Southbury resident Kathie Nitz is the caregiver to her 89-year-old mother, Doreen Phillips, who has dementia.
“My mom had a very difficult childhood as did many children of her generation. Throughout her adult life, she continued to encounter life changing challenges including being widowed in midlife and becoming a caregiver to her own mother with dementia. Through it all, my mom maintained a resilient and generous spirit which I have always respected and admired. She never gave up and always helped those less fortunate even when she had very little herself,” recalls Kathie.
Several years ago, Kathie came up with the idea of establishing a charitable fund at Connecticut Community Foundation in Doreen’s honor, to preserve her legacy of resiliency and generosity. When Kathie first told her mom about her desire to create the Dosi-Do Fund – before her dementia was as advanced as it is today – Doreen clasped her hands in front of her heart and said with a huge smile “I never thought I’d be in a position to do something like that!” This was the only reassurance Kathie needed to forge ahead.
Kathie is working to build the Dosi-Do Fund, which will support organizations that bridge generations through meaningful inter-generational programs, interactions and conversations. Kathie is particularly interested in funding programs for family caregivers that help promote better understanding and create memorable moments everyone involved can treasure forever. The Dosi-Do Fund takes its name from a nickname given to Doreen by Kathie’s husband, Steve. To this day, even through the fog of her dementia, Doreen’s face lights up when she’s called Dosi-Do.