Sheila Davis

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. - Isaiah 43:2

How did your life change when you became a caregiver? Were there aspects of your life (such as school, career, or plans for retirement) that you had to alter?

The demands of caregiving have consumed much of my time and energy, leaving little room for socializing or leisure activities. Maintaining connections with friends and family has also been more challenging. Moreover, caregiving has taken a toll on my emotional well-being, leading to increased stress and anxiety. To cope, I’ve leaned on self-care activities and relied on the support of my husband and children. Despite the challenges, caregiving has brought me closer to my father, allowing me to learn more about him and his life experiences. I wouldn’t change this opportunity to care for my dad. It has enriched my life in profound ways and strengthened our bond immeasurably.

What are your biggest challenges as a caregiver?

My biggest challenges revolve around managing the physical, emotional, and logistical demands of providing care while also attending to my own needs. I am very blessed because my career as well as my children’s careers allow us some extra time to care for my dad. Still, I think that the VA should recognize that he requires more caregiving hours than he is currently qualified to receive. He certainly needs the additional care, and the associated benefits would make providing that care less strenuous for our family.

What have you learned about yourself through your role as a caregiver?

Above all, caregiving has instilled in me a profound sense of gratitude for life’s simple joys. Every moment spent with my dad is a precious gift, and I’ve learned to cherish these moments even amidst adversity. This journey has been transformative, teaching me invaluable lessons about myself, my strengths, and my capacity for love. It has shaped me into a more resilient, compassionate, and grateful individual, and I continue to be inspired by the lessons learned along the way.


My Story