When her father struggled with sleep apnea complications, Charles House founder Bettie Bradford looked for a care center that would provide assistance during the day, and at the same time, offer a socially stimulating environment. Mr. Charlie Jones, a Presbyterian minister and civil rights advocate, needed around-the-clock care. Bettie and her husband still needed to work, and Bettie’s mother could not provide 24-hour care. After trying a couple of respite day programs, Bettie and her mother decided to create Charles House. At the time of its opening in 1990, there were four team members who cared for four participants.
Charles House provides quality, personalized care to elders and respite for their caregiving families. They also help families with care planning and accessing resources in the community. The purpose of Charles House was to provide a safe, engaging environment for those who are living with some executive function loss or dementia; and to help families age in their community while providing respite for caregivers, while maintaining connections in the community. Today, the Daytime Elder Program accommodates up to 36 participants per day. Some of their regular activities include gardening, exercising, field trips, baking, games and music.
Charles House partners with DUSON on various projects, including a recent research initiative with Ellie McConnell, PhD, MSN, RN, GCNS, BC, associate professor, to adapt a personal outcomes approach for those living with dementia. Although they are located in Chapel Hill, Charles House collaborates with in the School and the Durham community to help those living with dementia and their caregivers. Charles House is also a clinical placement site for Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students and hosts student volunteers at the Daytime Eldercare program. If you would like to know more about or volunteer for Charles House, visit their website, www.charleshouse.org or call at (919) 967-7570.