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by Abigail Van Buren

Elderly Friends Must Work To Stay Connected

DEAR ABBY: My mother is in her mid-90s. Several of her lifelong friends, widows, still live in their own homes, as she does. However, they no longer drive.

A phone call would help them communicate directly with each other about life situations, but it doesn't seem to happen. Instead of calling and talking to each other, they hear about each other third-hand.

Is it typical for the elderly to abandon each other and be so cruel? If so, what could help people communicate better regardless of age? -- CONCERNED SON IN COLORADO

DEAR SON: Not everyone in their 90s ages the same way. Some individuals are still active; others are less so. When seniors stop driving, there can be a tendency for them to become isolated and depressed. Others may be taking medications that affect their memory.

A way to help people in your mother's age group would be to see that they have transportation to a senior center, where they can mingle face-to-face if they wish. I recommend this for your mother and her friends because I'm sure none of them are being deliberately cruel.

Read more in: Family & Parenting