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by Abigail Van Buren

Hard Times Continue for Disabled Friend Raising Grandsons

DEAR ABBY: I have a lifelong friend who lives back in my old hometown. We've known each other since childhood. "Ivy" is a lovely woman who was dealt a very difficult hand in life. She was disabled in her 30s and raised four children alone after her husband took off. Things have always been tough for her financially. Because I've been in a better position, I try to help her when I can.

Four years ago, her eldest child died, and Ivy adopted her two grandsons. The boys are now in their teens and, thank goodness, they are loves and adore their grandma. But Ivy gets no support from the system or her family. I want to help more, but my finances are tenuous because I'm disabled, too.

She lives in a state that hasn't yet recovered from the recession, so there are few government resources available. We talk every week and she's almost always depressed. What can I say or do to help her? -- FOREVER FRIEND IN FLORIDA

DEAR FRIEND: I am sure the emotional support you provide by giving her the chance to vent has -- and will continue to be -- very helpful. However, it's time your friend investigated what financial resources are in place for minors and disabled adults in her state because she may be pleasantly surprised. If she's unable to do that, you could go online and assist her in doing the research. Please consider it.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Money | Death