Home Care Stories

A Personal Interest

Michelle* and her elderly parents had reached the crossroads that thousands of Americans face each day. Her parents had been living independently in Chapel Hill for more than 50 years. Her father was a retired professor and her mother was a piano teacher. But her mother had a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease, and her father had reached the point where he could no longer take care of his beloved wife on his own.

For Michelle, who lives in the Washington, D.C. area, the solution was clear. Her parents needed professional home care that would allow them to stay in their house and get the support they needed. So she turned to Carol Woods and A Helping Hand for a home care plan.

“From the outset, Ann Bradford and her team took a personal interest in our family and the situation,” says Michelle. “We initially started with help for my mom during the evenings and weekends. Mom needed help with bathing assistance and CNAs who would be with her to make sure she wouldn’t fall.”

Michelle says the CNAs developed strong relationships with her parents during a challenging time. “My mom had a form of dementia that affected her vision and perception. It was a really tricky situation for the care team. But the aids were aware of her problems and they were so patient with her.”

Carol Woods and A Helping Hand worked with Michelle’s parents for almost a year, until her mom passed away. Michelle says she and her family will forever be grateful for the support they received. “It was so extraordinarily comforting to know that we could rely on Ann and her team during that difficult time in our lives,” she says.

*Clients’ names have been changed to respect their privacy.

A New Beginning

Doris* had been putting off the knee replacement surgery for a few months. It was a daunting procedure, and she knew she would face several months of rehabilitation and recovery. A Carol Woods resident, she also knew that if the surgery went as planned, she would be free of the constant knee pain; she would be able to walk and resume her active lifestyle.

Doris went to the rehab facility at Carol Woods after her surgery, and the prognosis was positive. She wanted to make sure, however, that she would be safe when she went back to her cottage and not have a fall or a problem that would affect her surgery. So Doris reached out to the Carol Woods home care team to get some support for the first week as she recovered.

 “I wanted to get home care support for the little things, from showering to walking safely to meal preparation,” she says. “I didn’t need 24-hour care, but a series of 4-8 hour shifts each day as I progressed in my rehab. Having someone with me as I began my walking outside was an important reassurance.”

After a week of home care support, Doris was ready to start living her life again on her own. She continued with physical therapy, and six months later she was back in her routine at Carol Woods, with a new knee and a new outlook.

“I know that the investment I made in home care support ensured that I would have the recovery that I wanted,” she says. “And I am so thankful to the Carol Woods and A Helping Hand team for their compassionate, professional care.”

*Clients’ names have been changed to respect their privacy.

‘A Precious Jewel’

Marsha* first heard about A Helping Hand’s volunteer companion program through the Durham County public health department. Marsha suffers from chronic back problems and she’s had two knee replacements. She has trouble getting around and needs transportation for medical appointments.

For the past year, volunteers from A Helping Hand have been providing Marsha with transportation and companionship; they come to her home every week for two-hour shifts. She says the program has transformed her life.

“The volunteers take me back and forth to doctor’s appointments. And if I need them to go into the examining room with me, they are there,” she says. “They go to the grocery store and run errands for me if I’m not able to do them myself. They also help with laundry and housework.”

Beyond the practical help she receives from the free companion program, Marsha says the volunteers have become her friends. “We’ve developed relationships and I’ve enjoyed talking with them. I was alone during the COVID-19 pandemic and one of the volunteers, Tamika, who is a student at North Carolina Central, just called to reach out to me and check in. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and kindness of all the people who work with me.”

During the self quarantine period, Marsha said she got a random knock on her door. A Helping Hand volunteer was there with a bag of groceries—the next week there was another knock and another bag of groceries.

“A Helping Hand is just a precious jewel for me,” Marsha says.

*Clients’ names have been changed to respect their privacy.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about services, please contact Ann Bradford, director of home care, at abradford@carolwoods.org or call 919-918-2650.