older woman in wheelchair gasps in surprise

Grant a Dream™: Dinner and Shopping

(February 21, 2023) – Judith Webb has been a participant at Carolina SeniorCare for more than five years. older woman in wheelchair gasps in surpriseEvery Tuesday and Thursday, Judith spends her time at the PACE program’s Day Center. “The only time I get to go out is when the van picks me up,” explains Judith. Multiple Sclerosis has slowly sapped Judith’s ability to navigate her environment without either assistance or transportation that supports a wheelchair. Last year, Judith fell and fractured her hip, which further complicates her ability to stand. For the past five years, Judith has only gone outside of her home twice a week and then only to the Day Center.

Tonya Branham, transportation supervisor at CSC, asked Judith if there was something she could enjoy again, what would it be. When she was younger, Judith and her husband, James, would share a weekly meal at Christo’s Restaurant in Lexington. “I would love to go out and have lunch at Christo’s and go to Belk to pick out 2-3 outfits,” she shared. Imagine having the ability to walk, enjoy the community, and do the things you love be taken away from you because of an illness. This is the challenge of Judith’s story. At one time, she was able to physically move, to drive in a car, and to go places with her husband, who is also wheelchair bound. “My MS took that away from me,” said Judith.

The only visitor Judith sees regularly is her universal care aide, Lisa Shaw. Her daughter and two grandchildren have begun to make regular visits as well. With Judith’s wish in mind, the CSC team wanted to surprise her for her birthday on January 31 with a lunch at Christo’s and a shopping trip to Belk. This is where the Grant a Dream program came into focus.           

On January 28, the CSC team and Kim Kilday, chief marketing officer for EveryAge, surprised Judith with the announcement that she would have her dream granted. Through tears of joy, Judith exclaimed, “I just love you all! This means so much to me.”

What most of us take for granted may be a huge gift to someone else. The Grant a Dream™ program focuses on renewing and celebrating a passion while creating joy within the hearts of our seniors. The core of this program is to grant basic dreams for residents, participants, and tenants at all EveryAge communities. “What we learn from Judith’s experience is that the tasks we easily do independently can disappear because of an illness or condition and that we shouldn’t take our abilities lightly. Grant a Dream helps our participants to have that happy experience once again,” said Kilday.

For more information about Carolina SeniorCare and PACE services, visit www.carolinaseniorcare.org/. To learn about EveryAge and the Grant a Dream program, visit www.everyage.org.

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