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It started with the small things, like not remembering where she put the keys, but when it progressed into more serious situations, like forgetting to turn off the stove, Kathy Davis and her 3 brothers knew it extended beyond the normal effects of aging and posed a safety risk. Davis’ mother, Doris Simmons, started showing these signs of dementia eight years ago. Simmons, 89, is a resident of Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson and has four children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She was married for 63 years to a man who loved her unconditionally and who would do anything to protect his family, including covering up the signs of his wife’s dementia so their children wouldn’t worry. After he passed away, Davis and her brother noticed the memory decline, and they realized she needed a safe environment near Davis’ home with expert care. Davis visits her mother at Mustang Creek Estates several times a week and feels closer to her than ever before.  

“Since my mom was diagnosed with dementia I have learned a lot of things and one of them is patience as she tends to repeat herself a lot,” said Davis. “I believe our relationship has grown stronger over the past few years. She has always been an amazing mother to me, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to be there for her when she needs me and frankly even when she doesn’t.”

Simmons has always focused on her family and made a big deal out of holidays and her children’s birthday. Davis remembers when her mother would bake birthday cakes for them. She also recalls when her mother taught her how to sew on a sewing machine. Today, when Davis visits her mother, they play dominos together, do their nails and hair and other things that allow them to create an even stronger bond.

“It is so important to raise awareness about dementia, and I want people who have even a slight suspicion that something is odd about their parents or loved ones to please pay close attention to them,” said Davis. “Now when I just look into my mother’s eyes I see such a distance, it’s almost like she is missing a spark. It breaks my heart in a way, but I am thankful that other than her memory, she is completely healthy.”

“It’s so heartwarming to watch the strong relationship Kathy has with her mother, as they are truly inspiration to others” said Melissa Meyer, executive director of Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson. “Caring for loved ones living with dementia is never easy, and we are honored to offer compassionate care for Doris. We hope their story shows others that you can connect with loved ones and relate to them, even if they are living with dementia.”

Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson is an assisted living community with some homes dedicated to memory care. The senior living community realizes the importance of raising funds and awareness about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. To recognize the five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and the 16 million caregivers who attend to their needs, Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson continually supports the Alzheimer’s Association through various initiatives, including participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The team has a page set up for donations that will go towards Alzheimer’s Association and people who would like to contribute can do so by following this link:

http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2018/TX-NorthCentralTexas?team_id=521643&pg=team&fr_id=11551

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