My granddaughter celebrated her 21 birthday. We met her and her family and male friend for dinner. It was delightful till my husband asked them 50 times how they met. Shook the hand of the fellow, a million times, and told him how happy he was that she had someone in her life who could appreciate her. She has CP and is extremely sensitive. The fellow was very polite and answered his question each time, shook his hand and smiled each time and my granddaughter wanted to crawl under the table. I know it is not my husband's fault. He was not mean... I am not sure how to handle this. It happens all the time. I guess it is normal. Do I warn people before a social even Or shut up and let them deal with it? It is sad...many times people walk away from him. It is isolating for him and I am sure it is socially devastating. There r times that he experiences weakness I his legs and after dinner we existed the restaurant and he had to lean on me. I am sure he looked drunk.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
Gorlin, I'm in a second marriage. One of my "new" sister's in law has/had a mom with dementia. We would invite her to dinner with the bil and sil for holidays, dinners, etc. "Rachel" would tell us the same story of her early life in Philadelphia a dozen times during dinner and a couple more times after dessert. This made no difference to me or my husband; she was our guest, we had been told that she was "impaired" and we figured out pretty quickly that the impairment was dementia. My sil always seemed mortified by her mom's repetitive behavior.

People get sick. They have symptoms. Life is not perfect. Accept your husband for who he is right now. Inform family beforehand that he may repeat himself. If they are mortified , it's their problem, not yours.

Good manners (which may include ignoring blaring symptoms of various illnesses in public) are a blessing in these situations. That young man sounds like a keeper
Report, also, are too funny....BUT,'ve nailed my Mom....just add always happy-go-lucky (the TOTAL optomist, all her life, and she has had some very tough times along the way) and the fact that Mom still has a great sense of humor (she has always been quite hilarious) despite the dementia, and can even laugh at herself at times, still to this day. She has also, always had a huge group of friends of all this day, even people in their 20's.....and a huge, always inquisitive mind, interested in many, diverse, yes, as I always say....I am very lucky!
To your other point re: inhibitions....yes, Mom sure has "lost" some of her social filters w/the dementia. I will say, that usually happens when it's been a long day and she is getting tired. Of course, Mom has never, ever been one to take a break or a nap....she might miss out on something! So....No Way! And, when you are pushing 94, people indulge you....I sure do.
Mom's short-term memory is basically nil at this point....she won't remember a single conversation or anything specific that ocurred, BUT she does remember how she FELT....the best is when she tells me, "Oh....that was such a great party.....we all laughed so was so happy." Well....guess what, Mom, hearing you say that makes me so happy!

Ah ha! We have a potential love match in progress!

Mina, I really enjoyed your comments about your Mom. She may have dementia, and that might be how some people see her, but I can also see that's she gregarious, outgoing, upbeat, and I'm guessing she was a asset to any get-together even before she had dementia, let alone now when she's so spontaneous.

Sometimes I wonder if the inhibitions shown in dementia are there with us always; we just manage to stifle them when we're in social situations but those inhibitions are relaxed if not completely obliterated when dementia arrives...or maybe just old age. I sometimes find myself being more blunt with people who irk me than I would when I was working and felt that I had to put up with a certain level of disagreeable people.

Oh, Windy.....LOL....I guess I neglected to mention that Mom is also a huge she would feel quite complimented!

Now listen here you young whippersnappers, I have forgotten more than you have learned so far! my grandfather said to my sibs and I. Can't wait to use this when the grey comes in fully.
Has anyone considered that people with alzheimers or dementia have moments of lost ability regained, and they can just be messing with us?

Gorlin, check your own embarrassment at the door, get on board with the bizzarre nature of dementia by learning some kind but funny statements to cover for your husband instead of cringing, being embarrassed, or explaining his behavior.
For example, he's complementing the fiancee for the third time, raise your water glass, say "I'll second that! " and then, "I'll drink to that! " , (never in a ridiculing manner, but happy!) waiting for all to make the toast.

If that's not possible, bring a walker to assist him out of the restaurant so he won't appear drunk. Or, arrange ahead of time for two people to escort him out to the car while you leave ahead of him to get the car.
After all, how many times is your granddaughter going to get engaged/married.
Aren't most younger people somewhat embarrassed by their elders?
Mine was embarrassed by me talking to strangers as she went through the 'mean girl' teens. Today, I am more embarassed (for her) by what she posts on Fb, because it will interfere with her future profession.
Gorlin, of course my suggestions won't work in all circumstances, and I understand where you are coming from. But it is so good that you do go to these functions, continue to be a part of it, and if you get embarrassed too, then that will bring color to your own cheeks and you will look fabulous! People will understand, and hopefully be loving and gracious to you both.

Blackdog, I think I have a crush on your Mom............

Not surprisingly, both Glad and Jessie have shared some insightful advice. My Mom (94 next month, moderate dementia) has been known to perpetrate some pretty extreme social faux pas from time to time: occasionally sticking her hand in a fellow diner's plate and playing w/the food (yes....UGHH), last Easter, opening her mouth while eating - some half-eaten food fell out (yes....another UGHH) - she then tapped her eyetooth and asked quite loudly, "Has this tooth fallen out?", last Christmas, Mom suddenly leaned across the dinner table and said to my brother, "I'm not really certain that you are the nice J** from Texas who pays my bills." (Yes, my brother has financial POA). "I think we should go back home. He may be waiting for me there." My brother had to produce his DL to prove he was, in fact, J** from Texas. Mom then refused to return it, asking,"Why can't I keep this? Is it the only one you've got?".....All this between dinner and brother actually found it quite amusing and handled the situation w/good humor. Luckily, all the big social events Mom now attends are filled w/family and long time friends who are well aware of Mom's dementia and therefore tolerant and good-humored about the occasional social awkwardness. Mom is sweet, happy, very social and generally charming so she is always invited and we always bring her.....she always thoroughly enjoys herself. This is very important to us.....her friends and family.
I understand your concern but urge you to relax and try to enjoy. Your husband sounds like a very sweet, caring man.

I agree with Glad and Jessie. Your husband has nothing of which to be embarrassed, and it seems to me that he welcomed the BF in a very friendly and cordial manner.

Perhaps it's your granddaughter who could benefit from some explanation of dementia and how it affects people. She should learn to be proud of your husband's cordial welcome, as well as being out in public rather than feeling embarrassed and shying from activity.

Maybe the best gift you could give your granddaughter now is insight into how devastating dementia is. From your description of how she felt, I don't think she really understands the issue. Help her understand how he feels and how to support him and you as you battle this dreaded disease.

Gorlin, your granddaughter probably warned her fiance' what to expect. It may be why he handled it so smoothly. You know, there is rarely NOT an uncomfortable moment when someone has dementia. I'm sure it was awkward, but it sounds like the young folks handled it well.

Gorlin, granddaughter is learning to be an adult. She will encounter similar situations all through her life. What better way to learn about the devastating effects of dementia than from her granddad? If she does not understand, sure talk to her, not to make excuses for grandpa, instead to teach her something about the disease.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Start a Discussion
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter