Relationships for Life

A Helping Hand – Carol Woods

The Carol Woods and A Helping Hand care team comprises certified nursing assistants, personal care assistants, nurses who perform home care assessments, and a cadre of community volunteers who provide companionship and transportation.

Carols Woods and A Helping Hand serve the home care needs of a diverse population in the region—from people in Carol Woods and other retirement communities to underserved individuals who don’t have the resources for essential home care services.


Our nonprofit model allows us to achieve these far-reaching goals. We provide home care for individuals with the resources to pay for our services. At the same time, we have a dedicated group of volunteers who provide free and subsidized home care for the underserved population in the region.


Ann Bradford, MSW

Ann Bradford is the director of home care at Carol Woods|A Helping Hand. She has more than 20 years of experience in the home care field. Prior to coming to Carol Woods, Ann was regional director at LivHome, which provided home care services for individuals and families throughout California. Ann is past president of the Western Region of the Aging Life Care Association and has been a social worker for more than three decades. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Jennifer Ashley, MPA

Jennifer Ashley has served as the executive director of A Helping Hand since 2014. A lifelong advocate for older adults, she has always approached her work through a social justice lens. She is a founding member of Dementia Inclusive Durham and has served as an advisor to aging initiatives throughout the state. She holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural studies from University of Florida and a master’s of public administration from Baruch College – The City University of New York.

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. He 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.

“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. Becky 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.


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A Helping Hand Board of Directors

Nathan Boucher,
 Board Chair
Research Scientist
Durham VA Health System
Duke University

Scott Bates, Board Treasurer
Certified Public Accountant
C.W. Dunn & Associates., CPAs

Josh Ravitz,
 Board Secretary
Retired Pharmaceutical Scientist

Liz Tomajko
Vice President of Human Resources & Staff Development
Carol Woods Retirement Community

Jen Wilson
Vice President of Well-Being
Carol Woods Retirement Community

Michelle Hamilton
Alexander, Miller, Schupp & Hamilton, PLLC

Jennifer Ashley, ex officio
Executive Director

A Helping Hand

Ann Bradford, ex officio
Director of Home Care

Carol Woods Retirement Community

A Helping Hand Affiliations