A career coach several years ago advised Boyd Holland to search for what inspires him. The answer couldn’t have been closer.
Boyd’s mother, Anita, was diagnosed with dementia in 2015 and later Alzheimer’s disease. After a fall sent her to the ICU in 2019, she recovered with new physical limitations. Anita wanted to remain at home with her husband Don, so their Memory & Movement Charlotte team connected the family with an Aging-in-Place specialist to make that possible.
Boyd recalls, “Mom was an interior designer, and I was comfortable with design aesthetics, but the process of making home modifications to support aging in place opened my eyes to functional, adaptive, and universal design. I learned how simple, practical solutions could support both mom and dad comfortably.”
He’d found inspiration.
Boyd knew he could combine adaptive design with aesthetic appeal. In 2020, he became a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist just as the world entered quarantine. Anita’s adult day care program closed, Don needed help, and family and friends wanted to visit.
Boyd and his wife Christy have always enjoyed out-of-the-box thinking. “We channeled Mom’s creativity and transformed my parent’s carport into an outdoor living room where visitors could socialize and provide respite for Dad. It became an extension of their home, and she loved it.”
Their quarantine project became a business.
“Like the carport, we start with what families already have. We look for ways to incorporate passive technology, like replacing standard exterior light bulbs with dusk-to-dawn bulbs so an EMT can see the house number at night. We set up fall detection and other safety features on an Apple watch if our clients have one. We all have devices in our homes that can support aging-in-place, and we can help identify those.”
Since Anita’s passing in early 2023, Boyd and Christy have been more intentional about finding their niche. Christy explains, “We asked ourselves what we wish we’d had. When Anita’s home was adapted we understood the need for handrails and grab bars, but we wanted more than that. We wanted to maximize what she could still do in the place she loved. It's what we learned from MMC – to focus on what you have, not what you’ve lost – and that’s the approach we take with our clients. MMC taught us very early in our journey with Anita about the importance of keeping her calm, clean, safe, and loved. This is simply an extension of that philosophy.”
Boyd continues, “We understand that caregivers are under a lot of stress. When we work with clients, we create a prioritized list – things to do now, soon, and someday. And then we either do them or get them done for our clients.”
Christy adds, “In our own family, these changes not only supported Anita, but they gave Don and the adult children peace of mind and confidence. It’s a privilege to transform our own difficult journey into a service that helps others and honors Anita.”
Learn more about the Holland’s services here.
"It’s a privilege to transform our own difficult journey into a service that helps others and honors Anita.”
– CHRISTY HOLLAND
The Hollands aren't new to adapting - and sharing their strategies with others. This 2021 video explores some of the ways they adapted holiday celebrations as Anita's condition progressed.