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After a Life-Altering Fall, Zarina Finds Personalized Support with PCA Choice

Photo of an Accra client Zarina with her personal care assistant, her daughter Naureen.
Zarina poses with her daughter and Personal Care Assistant Naureen (left)

“A daughter knows better than anyone else – she knows what I like and what I don’t like. Accra enabled me to work with someone who knows me best”

Zarina Abedi
Photo of Naureen and Zarina

Zarina’s Story

Minnesota weather can be challenging. It’s a cold hard fact that we’ve all come to accept. Every year, snowstorms and slippery conditions cause accidents that leave residents with serious ramifications. More than six years ago, a rainy Minnesota day changed Zarina Abedi’s life forever.

Zarina was healthy, self-sufficient and enjoying life with her husband in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, until she slipped walking down rain-slicked stone steps. As she fell down the flight, each stone stair struck her back. The fall left Zarina in excruciating back pain, causing a gap in her vertebrae which enabled her veins to fall into the gap.

 “After two weeks, the pain began to subside,” Zarina said. “But, for a while after, I couldn’t stand up. This is when I really began to train myself to slow things down. The doctors said not to rush my movements, or it could push me to need a wheelchair. I’ve begun to slow things down, so I am still able to stand up and walk.”

The fall left Zarina with permanent damage to her back and intense pain when needing to stretch, push, pull and twist. Tasks that used to take her 15 minutes now took 30 minutes. She could no longer lift heavy items, pull open doors, walk swiftly or get up from the couch on her own.

Months after her fall, Zarina had another encounter with Minnesota’s cruel winter. She slipped in the snow, which amplified the back pain she was experiencing and increased the support she needed for activities of daily living. This is when Zarina found Accra.

A Person-Centered Plan with PCA Choice

Through Accra’s Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Choice program, Zarina’s daughter, Naureen, became her PCA. At the time, Naureen was already providing care to Zarina, assisting with day-to-day tasks, and she was looking for part-time work.

After completing Accra’s training program and helping Zarina develop an individualized care plan, Naureen quickly assumed the role as Zarina’s PCA and started earning a competitive wage for the work she was already doing.

Each day, Naureen helped Zarina get out of bed, shower, prepare meals, do household chores, shop for groceries and complete most other daily living needs. The support made it possible for Zarina to move through each day at her own pace and remain comfortably living in her home.

“Naureen was always just beside me, especially when I wanted to get outside,” Zarina said. “I cannot stretch myself, and anything that requires any sort of stretching causes pain. Naureen helped me with most everything that involved stretching, twisting or turning.”

Sometimes a Daughter Knows Best

Zarina said the best part about working with Accra was that the PCA Choice program afforded her the opportunity to receive care from the best possible caretaker and spend every day alongside her daughter.

“A daughter knows better than anyone else – she knows what I like and what I don’t like,” Zarina said. “Accra enabled me to work with someone who knows me best.”

Last year, Zarina and her husband decided to move to Maryland, so they could be closer to her son and his family, and live in a climate with more moderate seasons. Though she misses her Accra team and having Naureen as her PCA, she is excited for the journey ahead in her new home state and experiencing a snow-less winter.

“I was proud of the support I received from Accra,” Zarina said. “I used to tell friends that our team at Accra cares about my needs and what I need more than anyone else. I was so lucky to have good people on my side and I hope to find the same thing in Maryland.”