Daughterly Care Helps Devoted Friends of 40 Years Stay True
Helena and Elizabeth had been best of friends for 40 years or more. Helena has dementia and is otherwise in perfect health, while Elizabeth is physically frail and mentally sharp.
Every Saturday without fail…
…one of Daughterly Care’s Caregivers prompted and assisted Helena to shower and dress, made sure she enjoyed a delicious breakfast and took her prescribed medications. After breakfast, our Caregiver drove Helena to Elizabeth’s unit, and the two friends would pass the day deep in conversation, completely happy in each other’s company.
At 4.00pm our Caregiver would return to pick Helena up and drive her home, make Helena’s dinner and help her to get ready for bed.
For 10 years these Saturday friendship-days visits continued
Helena’s dementia, if anything, seemed to strengthen the friendship between the two women as, in their shared adversity, they forged an even deeper bond.
Even after Helena had been placed in a nursing home for the last year of her life, when Saturday came round her familiar Daughterly Care Caregiver would pick her up from the nursing home and drive her to Elizabeth’s unit. There, the laughter rang out and the joy rolled on all day.
The secret to their continued friendship was a very simple adjustment by Elizabeth
Instead of questioning Helena with “Do you remember when”, Elizabeth would say: “One of the times I most enjoyed was when we took the kids camping to The Entrance in the Christmas holidays and we taught Sally to swim.”
Elizabeth would take out her photo album and the two friends would revisit those treasured moments over and over. And Helena’s conversation would flow naturally and made perfect sense. Helena’s daughter also made an adjustment. She realised that Elizabeth’s frailty meant for their friendship to continue she had to organise for her Mum to spend each Saturday at Elizabeth’s home.
It was an enjoyable day for both Helena and Elizabeth for 10 years.
Instinctively, Elizabeth had found a way for her friend to re-live the happiness of their shared past, without requiring Helena to remember, without questioning her, without interrogating her.
Instead of saying “Remember when…”, she would simply say “I remember when we…”