DEAR ABBY: I have a good friend I have traveled with for many years. The last few years she has been showing increasing signs of confusion and forgetfulness. She has difficulty managing her paperwork for travel and remembering what our plans are for the next day.
On the most recent trip she picked up other people's coats and insisted they were hers. My attempts to discuss this with her only made things worse and led to her accusing me of destroying her confidence. I believe this is the onset of dementia. How can I help her? -- NOTICING THINGS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR NOTICING: You are describing a serious and progressive problem. If your good friend has a spouse, children or siblings, they should be notified about what you have observed.
If she has no one, then someone at Social Services or Adult Protective Services should be contacted before your friend gets herself into serious trouble by forgetting to pay her bills, or getting lost while driving her car.