I think it is a wonderful idea! I'm my husband's caregiver. When people found out they reached out to us in numerous ways. Neighbor's shoveling our sidewalk and driveway, bringing us dinner, cards, people from my husband's work came for lunch, and I could go on and on. The most remarkable events have been a friend from high school showed up to help me! She and I were friends in high school. We weren't the best of friends more like friends of friends. Since, we have seen one another and sat with mutual friends at class reunions and were on the planning committe together, but she has been my angel on Earth now!
She stayed in our home with our dog when we would go on vacation to sit the house and dog! That was beyond words, wonderful! We love our dog dearly and never put him in a kennel. Also, she brings us meals, checks on us, comes over and just hangs out!
Then, my husband reconnected with a high school friend and his brother who was a college friend. They have both visited and the one fella has come every week for as long as he could just to hang out with my husband, taking him places, watching movies and tons of other things! Unfortunately, he also has developed health problems and can't. But, what a blessing he has been!
Yes, let others know. If they are true friends they will be there for you. Otherwise, oh well if they feel ackward! It is an education for them.
I'm completely unconnected on the social network scene.... facebook, twitter, etc., but my wife and 4 kids are all uber-connected so it works out. The reason I bring this up is because my wife used the caringbridge website to start a page for our journey. It's a great way to let everyone know, at once, what the latest news is. Seems simple enough and notifies your friends/family via email that a new post is up. That saves time having to tell the same story multiple times!