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How do I tell her?


Registered User
May 12, 2005
Yesterday I was told by my mum that a close friend's mother was recently diagnosed with AD -she's in her mid 50's. My friend doesn't like talking about personal issues. If I was to call her she would not tell me about her mum's illness but I feel I owe it to her to let her know I know and that I'm here to support her and help her in any way. I am at a loss as to how to approach her with this. Any suggestions? Should I wait for her to tell me in her own time?


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello Cartman, and welcome to TP.

Before my wife came down with dementia, I never liked to speak about personal issues, except to her.

These days, I talk to all and sundry about her illness - if they show interest. It helps me, it helps me to help my wife, it helps the other person to understand why we have changed, and it helps me to know that the friend understands why we have changed.

The transition from not talking about it to talking about it takes time, and it also depends on your relationship with your close friend.... how far you feel you can intrude without being invited.

For my part, I was relieved when the odd true friend showed they knew and cared.

Dementia at an early age is dreadful - my wife was about the same age as your friend's mother when she started to show symptoms.

Sometimes friends need to take risks. In your place I would pretty much do what you say - "let her know I know and that I'm here to support her and help her in any way and in her own time, when she is ready ". Tell her that, and leave it at that, unless she asks you in, as it were.

You have already elevated yourself to the status of true friend, by even thinking of this. Congratulations, it ain't easy!

Best wishes


Registered User
May 5, 2005
Hi Cartman

I'm quite new to TP, however my mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers nearly two years ago now and at a young age. I thought I'd give you my own personal feelings to your dilemma. My family were very much the type of family not to discuss matters relating to our family to anyone other than each other. However, the first time someone (Incidentally a close friend) had the courage to approach me and offer their support outright was for me a great relief. The friend was a very close friend and someone who I was comfortable crying in front of. It may also be worth mentioning that you may find your friend breaks down and cries when approached, if you're not prepared for that then don't mention it!
I think sometimes getting over the barrier that it's ok to talk to others, and not something to be ashamed of can be a very liberating feeling.
Good luck if you do decide to approach your friend, and if she chooses not to open up to you, don't be offended, like Brucie says...in her own time.
Kaybe. x