Mom's best friend at retirement home moved is having coping issues.


My mom, who is 96, moved into a retirement home in December, 2011. She made a very good friend there with whom she ate her meals, went to activities, etc. The friend just moved out of the facility and went to live near one of her sons in another state. My mom is having a hard time coping with the loss. I told her she had met many friends through this lady, but my Mom isn't buying it...says she'll have to eat alone now, she's not near any relatives (I live over an hour's drive away, and my sister, who lives fairly close, is not in the picture). I am afraid if I move my mother to a facility near me it will kill her at her age. For personality reasons and smallness of our house, I cannot have her live at my house. Has anyone dealt with this kind of loss for a parent, and what did you do? Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Oh so so sad! Did you ask her to move near you, if she wants to, let her . Putting myself in her shoes I would rather be with someone close, wouldnt anyone, so sorry for her and you.Maybe talk to the retirement home staff and have them get her friendly with a new woman?

Thank you both for your comments. I speak to my mother every day and visit every few weeks, so I do know on a daily basis what is happening. She does have her friend's phone number, so they have been talking. My mother seems to be getting used to the fact that her friend is gone. I'm sure it will take a while to get used to it, but she does seem to be socializing with some others slowly but surely.
There is a social worker on the premises in the retirement home, so I will contact her if things are not going well. I would love it if my mother could Skype her friend, but neither one of them own a computer. Maybe I will ask the social worker if the facility could set that up for her, provided her friend's family knows how to do it.
Thanks again to Madeaa and Prsimon for your suggestions.

Can you skype with the friend? My mother skypes with her sister in Australia, they are amazed by it, and it makes them feel grand. I would think her friend misses her too and that she may have left some contact info with your mother or the home, if so contact and arrange a skype session.

Do not minimize her feelings. She is experiencing another loss at a time in life when there is nothing but losses. She is sad, possibly depressed and once more gets another reminder that her end is reasonably at hand.

Speak with the agents at the facility and ask for some additional attention or assistance for Mom. Based on the lack of a warm and close relationship with either you or your sister, it appears Mom is not someone who easily fosters closeness in others. Hopefully someone at her residence will reach out to her and usually "guests" are seated in groups in the main dining room when they arrive for meals so no one eats alone unless they choose to do so.

There may be no "happy" solution to this problem as much as it would help you to feel better. It appears the best you can do is call as often as possible, listen to her, acknowledge her feelings and visit as much as you can. She is acutely feeling her loneliness but moving her to another facility will only put her into an environment of new strangers and place a greater burden on you to visit more. Think carefully before you make changes you are not ready to truly invest in.

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