Just when you are going through a most difficult time, some friends seem to drift away. Interacting with someone who has experienced memory loss requires a different approach — one that not everyone is used to. You may have to communicate differently, or learn to expect unusual, unpredictable, uncharacteristic behaviors at times.
It’s OK for someone to feel a little uncomfortable with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s dementia. We’ve all been there. But trouble comes when that discomfort leads to ostracism, mistreatment and broken relationships.
What can you do? Be as honest and upfront about how you feel and tell people.
If they still can’t handle it, there is not much else you can do. For family, you can always refer them to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation or other such groups, which can give them more specifics about the disease process.
Telling people how you feel may allow more family and friends to offer help. Be sure to accept their offers for help or invitations to activities together when they are made. It can help them understand the process and may bring them back into having a renewed relationship with you both.
Another very real possibility is that you may have to expand your social circle to include new friends who are going through similar life changes and who may be better able to understand your wives’ behaviors and your feelings. I invite you to one of the many About Seniors Caregiver Support Groups held each week at various locations in the Northwest Valley (you can visit our website for details).
Another great option is connecting with the folks at DUET. Check out their website: https://duetaz.org/.