Lending a helping hand

Retired Newport Beach residents Bill and Judy Brady operate a home care business, Assisting Hands.

August 11, 2008|By Daniel Tedford

There were many inspirations for Bill and Judy Brady to start their home care business, Assisting Hands, even though the two were retired.

Bill had opened nine businesses as an orthodontist, and he liked it. And Judy had terrible experiences with independent home care operators when she dealt with them for her parents.

But for the Newport Beach residents, a widow and widower who have been married for nine years, it may have been the joint venture and combination of each other’s skills that led them to open the business.


“We wanted to do something together,” Judy said.

Assisting Hands is a fledgling home care agency — it opened just a month ago — that provides caregivers for those in need.

Each caregiver goes through a thorough set of background checks, interviews, drug tests and an intensive program before being hired. Safety and comfort are a priority for the couple.

“We don’t send anyone we wouldn’t have in our own home,” Bill said.

One of the people the company sends is Ria Carlson, a 29-year-old Fountain Valley resident. Carlson spent years taking care of her grandmother, and she thinks she has found a calling. After searching through a number of agencies, she believed Assisting Hands provided the kind of care she wanted to be a part of.

“I love it. Hopefully, it is something I can plan to stay at for quite a while,” Carlson said.

Carlson went through orientation, classes and interviews with the company to prepare her for the tough task of in-home care.

“It is hard because, obviously, the person is having to accept they need the care now,” Carlson said. “It is hard having someone you don’t know in your house. It can get frustrating, but it’s a good thing as long as it is brought about the right way. Assisting Hands does it the right way.”

The company serves individuals of all ages who need assistance in their daily lives, whether it be running errands, in-home care, walking, dressing and grooming, safety and/or bath and shower assistance. While many think of home care as just for the elderly, the Bradys beg to differ. Their program has no age requirement, serving the elderly, the disabled, hospice patients, new mothers or mothers to-be and others in need of services.

“If Bill had surgery and I had a full-time job, who would take care of him?” Judy said.

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