Re: How do I help my friend?
I was the sole caregiver for my mother who lived with me and my family. She had stage IV lung cancer and passed away in July, 2008. Being a caregiver can totally burn you out as you mentioned about your friend.
First, I'd like to suggest the services of hospice (in home care). I'd never put my mother in a nursing home either...I've seen too many horrible things. We had hospice nurses and aides to help me with my mom. They also pay for everything....my mother didn't have to pay not one penny. They were truly our angels.
Since I've been a caregiver (actually for most of my life between my daughter and my mother), what really would have helped me was if someone would cook dinner for us, do the grocery shopping (caregivers can't usually get out very often), offer to watch the ill person so the caregiver can just get out and have some "me" time. These are just a few suggestions that would be gladly welcomed by the caregiver.
My prayers are with you and your friend as I've been down the road that never seems to end sometimes while being a caregiver.