There is nothing like a chronic illness to find out who your friends are. Many people are afraid to be with others who have chronic illnesses, and dementia is no exception. Others are not at all comfortable discussing such difficulties, and tend to isolate themselves from people with dementia for that reason. Each of us has our own way of coping, but my patients have often told me of the relief that they, and their friends, have felt when they discuss the diagnosis openly. Especially with close friends, it is perfectly acceptable to discuss your hopes and fears about the diagnosis. Typically what happens is that while a few people might be put off by this, others find that their friendship with you will deepen.