We are a group of friends with a long history dating back to college. For the last 20 years we have gotten together annually for a long weekend of relaxation and catching up. Last year, one friend sent regrets – her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and our friend moved in to help her. She says she can’t leave; that she’s the only one who can care for her mom. We’re worried about our friend and concerned that she thinks she must do this alone. How can we convince her to get some help with the caregiving and join us on our trip this year to the Mexican Riviera?
~Down One Friend
Dear Down One Friend,
I think it is fantastic that you and your friends are close and can depend on each other for support and friendship. It is a great idea to pull some resources together to share with her, and with your entire group, so you can better understand what your friend is going through. Educating yourselves on what it is to care for someone you love who has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s type dementia will afford you a better position to support her. It may take a while for your friend to trust someone else to care for her mother and to feel she can leave her in another’s hands. You may start small with a lunch or dinner out or a night away close enough to your friend’s home so she feels she could respond if there was an emergency. Baby steps – she will come around.