Redefining friends


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Geraldine said in a posting today "I had good friends to support me."

Hmm... you made me think! There's a lot of negativity in our situations, but I have found over the course of the past 14 years that I have identified a whole set of friends I never appreciated I had.

I went on holiday last year - simply had to get away after years of caring for Jan. I humm'ed and haa'ed until my boss at work said "you're worrying about her in the care home seeing no-one. Don't worry, your colleagues are all very concerned about you both. I'm sure they will offer to visit while you are away."

And they did. Not only that, but the company lent me a tri-band phone so they could text me with news while I was in the U.S.

Other friends have visited Jan, not to give me a rest, but to show I am not alone. Friends have bought clothes for her on my behalf when I couldn't figure where to buy them. Friends have put up with my long face at family dinners, during the worst of it.

And now, here, a whole new bunch of friends are sharing experiences with me.

Yes, let's say thanks to all the friends!

Jennie Leech

Registered User
Feb 3, 2004
Negative or not, the fact is, I have lost my `friends`.
With Ken in a care home, I don't fit into a well defined group. I am only loosley `married`because I do not have a partner who can accompany me to social do's and yet definitely not single. A person by themselves can be seen as a `threat`to another couple even though they might have been friendly for years.
It takes a lot of bottle to launch out on the social scene by oneself. I don't think I'm ready for it yet!


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Jennie
I sympathise because I was there for several years and never believed I'd get out of my little corner. I hated being the odd one. It does take a lot of courage, and most times I would think afterwards "it wasn't worth it".

I withdrew voluntarily from anything I was invited to because of the status thing, and also because after something like exposure to the effects of Alzheimer's, you really don't feel like making random conversation. I felt that I always dragged the conversations down into being depressive events. It's not nice to be pitied, either. Finally, I always felt guilty for 'enjoying myself' while Jan could not. I never did actually enjoy myself at all.

But I did retain just a few real friends, who understood my position and kept on trying to be in touch. It was the best one of those who eventually, to both our surprises, pulled me out of it.

There's a time, and you can't rush it. But it is encouraging to know it can happen.


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
it is a well known fact that when AD appears relatives and friends vanish.
Not just the ones that cannot cope with the repeating of conversations and the constant questions,but the ones who are really scared of a disease that they do not understand.
We have 8 very good friends who have stood by us for 7 years now,they understand ,I don't know how but they are just kind caring people.
We have made 2 very good new friends caring and helpful so they are out there somwhere Jennie .
You are not alone best wishes
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Registered User
Mar 27, 2004
I suppose we were lucky in that our two closest friends both had personal experience of Alzheimer's, one had her mother living with her until she became too much and had to go into a care home and the other friend had the same with his wife.

But I am afraid that is the extent of friendship that we can count on. Even our son and his family, whom I would have said were close, have distanced themselves since Margaret was diagnosed as an Alzheimer's sufferer.

I think most people who have no knowledge of the disease feel very uncomfortable in the presence of anyone who has it. I personally found the support group run by our local Alzheimer's Society branch very helpful, you can vent your frustrations amongst fellow carers who are not offended or put off by you talking of your problems.

This may not help but at least you know you are not alone.
All the best


Registered User
Mar 24, 2004

I have close friends, but at the same time they are distant. They ask how my Dad is but that's as far as it goes, I think they find it difficult to understand and don't know what to say if I get upset. I am always concious of being negative and try not to sound too depressing, so don't dwell on the subject for too long. I've learn't to keep deeper feelings to myself, I don't depress anyone else then!!!

My teenage sons have also distanced themselves from their Grandad, not because they don't love him anymore but because they can't handle the situation or cope with visiting the care home. I guess it's only my role to care, worry, laugh & cry as the emotional rollercoaster speeds on.


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