Letter to editor from a PACE participant


Sarah James


Sarah James, Age 81

PHSC Participant Since February, 2013

Ms. James grew up in Mebane, North Carolina on the same property where she continues to reside with her husband. She has two children (a daughter and a son) who live nearby. She worked in manufacturing and also cared for her children at home, spending a lot of time painting and in her garden where she loved to grow flowers. According to her family members, she also loved to shop and she has attended the Southern Home & Garden show in Charlotte with daughter Elaine every year since Elaine was a toddler. She has also been very active in her church- Haw Field Presbyterian Church- for most of her life.

Julia Hester


PHSC Participant Since June 2012

Ms. Hester was born and raised in Prospect Hill in Caswell County, North Carolina. Her parents were farmers and she helped out on the farm while growing up. She eventually moved to a home in Pleasant Grove where she currently resides with her daughter, one of her four children. She was married for over 60 years, but lost her husband to cancer in 1999. Ms. Hester used to love to attend church and she sang in the church choir for many years. She attends the PHSC Center a couple of days a week where she enjoys arts and crafts activities and socializing with other PHSC

Wayne Hester


PHSC Participant Since March 2010

Mr. Hester was born in Caswell County and raised in Alamance County, North Carolina. He worked in Food Service and Child Nutrition in the Alamance County School system for 25 years and reports that he “loved his job”. He has stated that he not only loved to work, but also felt as if the job kept him deeply rooted to the community. He used to do a lot of gardening- growing flowers and vegetables in particular.
He lives independently in the community with support from family members and he is an avid University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill fan. He remembers attending a UNC basketball game as a child and is hopeful that he might have an opportunity to attend a UNC basketball game at the Dean E. Smith Center at some point in the future.

Frank Talarico


PHSC Participant Since February 2012
Mr. Talarico was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He has one son with whom he
currently resides in Graham, North Carolina. He has spent a lot of his life working odd jobs and traveling around the world, often recalling his travels to Europe and China where he walked along the Great Wall of China.
He is a talented poet and sculptor, a sculpture he created of baseball legend Ted Williams still on display at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
When reminiscing about his life, Mr. Talarico stated that he “has loved everything in his life”. He went on to say that “life is like a sandwich in many ways. You are born and then you die and everything in between is for the feasting.” He also noted that “if you live long enough, life becomes like a stew- a mixture of the joy, the pain, the successes, the hardships, the happiness… all of them are worth remembering and shape who you are. When the stew becomes cloudy and you can no longer remember all of the ingredients, it is easy to get lost and this is not really a good place to be”.

Mary Ruth Gant and Lenora Robinson


Mary Ruth Gant, Age 90 and Lenora Robinson, Age 89

PHSC Participants Since January 2009 and December 2008, respectively

Ms. Gant and Ms. Robinson are sisters and they have always been very close. They joined the PHSC program within a month of one another and they both enjoy their time at the PHSC Center. They continue to reside in close proximity to one another and live independently in the community with support from family members, including Ms. Robinson’s daughter and Ms. Gant’s niece “Baby”. “You could never find anyone closer than these two sisters” says Baby. “They have been this close from the day they were born”.

Helen W. Graves, Age 92


Photographed at Graves Chapel Missionary Baptist Church- Yanceyville, NC

PHSC Participant Since January, 2011

Ms. Graves was born in Caswell County, NC and was one of 9 siblings. Her parents were farmers and according to Ms. Graves, “provided a good life for her and her siblings”. Ms. Graves married and had 4 children- 3 are still living-and she remains close to her children, although very much values her independence. In addition to raising her children, she farmed, worked in a hosiery mill, has been a foster parent to several children and has also done volunteer work because she “has always enjoyed helping people”. She also values the time she spends with her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Ms. Graves lives independently in the Green Level community and continues to attend Graves Chapel Missionary Baptist Church where she has been a member since 1941. Ms. Graves has been a very active member and a long-time leader in her church, having directed the choir from 1952 until 2-3 years ago. She also started a Senior Citizens group at the church in 1979” even before she was a “senior”.

Ms. Graves stated that “Piedmont Health Senior Care/PACE is a wonderful place. It allows me to continue to do things I used to do at my church and elsewhere in the community. It is an honor to be able to be a leader at the PACE Center and to be part of the PACE family”. It is just a wonderful place,” she added, “we are so fortunate to have them in this community”.

Martha Sue Singletary, Age 95


PHSC Participant Since May, 2011

Ms. Singletary was born in Person County, North Carolina but was raised in Caswell County, North Carolina where she and 8 brothers and 4 sisters worked on a farm. She went on to marry at age 18 and had 4 children- 2 sons and 2 daughters. In addition to raising her children, she worked as a housekeeper and her husband, who died on her 75th birthday, was a minister. Her sons are deceased, but her daughters provide care and support for her as she continues tp reside independently in the community. She is also involved in the lives of her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, stating that “I am blessed with a big family”.

She also enjoys her time at PHSC where she remains very active with activities and as a member of the PHSC choir. She stated that she “enjoys being with you all at PHSC”, that “friends and peoples care at PHSC”.

“I never thought I would live to be 95” she said. “ My health and strength is in the Lord, the Bible my daily bread.”

“I know that I am about finished now, goin’ down the hill,” she added. “But I am in no hurry as I know there is a place for me. I just thank Him for letting me live another day. Each day is sweeter than the one before and I will do the best I can as long as I can”.


Martha Hopkins, Age 72


PHSC Participant Since December, 2008

Ms. Hopkins was born and raised in Alamance County and was one of 6 children. She takes great pride in being able to reside independently in the community, stating that she “is just where she wants to be- at home with my dog Pretty Girl”. She is grateful for having had a lot of friends over the years and feels fortunate that she still has friends to help her- including clergy and congregants from her church and members of local fire departments. “Being at home is everything to me”, she said. “I can cook a meal when I want to, can see my neighbors and be part of the community. Piedmont Health SeniorCare makes this possible.”

One of the first participants to enroll in the PHSC program when the program opened in 2008, Ms. Hopkins has seen the program grow and evolve over time, stating that “Piedmont Health SeniorCare is the best thing that has ever happened to Alamance County. They have done so much to help people and I am just glad that I can go there and also help others”.

The Garrets


James Garrett, Age 79 and wife Loretta Garrett, Age 77
PHSC Participants Since February, 2013

Mr. Garrett was born and raised in Liberty, North Carolina where he started picking cotton when he was 5-6 years old. He married his first wife when he was 20 years old and they had two children. He eventually lost his wife to cancer. He reported that he enjoyed his work at the Liberty Chair Company, Virginia Mills and White Furniture as he liked working with wood and other materials. He continues to enjoy doing “anything outdoors”.

Ms. Garrett was also born and raised in the area and she worked as a police department dispatcher. She raised three children of her own and has also served as a foster parent.

The Garretts “had known each other for years” before getting married in 2000. They remain very active in their church and value their companionship. “This is my buddy”, stated Ms. Garrett as they posed for the photograph.

They both reported that they enjoy their time at PHSC Center, where they are very social and participate in- and even lead- activities for other participants.