Everyday Heroes: authentic care for authentic people

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — An estimated 6.7 million Americans over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is officially the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.

One woman in Summerville is ensuring people with Alzheimer’s get the care they need.

“Authentic care for authentic people,” said Crystal Slusser, CEO and Founder of Aura Care Services.

Aura Care focuses on at-home care for anyone needing support in their daily lives.

“I guess I would call myself an entrepreneur with a heart for people,” she said.

Helping others is near and dear to Crystal’s heart, as her grandmother had dementia and was unable to live on her own. Crystal took care of her for three years until her death, and this is where the idea for Aura comes from.

“Seeing where care availability was lacking to her and her financial situation is where this [Aura] was born from,” she said.

Aura homecare is not just for dementia care specifically; they provide non-medical support services like bathing, dressing, running errands, and providing transportation. Crystal says she saw a great need in the elderly community where resources were not always available.

“There are so many people who are caught in the middle as well like they don’t qualify for government benefits because they make too much money or their family does, but they don’t have this exorbitant savings set aside to pay thousands of dollars to have their loved one safely cared for,” she said.

Different in their approach to matching clients to caregivers, 50 -60 clients in the Tri-county area. And Crystal says this type of care was needed, especially during and after COVID.

“There were two things going on: people were turning into a number and not a person, and I wasn’t okay with that, and people weren’t able to afford anything,” she said. “There was a lot of people who ya know with COVID and when everything hit their it really turned the senior care industry into what’s most profitable.”

Although with homecare, Aura’s training program helps provide exceptional care to people with dementia. They raise money from several donor platforms to support any gaps for patients.

“We want to make sure that the caregiver is comfortable and feels like they can make a positive impact and do their job successfully because if they are not comfortable, the client can feel that,” she says. “I don’t think enough credit is given for that.”

Crystal says she learned to care for the Lowcountry and the community from her grandmother. She also hopes to expand, opening more homecare services throughout South Carolina and possibly North Carolina.

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