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Maria Cruz’s Mother is Rachel Smith, and This is Their Story

“My mom was always the life of the party. She used to sing with a band, loved to dance, spoke Italian fluently, and was full of love and life. But a few years ago, she started to show signs of dementia. It was so hard to see her struggling. What’s worse: my mom knew she was declining, because my grandmother and great-grandmother both had Alzheimer’s disease. My mom recognized symptoms and was terrified, but she fought hard. I helped my mom sell her home in Florida, and move back to New Jersey and she eventually came to live with me in Mahwah.”

Maria’s mom, Rachel started to exhibit serious signs that would require her to move into a long-term care facility. Maria realized she could no longer care for her mom at home and was heartbroken for her. Rachel needed more specialized care, and eventually, she was hospitalized. Her symptoms of dementia became too disruptive and severe, and care facilities just could not appropriately care for her. So her daughters researched alternative plans for their mom and ultimately reached out to Christian Health. Today, Maria’s mom Rachel resides at Christian Health’s special behavioral unit called Southgate.

“My mom has really responded so wonderfully to the treatment, the care, and the environment. Southgate is such a blessing to my entire family. There aren’t words to describe the gratitude that my sister and I feel for Southgate and Christian Health. The staff is so skilled, kind, patient, and compassionate. We know that mom is loved. We know that she is cared for. She’s very lucky to be at Southgate. There is a genuineness and a real sense of caring. Southgate and the entire staff are truly a Godsend.”