So many things change in your life while in this role as the Care Manager of an Aging Parent. One of the side affects is the way your relationship will change with your friends. Once you assume this role as a caregiver your circle of friendship changes…and it should. But do not be disappointed when you lose some of them along the way as a result of this new role you now have.
My life was very different before my Dad moved in with my husband and I. My kids were now grown and I had more free time to enjoy time with my friends. After my Dad move in, I tried to hold on to the friends who I once went to the gym with, had lunches, went shopping and enjoyed going out to dinner; but those “friends” didn’t support my reality. My free time was limited now because I had to care for my Dad. My dad is double my age and is significantly older than most of my friends’ parents who are still buzzing around in their 60’s. Emotionally, they couldn’t connect with me and conversations became a chore.
We no longer had things in common and I desperately did not want things to be different with them. I had hoped they would come hang out with me at my house. I had hoped someone would ask if I needed a break and offer to sit with my Dad. I had hoped people would change their routine to allow me to fit in; but this never happened. As these hard and lonely years have passed by, today I find my circle of friends to be the ones who seem to understand the friendship that works best for me. They don’t mind eating meals with me at my home and instead of going to bars, they are ok with just sitting on my porch sipping wine with me. They make themselves available to help me whenever I need it and they check in with me to see how I’m doing.
I am comfortable today with having to lose some of my friendship in order to gain ones who are willing to help my world. Those “friends” get my priority now.