Lorraine Davey died on Tuesday in Havenfield Lodge residential home in Darfield. She had made headlines in the Chronicle several times over the years, notably in April 2016 when we highlighted the plight of Lorraine and her mum Sybil, then aged 85, who was still acting as her daughter’s full-time carer despite her advancing age and having suffered strokes and a heart attack herself.
Sybil had cared for her daughter all her life, but despite her daughter’s needs growing even greater when she was diagnosed with dementia in her 50s, Sybil said she did not want to put her daughter into a home while she could cope caring for her on her own.
It was estimated she was saving the tax payer about £4,000 a month by caring for Lorraine at home. Sybil went on to win a Proud of Barnsley Award in the Carer of the Year category later that year, but eventually felt forced to take the ‘heartbreaking’ decision to put Lorraine into care the following year. Less than a year after that, Sybil died aged 87.
Together Lorraine and Sybil had campaigned on disability issues including cuts to day care services, and the duo started a special nightclub for people with learning and physical disabilities at the Sturdy Lads in Monk Bretton in 2008.
Sybil’s son and Lorraine’s brother Terry Davey, of Sprotbrough, said he and his sister were always close and Lorraine loved spending time with her nephew Jack, 18.
“Lorraine was a really lovely person and she just died in her sleep. The people who work at the home said it looked like it was her turn to go,” Terry said.
“Towards the end Lorraine was quiet as she had Alzheimer’s.
“Before she got ill she was very bubbly and liked a laugh and a joke. She also enjoyed her arts and crafts and colouring, she was massive on the colour pink.”
Terry said his mum and Lorraine were never apart and even though Sybil sometimes struggled to look after Lorraine, she included her in everything.
“My mum and Lorraine did everything together,” said Terry.
“My mum loved line dancing and so she took Lorraine, she was a very social person and so everything she did, she took Lorraine with her. She didn’t make enough time for herself but she and Lorraine were a duo.
“My mum was bringing Lorraine to Mencap once and she organised a nightclub for people with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. She got it all together and although I don’t think it lasted long it was a big achievement.
“Lorraine became ill and was diagnosed around three and half years ago with Alzheimer’s.
“She went into care because she was unable to walk anymore - not because she wasn’t physically able but because her brain didn’t know how.
“She was a bit quiet towards she end but she was nice and she was a good sister.”
Funeral details have yet to be arranged.