As a busy caregiver, you may feel as though you don’t have the time to connect with old friends. But this consideration is not just for you, but for your loved one. Is it possible to connect them with an old friend? One Sunday afternoon I followed an unction to take Mom’s friend, Mrs. Foster, to the nursing home to see her. Mrs. Foster sat with Mom in the cafeteria and showed her love as much as she could by holding Mom’s hands, rubbing her arms, smiling and laughing with her, and encouraging her to eat.
Once back in the room, I rolled Mom’s wheelchair to where she could sit directly in front of her friend and left them to talk to each other for a while. As I walked out the door, Mrs. Foster again held my mother’s hand and reminded her of the good times they’d had together and how much she missed her. I’d like to think Mom had some moments of lucidity during the visit because there was a point later when we saw a tear escape from the corner of her eye and she made a face at her friend.
The next day my mother went into a health crisis that would lead to her demise within less than 3 weeks. I was so thankful her friend had been able to spend some time with her before that. Years later, Mrs. Foster was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; and since she was already my friend, it was easy to visit her throughout her illness and show her the same love she had shown my mother. I enjoyed being around her, and she always had a big smile for me because connecting with an old friend is always priceless.