Care Giving, a Family Journey

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email

elderly

One year ago, Rebecca Davis's life flipped. Doctors diagnosed her mother, Faith, with dementia.

“Everything blew up and it was like total immersion right there,” said Davis

The disease impaired Faith, and launched Davis into the caregiver role.

"You grow up thinking about your parents being there all the time for you. When it comes the time that those roles have reversed, that's my responsibility,” she explained.

A nursing home isn't a consideration, but neither is putting her life on hold.

“I have my child that needs me, I have a husband at home that needs me, I work 40 hours a week. Balancing all that, please don't think I’m superwoman because I’m not,” she said.

Even superheroes need back-up. Davis turned to Home Instead Senior Care, where she found Angie Berry.

Davis said, “She’s been there when I needed to vent. She's been there when I needed to cry. She's been there, always.”

She was also there to help organize her finances and make sure she has the right insurance. Berry even found Faith VA benefits. Most importantly, she reminded her “me” time is binding.

“If you hit depression, if you end up having high blood pressure, your health can suffer. And you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of that loved one,” explained Angie Berry, owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Dothan.

Davis said to avoid drowning in defeat, you have to schedule time off. Yet, time “on” does not have to be all work.

Davis said, “We go and get manicures and pedicures together.”

“And we go out for walks, also,” said Faith.

When it came time for their roles to reverse, Davis knew things would change. She tackles every day with a positive attitude.

“There are new stages all the time, and you have to grow with those stages, and learn when we're at this point, what do we do here,” she said.

At the end of the day, you have to separate Mom and the disease.

Davis expressed, “This is my mom. She’s not the mom that raised me anymore, but she's my mom.”


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