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Toni Gains Consistency and Stability Through Accra’s PCA Choice Program

Watch Toni tell her story about the types of supports she receives from Accra PCA services.

Photo of Toni

“The PCAs help me live from morning to night,” says Toni Grundstrom, an Accra client of 10 years. Toni has been disabled for 37 years and works with two Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) each day. These caregivers, who are also family members, help her with everything from getting dressed in the morning to getting in bed at night and all of the activities of daily living (ADL) in between.

When Toni sought out a home care agency, it was important to her to find an agency that allowed her to control the types of supports she was receiving. Accra proved to be the perfect match.

“Accra is like the building block or cornerstone to be able to get the services and necessary supports that you need to help you get through your day,” Toni said.

Because Toni spends her days in a wheelchair, she needs appropriate support for various daily activities. Toni’s PCAs help her with everyday tasks like cooking, getting to appointments, and cleaning her home, as well as physical therapy exercises that improve her range of motion.

“All of the things that I wasn’t quite sure how to do, Accra helped me work into my care plan and then implement,” Toni said. “Accra’s PCA services have been integral for me to be able to live on my own.”

While the PCAs execute a lot of the daily tasks that are hard for Toni to do, she puts her energy toward working on activities she enjoys, particularly her stained-glass projects.

Before teaming up with Accra, Toni’s life felt unpredictable. She would plan her day around what she had energy for and how her symptoms were. Everything felt “iffy” and she lacked consistency and stability in her day-to-day life. Accra and her PCAs helped remove much of the uncertainty from Toni’s life.

“When you have a disability, you just don’t know what’s going to happen and Accra helps take the guesswork out of how my day is going to be.”

Accra Is The Cornerstone [Transcript]

Toni: Accra is, like, the building block, the cornerstone to be able to get the services and the people that you need to help you through your day. And then they help with any–if there’s any issues, any problems, all I have to do is call up my worker and she calls me back right away, or we talk through things. If we need to go through–you know, like go through Anoka County, she’ll tell me what to do or what form to do. So, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of it, as well. I guess anyone who’s looking to get some help around the house and to have something consistent and assure that it’s going to be right, I would go with Accra.

Accra Leaves Time For Stained Glass

Toni: A typical day for me is: You know, I spend a lot of time at home but I’m able to–with a PCA’s help–be able to get around and do things. I also am a stained glass artist. And I make stained glass windows and stained glass art.

Lexi: That’s cool.

Toni: And so…yeah. So, where the PCAs can do, you know a lot of things that are hard for me to do and take a lot of energy for me to do, that leaves me with energy to be able to do the stained glass and do things that I like to do.

How Accra Helps Toni

Toni: Once I found out that there was a–where you can create your own budget, have more control over what you received and what you were able to do–I went with that program and that’s when I was introduced to Accra. They helped me create the budget and write my plan. And then once it was approved by Anoka County, then they helped me to implement the different things. It helped a lot at the beginning because I had no idea what I was doing. Accra then pays the PCAs. All those things that I didn’t know how to do, Accra helped me to work that into my plan and then implement. It’s been integral for me to be able to live on my own

How Accra PCAs Help Toni

Toni: Oh, the PCAs just help me live from morning to night. I have to PCAs…goes from helping me to get dressed in the morning to get in bed at night. And everything in between. There’s a lot of exercises. We need to motion because I am in the wheelchair full time, I need to be able to move. And so they helped me do exercises three times a week and cook and clean and you know just everything.

Accra Gives Toni Consistency

Toni: When you have a disability, you just don’t know what’s gonna happen, anyways. To take the guesswork out of how your day is going to be, is amazing how that is helpful.

What Life Was Like Before Accra

Toni: A lot of if-ies; a lot of, we’ll see what I can get done today, depending on how much energy I have. Or depending on how my symptoms are or stuff like that. And now that I have a consistent way to pay my PCAs and pay my services, I don’t have that as a concern anymore. I guess I really didn’t think about it until you asked. I remember what it was like; it was iffy, it was you didn’t know what your day was going to be like. It couldn’t be a consistent, nice day because it just depended on where things landed that day.

The Accra Touch

Toni: Of course, it’s always the personal touches. It’s knowing that there’s one person that I can call if I have an issue or problem. When I talk to her, she asks how things are with my family and she knows, you know, things that are going on at the house. And it’s just nice to have that personal touch.