DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother has a small group of friends she has been close to since she was a child. She is now in her late 80s.
They used to get together frequently and talk on the phone a lot. They are still alive and going about their days, but mostly they don’t talk to each other anymore. I think this is because they are all dealing with ailments, as well as the reality that they aren’t driving and can’t get around to see each other.
I want to change that and arrange for them to get together a few times a year. I don’t have a lot of money to pull that off, though, so I’m not sure how to do it. Any ideas? -- Keep the Flame Alive, Milwaukee
DEAR KEEP THE FLAME ALIVE: If any other children of your mother’s friend group are living, reach out to them to see if they will support you in this great effort. Perhaps the adult children can help to arrange calls between the friends periodically.
You also can host small dinners at your homes where you arrange to transport the various friends to whoever’s home is host for that day. A little coordination can go a long way. Even if the meal occurs at your mother’s home or another friend’s, you and the other adult children, or even grandchildren, can do the cooking and cleaning to make it easy on them.