Over the past year, I have noticed with increasing concern the state of mind of a dear friend of mine. We sing in a choir together, and she has slipped from being spot on with the music, to not even realizing she's holding the page upside down.

Last Sunday she came to church dressed inside out. Another friend noticed and tried to help her switch her dress back and she said "Oh, no one will notice" She is the church chorister and YES, people noticed.

She drives still, but evidently has gotten lost a lot lately.

I just found out yesterday that her husband is a high functioning alcoholic and has been for YEARS.

She seems to be aware that "something is wrong" but doesn't know what.

She's also gotten lost on walks--and she's lived in the same house 45 years.

Help! This isn't really MY problem, but I feel her family should be made aware of it. B/C of her DH she is not close to her kids (2nd marriage they opposed).

Called the daughter I know best, who was absolutely SHOCKED to hear how bad her mom has gotten. Thought she was just a little stressed because her Step-father's drinking has gotten worse and they fight a lot about it.

She lives 250 miles away--but after I called her, she said she was coming up to get a family council going.

Talked to our "pastor" and he wasn't aware either, although he said "Suddenly a LOT of things make sense!" (Poor man, he has so many problems on his plate)

I am not involved with this and won't be. Just feel really sad for her.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Midkid58

Oh--I am NOT getting involved in this past calling the one daughter who is my own daughter's friend.

I said "high functioning" and I MEANT to say "mean drunk". Some ladies who are closer to her have tried to talk to him but he yells at them and slams the door. Depends on his level of inebriation.

He is not a member of our faith and our pastor approaching him would be pointless. I guess my concern should be that this needs to be passed on to her kids.

A thought that passed through my head is that she is having TIA's and those can be treated. From speaking to other women who are closer to her, there is a great awareness in her rapid decline.

I will be contacting the daughter today--wish me luck!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Midkid58

Well. If the husband is a high-functioning alcoholic then I should concentrate on the high-functioning part and speak to him. He is her husband and her next of kin, and this is his responsibility before it's anybody else's.

If you can't bear the husband or he's seriously unapproachable, and given that you know this lady through church, then perhaps the next best option is to put this in the hands of a professional person with a well-defined pastoral role and recognised status in the community. I.e., smile sweetly at the minister and tell him that one of his flock needs his help. [note: if the pastor does not have any dementia awareness to speak of, it's time he had.]

I'm really not sure about getting in touch with the children off your own bat, not at this point. If they're already distanced from her because of her husband, and they come in with all guns blazing and start hurling accusations, things could get a lot worse before they get better - it wouldn't be a good start to any adjustment she needs to make. Softly softly.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Countrymouse

While she may not be close to her children they still need to be informed of their mother's cognitive decline and then it's up to then what to do about it. But be very careful that this doesn't become your problem. This is something for her family to deal with and they may want to latch onto anyone who shows the slightest concern especially if they're not close to their mom. Don't be that person. Stay detached and uninvolved if you can. And if she has a daughter, contact the daughter first.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

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