Recently we interviewed Renee Gray, Owner of TenderHearted Home Care. TenderHearted Home Care is the featured provider in April 2016 for The Approved Senior Network and for The Charlotte Approved Senior Network.
TenderHearted Home Care began as a germ of an idea in the summer of 2010. Through Renee’s (TenderHearted owner) work at the hospital, she saw an unfilled need in the community for caring people to help seniors at home. After much research, Renee decided to form an independent home care agency rather than join a franchise.
TenderHearted was licensed by the state of North Carolina in May 2011. TenderHearted is a member of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and AHI Group, Inc. an organization of 280 independently owned home care agencies.
Renee was inspired to name the agency “TenderHearted” based on the bible passage Ephesians 4:32 (ESV), “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted…” and knew that verse was how she wanted the staff of the company to act towards others.
THHC Mission Statement
TenderHearted Home Care is committed to providing high quality, client-centered, compassionate Home Care services to our clients to assist them in leading dignified and independent lives in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
THHC Purpose Statement
That we might bring glory to God by tenderly caring for and meeting the needs of others and through our faithful stewardship of the opportunities entrusted to us.
Tell us about yourself, your passion for seniors and why you entered the senior care market.
Since as long as I can remember, I have cared for others. As a young teen (13 years old) I began caring for children. Not only did I see to their needs, but it was a great help to the parents that needed a “date” night. (especially the more children they had!) Now I am serving seniors in a similar role in that I see to their needs (companionship, meal preparation, medication reminders, personal care, etc.) and it gives a much needed break or peace of mind to their children. I guess I am upholding the great legacy that my grandmother and mother have of giving and caring for others. When working in the hospital, I would often see senior couples come in and struggle to walk, struggle to figure out their bills, struggle to make it to their many appointments for tests. Often their families lived out of town and couldn’t help much. My heart would just break for them and I decided that I could start a business and hire helpers for them. Now I can take part in helping them to maintain their independence safely in the comfort of their own home.
Tell us about your business- current # of caregivers, clients, or community outreach efforts etc.
We serve approximately 45 clients here in Rowan County and several surrounding counties as well. We visit clients in their homes and also have a concierge service at Oak Park Retirement community where we are able to visit those with needs in short visits due to sharing the cost of one caregiver.
We have a great staff of full time and part time caregivers – about 25 currently – as well as two nurses that do the nursing assessments and supervision.
In the community, I work with the Parkinson’s support group, an Alzheimer’s support group and serve on the board for the county Meals on Wheels. I also belong to several networking groups and am a member of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.
What are some things that you think makes Charlotte a great place for seniors to live?
Certainly living in the city makes it convenient for seniors that no longer drive. They can easily take a bus or the public transportation. There are many cultural events that can enhance their opportunities for socializing. They are close to a great airport for traveling and great hospitals and can have more choices in physicians.
What are some things that you wish Charlotte could do better for seniors and families?
Providing access to educational lectures or forums that are easy to get to and at convenient times for busy families is always a plus.
Tell us any story about a client or situation that really had a positive impact on their lives, or your life.
Our client, JE, struggled with Parkinson’s Disease. He was a great scientist and struggled to accept that he could no longer work. He could walk some days, but not on others. We were able to assist him with many activities of daily living so he could continue to live independently. We would drive him to appointments and social events when he could no longer drive. We encouraged him when he got depressed. We connected him with the local Parkinson’s support group and made sure he attended and got to learn from others and share his insights. He became like family to us and we to him. His children lived out of town and they were so grateful for our assistance for him. We saw him change from a man desperate to “fix” his situation to one that saw the struggles of others and tried to make a difference in their lives. With our assistance JE was able to stay in his own apartment until he could no longer swallow or move and transferred to a skilled facility.
SF is our 99 year-young little lady on oxygen who has no children and only cousins that have requested our assistance with her. When we started with her, she was very depressed and often angry. She was frail and did not eat well. After 5 months of TenderHearted care, she began to eat better. The caregivers began to get her to laugh and sing and dance! Her doctor would make a house call since it was difficult for her to travel outside her home. He and his nurse were so amazed at the improvement in her physical and mental health, that they hugged our caregivers! She can now be driven to the doctor’s office and loves to go driving and get a BBQ sandwich. She looks forward to holidays when she will get to decorate and celebrate and have a party. She looks forward to seeing her caregivers and hates to see them leave. We are like her family!
What would you like Charlotte seniors and families to know about your business?
We love to make a difference in the lives of our clients and their families. We assist the client by helping them to maintain their independence and stay in the comfort of their own home as long as possible. We assist the families by giving them peace of mind that their loved one is safe and well cared for. We take away the stress of scheduling and providing personal care for their loved one. We provide stimulating conversation, activities and encourage exercise for the senior. We do intensive and ongoing background screenings and we do drug screens. We are involved personally in each case and ensure the client and caregiver are a good match.
VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
TenderHearted serves those with needs through private pay, Medicaid, long term care insurance, and the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit. The A&A benefit pays for home care for a veteran, spouse or widow! Though our partnership with Veterans Home Care (http://www.veteranshomecare.com/) we are able to provide help to veterans while their A&A application is in process.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring a professional caregiver contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at (704) 612-4132.
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