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Caregiving Support Network - Guest Post with Beka Dowhy

This month we're pleased to hear from Beka Dowhy of the Caregiving Support Network! We know you'll be touched as she shares her impactful story of caring for her mom. Beka also shares the heart behind Caregiving Support Network, a wonderful nonprofit organization doing beautiful work. They're a valuable resource for family caregivers by providing practical and faith-based support. Caregiving Support Network is one of our valued partners!

(Beka Dowhy, President of Caregiving Support Network - photo courtesy of Caregiving Support Network)

Introduce yourself and share about your background. How did you come to be a part of the caregiving world?
My name is Beka Dowhy and I founded a nonprofit ministry called the Caregiving Support Network in 2022. I was involved in my Mom’s care from when I was a little girl. My Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis the year I was born and my earliest memories are of her progressing from using a cane, walker, and then to a wheelchair. From a young age, I started helping my Mom with things like brushing her hair and making dinner and those tasks gradually grew more complicated as I got older and my Mom’s condition declined. Sadly, she passed away in December 2017.

How would you describe your journey caring for your mom?
As a young caregiver, I didn’t know a life before disability. To me, Mom was just...Mom! We made many happy memories together reading, watching old comedies, and doing daily life tasks like cooking “together." At the same time, I was acutely aware that I would lose my Mom at a young age. It was a grief-filled journey from the start but that awareness made me hold onto every moment and focus on creating joyful memories despite the hardship of disability.

What was one of the hardest things in caring for your mom? What was one of the best things in caring for your mom?
As Mom’s condition progressed and caregiving became more intense, I experienced real burnout. The smallest decisions started overwhelming me and sometimes I longed for just one hour of free time to catch my breath. Looking back now, I had a classic case of anxiety and depression.

(Beka Dowhy with her late Mom, Sherrie Beeton, 2015 - photo courtesy of Caregiving Support Network)

The best part was getting to spend so much time with Mom. People facing disability or aging have so much to teach us. Her consistently positive attitude and faith in the Lord is something that people still talk about today when they remember my Mom. My family was also blessed with a wonderful community of friends and family who helped as much as possible by giving us occasional breaks and helping with caregiving expenses.

What resources or support do you wish you had in your caregiving experience that you now point family caregivers to?
I founded the Caregiving Support Network because I want to comfort others with the comfort I have had (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). Most caregivers battle isolation and depression, so we help them find renewed hope through a holistic approach that includes a prayer community and practical assistance. This empowers them to continue caring for their loved ones without burning out.

Something I love the most about our team here at the Caregiving Support Network is that all of us have been affected by caregiving in some way. We are reaching back to those walking through the darkest times of their lives and saying, “We see you, we get it, and we’re here to walk through this with you.”

What are you passionate about? How has your caregiving journey changed your outlook on life? What's your message to family caregivers?
I am passionate that no one should go through caregiving alone. My message to a caregiver reading this is that you are loved and there is a community of former caregivers who want to walk through this with you. You can reach out to us through our website caregivingsupportnetwork.org or contact me directly by emailing [email protected]


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