At-home caregivers learn to work through stress, uncertainty during pandemic

For Kendra Jeffress, taking care of her 24-year-old daughter is an around-the-clock job.

"This is a genetic disorder. It's progressive and degenerative, so over time it gets worse," Jeffress said.

For the last five years, her daughter Ali has been bed-bound, completely relying on her mom and a team of nurses. So the pandemic presented an even greater challenge--often with Jeffress and Ali finding themselves without a care team.

"Anxiety increases. Your sleep patterns decrease. The availability of help decreases. So it dwindles down to often times just you," Jeffress said.

Kendra owns a catering and baking business but as orders dwindled during the shutdown, she had to pivot to support the household. She learned to become a yoga instructor.

"Take a 200-hour program within a couple of months (and) also 8-10 hours of studying, taking care of Ali and making sure to see this process through, so I can maintain for her," Jeffress said.

Despite the challenges, Jeffress said things are starting to look up. They have help now, and they're looking forward to the future.

"If she can fight through this, if she can be this rare and she can be resilient like this...I think I can do it too," Jeffress said.

Jeffress said she's feeling much more at ease now. Ali now has team of nurses helping with her care from Maxim Healthcare.

If you are providing long term care and would like to connect with other caregivers in our area, join the ABC11 Caregivers Corner Facebook group.
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