IRA and later on other terrorists changed the ways many of us have done things.

The thing to do is to keep at it, until something inside says it has had enough.

... just my views..... :)

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Ken.
The last time we went to London was to have a day out. Both of us were struck by the noise.

We were walking along the Embankment, naively expecting a gentle stroll, but it was noisy, dirty and very crowded, full of fuel smells and fast food smells.

Dhiren was exhausted, the stamina was just not there, and he would have been horrified to see a crowd surging towards him, as it did towards you.

Apart from the Alzheimers, I think a lot of it depends on what type of environment you live in permanently.

Hope you`re keeping well. xx


Registered User
Nov 16, 2007
East Midlands
Hello Ken,

The last time we went to London was to have a day out. Both of us were struck by the noise.
The above applies to me..I last went to London with a friend-we'd booked to go on the Eye..which I did enjoy...

I won't go back in a hurry..I found it noisy,dirty and threatening..security guards in every shop..people begging on the underground (many of them so young and obviously drug addicts)..it broke my heart..

As we were making our way back to St Pancras it was about 6.30 pm and I could not believe the volume of people crowded onto pavements at the Tube Stations...waiting to go down the steps.

I'm sure that people who live& work there are used to it..they probably have no choice. It really is a different world..

But an experience..and hey..you did it!! Brave man!:)

Love Gigi xx


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi Ken, can see where you would find such a large mass of people frightening.

Gigi writes:
I'm sure that people who live& work there are used to it..they probably have no choice. It really is a different world..
Lionel travelled to Fleet Street to work until he was diagnosed.

We still continued to go to town - theatres, restaurants, general day out, for a couple of years. He was always far more confident in London than I ever was.

Sadly, through mobility problems that stage passed. He always said "There is a buzz about London" but I guess it really is what you are used to.

Good to hear from you, love,


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
It is very frightening for anyone who has suddenly run into a large, unexpected crowd of people. Ken and I were in a large shopping mall in Manchester a few years ago. We went into a cafe with the the normal crowd of shoppers of all ages moving around. We came out of the cafe to find suddenly the atmosphere had changed quite dramatically. No ordinary shoppers were to be seen, but instead we were confronted by a huge crowd of teenagers wearing the ubiquitous hoods. It was a very frightening experience and we were so glad to get out of the place!! We have never been back since. XXTinaT


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
it is probably much the same at a certain stage, as a similar person elsewhere... they just go out less.

That true .

As mum has lived in Fulham london for 50 years , mum always been use crowds of people with living near chelsea foot ball ground . Market near us also , Mum just loved going out and about in London.

Then as mum AZ progressed, I find that she could not take going into supermarkets, going to the market , she would just want to go home . the buses on rush hour where worse , every one in a rush , so they rushing her she tip the whole contents of her bag on the bus because she could not find her bus pass, bus doors would shut on her , because she was getting slow in her reaction

so as long as she was not going some where that was not crowed, she was fine, but its hard to find that in London so she stay in more .

It appeared that the underground had ground to a halt so everyone had come out of one station and was walking to the next.
That is so typical, hate when that happen .


I was reading this early on to day .

Glad you posted this thread , as I always wanted to understand why mum could not take crowds of people , why she done that with the bag . Wish I could of had more understand back then.
Its terrible in london they have no consideration for the elderly anyway in rush hour , let alone someone with AZ.

Don't blame them for not going out .
Last edited:


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Ken I feel so sorry for you to have experience the unpleasantness on your visit to London.
My admiration to you for even going.
Unfortunately with A.D./Dementia peole do not see the illness.
I was born in London and I in my youth love going around London. As I had my children, I took them to all the places my Grandfather use to take me.
Seven years ago I had to go by train to see a Specialist in Harley Street and I had Peter with me. Well he had never been to London in his life, never been in a taxi. Well I could not wait to get back home and would not like to ever go again as it was sheer hell.
When Peter was diagnoised, he could not stand crowds, noise etc., so we were very content staying locally.


Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
Co Durham
Hello Again

When we lived in Oxford we used to travel into London and go on the Underground which never bothered me, but obviously things have now changed. It has taken me two years to get used to using the underground again, as I used to be terrified of that.
Since I became a volunteer at the Society two years ago, I can just about manage it on my own. However crowds of people on the surface is something that I can not control, especially if they are all coming towards me or crossing in front of me. I tend to feel as if I am being pulled over, when people walk across in front of me and lose my balance. Certain noises can be horrific too, but there is nothing that we can do about that.

Still I have to get used to this and get on with life, because I am extremely lucky that I can still do some of the things that I do.
The odd thing is that I am now able to ride my push bike again after two years, I had to stop because I kept loosing my balance and falling off.

There are many things about this illness that I can not understand, but there again most of the Doctors don't understand it either.

It is nice to be back on Talking Point, after being ill with a second chest infection and then travelling around the UK with the Society, I have got four days to myself.

Best Wishes to you all.



Registered User
Jan 13, 2008
Hello Everyone.

Like all things; home is where the heart is, or what you know.

I live slap-bang in the middle of london; as does my wife Rita; who has dementia.

Rita actaully loves living here; crowds and all; she loves the shops, stores, and street markets, like Portabello Rd, and Petticoat Lane etc.

She is coming with me to see the Buddy Show on the 31st; and then to see the Jersey Boys two weeks later; theatres can bring life to dementia suffers; remember this; long term memory is the last memories you loose; in my experience; Rita knows all the Frankie Valli songs; and can still sing them without error etc.

Then she has the London Parks; where everyday she walks with me; feeding every creature she see's.

She was a very good artist once; but cannot even write now; but her face glows at the fine paintings she see's often in our Galleries; she even comments on modern art at the Tate Modern; mostly rubbish I think; but she see's what I do not.

To say the place is fithy is not a fact; the roads are washed every night in Westminster; and constantly swept all day; but being the hub of england; and it's capital city; full of people working and bringing in weath; outsiders constantly driving into the city added; there is bound to be a constant battle of all these things, that add to litter and fumes etc; this is not actually a londoners fault; its mostly those that come here to work; eating fast foods and often dropping their waste onto our streets etc.

But this is a small price to pay for all we have; and to me and Rita; its home.

People are different; and dementia sufferers are often different from each other; its all a matter of what you want; and what you can handle.

Margarite's mother from Fulham; once walked North End Road market; but as time went on she could not; but once she could.

Christine knows Harley Street; Rita and I walk it three days a week; going to the High Street for shopping etc; yet Rita see's buildings of all kinds, and she stops and looks at them; I give her all the information I can; I point out the blue plaques etc; talk about those famous people that once walked the same streets; and lived in that house etc; this seems to capture times long gone in her mind; and she finds it all fascinating.

So its horses for courses for us all; personally, I would find living in a village boring; and I am sure Rita would as well.

If you are tired of London; you are tired of life; quoted Johnson; and maybe he was right; life is for living; not finding fault.....Micky.