Northland restaurants tells woman with Alzheimer's not to return - KCTV5

Northland restaurants tells woman with Alzheimer's not to return

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Larry George says it's difficult to see the slow decline of the vibrant interior decorator he married nearly 40 years ago. Larry George says it's difficult to see the slow decline of the vibrant interior decorator he married nearly 40 years ago.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Families dealing with Alzheimer's disease confront all kinds of difficult situations, but one couple was stunned when they were asked to leave a Northland restaurant and not come back.

The symptoms of Alzheimer's keeps getting worse for Carolyn George. Her husband Larry takes care of her. He said it's difficult to see the slow decline of the vibrant interior decorator he married nearly 40 years ago.

"It's a slow disease. It's a bad disease. It's changed considerably as far as what we can do, but I try to get her out as much as possible," Larry George said.

But one outing took a turn for the worse when Carolyn George accidentally made a mess in a restaurant bathroom. The couple had eaten at Kate's Kitchen nearly every day for three years, but this last time the owner asked them to never come back.

"I was embarrassed, a little upset, depressed for the rest of the day," Larry George said.

The owner of the restaurant couldn't meet with KCTV5 Friday for an on-camera interview. Instead he sent a statement saying that similar incidents had happened in the past.

He wrote,

"Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident; this has been an ongoing issue. As an owner of a business that deals with the health and safety of all our guests and employees, we have to make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone."

"Our restaurant has been blessed with guests that overcome obstacles with many different types of disabilities. Throughout the day we work side by side with them to assure that during their visit with us they are comfortable and feel at home. We have several guests who are battling the terrible disease of dementia; we know their families, their likes and their dislikes."

"This particular incident which was addressed yesterday is a sanitary issue. The family was aware that there had been issues in the past, and at no time informed any staff member that attention was needed. We have been notified by both guests and employees that the restroom was not able to be used."

"While this was a very hard decision to make, at this time, we have to ensure that all of the guests and employees are provided a clean and sanitary environment."

"All of the decisions we make are carefully thought out. This was no different. I would like to reiterate that this is not a decision based on any particular disability, it was a decision made to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for all of the guests and employees we are in contact with on a daily basis."

Michelle Niedens with the Alzheimer's Association said businesses often don't know how to react to the disease, but that shouldn't keep patients from leaving the house.

"I would not endorse saying, 'do not come back,'" she said. "Families need all of us to participate in dialogue so people are connected, part of this humanity, part of our society,"

Larry George hopes places he visits in the future will be more understanding of his wife's condition.

"I think they should be more tolerant and work closer with the people," he said.

The National Institute on Aging offers some tips for taking those with Alzheimer's to restaurants:

  1. Tell the wait staff about any special needs.
  2. Seat the person with their back to the busy areas.
  3. Order finger foods.
  4. Go with them to the restroom.

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