Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Snow Camp, NC

Home Care Snow Camp, NC

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Snow Camp, NC is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Snow Camp, NC

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“When the time arose to find a live-in care facility for my uncle, I was referred to Stephen Carlson with ABC. I am so grateful to Stephen for taking me to tour the available facilities so promptly, making introductions, answering my questions, and doing it all within the framework of what would work best for my uncle in his current situation. It was very hard to make the final decision but Stephen was so kind, patient, and helpful during this difficult time. It would have been nearly impossible for me to have made it through this uncharted territory without his compassionate assistance. You have my sincere thanks for all the time and help!”

Just M.

“I wish there was 10 stars for the excellent care, dedication to our mom and our family. Words truly cannot express our gratitude, for everything Stephen Carlson has done to assist us. His knowledge, caring, and dedication to finding the right place has truly been remarkable. Thank you.”

Sue C.

“Mary Witherspoon is amazing! She has cared for both my parents and is a part of the family now. Highly recommend Always Best Care.”

Cathy D.

“ABC is a great company that cares about their employees. The pay is good and everyone in the office is extremely helpful. It’s easy to get time off, (just let them know 2 weeks ahead of time). We have monthly in-service & education is offered in person or via zoom. We are given the tools we need to succeed.”

Laraine T.

“I like working at ABC because I get a chance to help other.”

Ginne R.

“Hi my name Amiya and I have been working for ABC for almost 4 months now. I really love this job because it’s very flexible especially since I’m a full time college student. It’s really hard to find jobs like this and if you need days they don’t mind as long your attendance isn’t bad. They are also very understanding. It’s really a great job and I love helping people.”


“Everyone is nice and friendly when you have an issue they are quick to respond”

Pamela P.

“I bn with this company for Abt a year and I love working for them . They work with you,they care about ur personal life/ problems, really good at matching you with good clients..”

Ffbjj B.

“I have to brag on Stephen and the Always Best Care team. They are always out in the community lending a helping hand and giving back. That is so important for a company to do when they're trying to build trust. I really appreciate Stephens kind and caring nature especially when it comes to those that need his assistance. Thank you ABC keep up the good work!”

Nichole S.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of the Always Best Care team! Working here has been an immensely rewarding experience. The positive and collaborative atmosphere within the company has made every day enjoyable. I am grateful to have a supportive management team who values the contributions of each team member and fosters a culture of mutual respect. My coworkers are not just colleagues; they are like family. Together, we create a dynamic and uplifting work environment. Always Best Care truly prioritizes the well-being of their employees, clients, families, and community which is reflected in the quality of care we provide to our seniors. The commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of the organization. I wholeheartedly recommend Always Best Care as both a fantastic place to work and a reliable service for seniors in need.”

Jacob N.

“Jaye has been a great caregiver for my Mom. Jaye writes detailed care notes about Mom's day so that we know what is going on even if we live out of town. She goes the extra mile to get Mom out in the sun when the weather is nice and she paints Mom's fingernails, which Mom enjoys. Jaye doesn't hesitate to contact us if Mom needs something or if she has questions. We feel lucky to have her.”

C P.

“We would like to give a shout out to some of the caregivers. We are thankful to have Ms Loretta as a caregiver, she’s very giving, a sweet person, and she works very hard to help us. Such a blessing for Mike and myself. Taylor has such a contagious smile and is so calming for Mike. Always willing to help out however he can. A blessing to us. Tena jumps right in right away as she arrives and is so caring , willing to do whatever task to help ensure all is taken care of and cared for while she’s here. What a blessing Tonya has been for Mike, a contagious caring attitude and willingness to step in and takeover with all things while she’s here. So thankful she’s been put on our caregiver schedule.”


“We are thankful to have Ms Loretta as a caregiver, she’s very giving, a sweet person, and she works very hard to help us. Such a blessing.”


“We have used Always Best for 2 years for my Dad before he passed & now 2 years for my Mom. They are the best! Laura J. With Always Best is phenomenal. She is always pleasant & prompt. She is always willing to go a step beyond to help my Mom in every way with the best attitude!”


“Great staff members to work with from the beginning. Meaning, the recruiter, hiring manager, receptionist, and scheduler. Schedulers are magnificent at finding and replacing hours if needed All staff (including caregivers) REALLY care about thier clients. ????”

Laura J.

“We used Always Best Care Senior Services to assist with 24/7 care in the home of my mother in law. We had used 4 different agencies prior to Always Best, they were exceptional. The quality, compassionate care of the care givers was unmatched and if there was ever a call out - a substitute was sent with in 2 hours. Such peace of mind! I was so impressed with the organization that I ended shifting trajectories in my career and now I am an employee. It was the best decision I ever made! I don't know what took me so long to change! I can not say enough good things about the organization as a consumer and an employee. The Loy family does an amazing job of leading a team of kind, compassionate, caring care givers who give exceptional service.”

Kathleen O.

“Sara Bynum is the best example of a CAREGIVER! Caring is her specialité..She is always prompt, cheerful, patient, industrious, generous, personable, organized, and, additionally, has a delightful sense of humor. I can't sing her praises loud enough!”

Aileen T.

“Our family has been pleased with ABC services, thankful for a company to be able to rely on for my Dad's care.”

T C.

“I’m in need of a caregiver for my son and Always Best Senior Care is one of the companies that I contacted. Although they were unable to provide services to us (through no fault of their own) mallory trip time to refer us to a company, including phone number to contact for services. She was very helpful, kind, and attentive to our needs. I appreciate the time they took to assist me the best way they could.”

Lisa L.

“I am writing for my mother Alice Pearce. We are very happy with the care provided by Jaye. She goes above and beyond in providing loving care for our mother. She always has a good handoff with the previous caregiver and the subsequent caregiver, making sure they know how mother is and what she needs. Mother loves a shower and Jaye is thoughtful in fitting them in when mother wants one and always has her presentable for family visits. She is a good cook and is sensitive to what mother will enjoy, so her appetite is better on Jaye's shift. She is a good communicator with the family and always puts in informative shift notes. She has technical skills. Recently, the facility got a new wifi and she updated the equipment so it all worked. I usually get those calls and she fixed everything without my involvement. She is very flexible and will stay late and take on extra shifts at the last minute. We are indeed fortunate that she is caring for our dear mother.”

Alice P.

“Caregivers (Raina & Aiyana) are very caring and helpful to my father's needs,”

Linda L.

“Caring staff. Patient portal for family. Quick replacement/fill in caregiver.”

Stephany T.

“Britiany has been caring for my mom almost 4 years. She is so kind and patient and willing to help in any way she can. We value Britiany and think of her as family now. We have been so pleased the way in which Always Best Care has worked with us.”

Jeannie H.

“My husband's caregiver Taylor is so very patient with him. She does her work without supervision. We are proud to have her in our home. Sincerely, Jack & Lou”

Jack H.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Snow Camp, NC?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Snow Camp, NC

Types of Elderly Care in Snow Camp, NC

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Snow Camp, NC
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Snow Camp, NC
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Snow Camp, NC
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Snow Camp, NC

Benefits of Home Care in Snow Camp, NC

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Snow Camp, NC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Snow Camp, NC

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your NC's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Snow Camp, NC

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Snow Camp, NC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Snow Camp, NC

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Snow Camp, NC

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Home Care Snow Camp, NC

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Snow Camp, NC

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Snow Camp, NC 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Snow Camp, NC

Latest News in Snow Camp, NC

NC farmer who kept family dairy alive through COVID fights for life after bull attack

Hundreds of people rallied this week to keep an Alamance County dairy farm going after its owner was critically injured by a bull over the weekend.Randy Lewis, owner of Ran-Lew Dairy in Snow Camp, made the news a few years ago when he was forced to adapt his business to the COVID shutdown, turning milk into ice cream instead of throwing it out like many farms around the country were forced to do.On Sunday, ...

Hundreds of people rallied this week to keep an Alamance County dairy farm going after its owner was critically injured by a bull over the weekend.

Randy Lewis, owner of Ran-Lew Dairy in Snow Camp, made the news a few years ago when he was forced to adapt his business to the COVID shutdown, turning milk into ice cream instead of throwing it out like many farms around the country were forced to do.

On Sunday, Lewis, 62, was in the pasture on his farm when a black Angus bull attacked him, according to dairy staff and family. He suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone, punctures in both lungs, and broken bones in his face and back from the attack.

The Angus is a Scottish breed that averages around 1,870 pounds for a bull and is known for its easygoing temperament, experts say.

UNC Hospitals officials said Tuesday afternoon that Lewis’ condition had been upgraded to “fair.”

He faces a long recovery, including reconstructive surgery to rebuild his ribs, according to Taylor Hayes, who operates the milk plant at Ran-Lew Dairy. Hayes and other dairy staff have set up a GoFundMe page to share information and raise money to support Lewis and his farm.

The campaign had raised over $109,000 of its $115,000 goal by Tuesday evening. Staff wrote in the update Tuesday morning that nearly 200 people had signed up to volunteer at the farm and a new staff member was being trained.

The Maple View Farm Ice Cream Store in Orange County will also hold a fundraiser this week to benefit Lewis and his farm. The store has pledged to give 10% of all sales between noon and 9 p.m. Friday to the campaign, along with any additional donations left at the store’s counter.

Maple View’s ice cream store is located at 6900 Dairyland Road, just west of Chapel Hill.

Lewis is the fifth generation of his family to farm the land in southern Alamance County and has about 50 cows.

“We are reeling from the shock and worry for our friend,” Hayes wrote on the site.

“We’re still trying to grasp the full financial impact of this incident, but this fundraiser will help pay for Randy’s medical costs and the additional labor while he is unable to work,” she said.

Staff and friends will plan a celebration for Lewis when he finally gets to come home, she added.

“Although a barn dance may not be in the cards for a while, this will be an opportunity to gather in person, share a meal, and tell our favorite Randy stories,” she said.

This story was originally published May 9, 2023, 3:01 PM.

Cindy and Eliza Sydnor: A Family Dressage Venture

By Amber HeintzbergerAt Braeburn Farm in Snow Camp, NC mother and daughter Cindy and Eliza Sydnor work side by side day after day sharing their business and their passion for horses. To some this may sound like a dream come true, for others it may sound like a recipe for disaster, but this mother-daughter duo is definitely making a success of their shared interest.Cindy and her husband, Charles Sydnor, own a 400-acre farm in central North Carolina. He raises grass-fed Red Devon beef, and Cindy and Eliza train dressage horses an...

By Amber Heintzberger

At Braeburn Farm in Snow Camp, NC mother and daughter Cindy and Eliza Sydnor work side by side day after day sharing their business and their passion for horses. To some this may sound like a dream come true, for others it may sound like a recipe for disaster, but this mother-daughter duo is definitely making a success of their shared interest.

Cindy and her husband, Charles Sydnor, own a 400-acre farm in central North Carolina. He raises grass-fed Red Devon beef, and Cindy and Eliza train dressage horses and teach riding lessons. Mother and daughter have each formed LLC’s: Eliza Sydnor Dressage LLC and Cindy Sydnor Dressage LLC. They work side by side and keep their own horses and training horses in Cindy’s barn. They use the entire facility together, often teach in the arena together and ride together daily. Their only constraint is that the barn has only nine stalls, which limits the number of horses they can take in for training.

When horses come in for training with Eliza, the client pays her for the training and Cindy for the boarding and all other bills – shoeing, worming, vet, etc. This way Eliza is basically a private contractor working out of Braeburn Farm.

Cindy’s business consists also of judging dressage with her USEF “R” license, giving clinics away from home, and being an examiner for the USDF Instructor Certification program.

Eliza, 24 in November 2006, is a USDF Certified Instructor through second level and will probably test for the third and fourth level certification in 2007. She has already gathered a good group of students locally and in several locations around the state of North Carolina. She has taught on Maui, Hawaii, also.

Cindy and Eliza Sydnor: A Family Dressage VentureBy Amber Heintzberger

Sharing Their Lives and Interests

Both Cindy and Eliza love music, good literature, and a few movies. “I played the piano a little but not as well as Eliza, who also plays the guitar quite well and sings. Eliza reads many good books; I like to listen to books on tape and CD’s,” says Cindy. “I don’t share Eliza’s love of hiking and camping, but I’m thrilled that she loves it. We both like writing and seem to find interesting projects in that area.”

Asked about the pros and cons of a mother/daughter business venture, Cindy answers, “I think this is the ultimate mentoring situation. I have always loved seeing Eliza learn to ride and handle horses. It is one of my greatest joys in life to see her love and enthusiasm for horses and dressage. She was never pushed; she pushes herself more than enough.”

Eliza finds working with her mother a positive experience. “The pros are many: we get to spend most of the day together doing what we love, we trust each other, we work with each other to solve problems,” she says. “Also a big pro for me is that I get some of the best training in the country every day for free – although I work my butt off for it in return!” She considers, “The cons are that since we are so close sometimes it gets hard to work together. We both love the horses so much and each other so much that emotions sometimes run high.”

Cindy and Eliza Sydnor: A Family Dressage VentureBy Amber Heintzberger

Working With Others in the Sport

Sometimes they find it easier to go to an outside instructor who can give them an unemotional outlook. Eliza explains, “When a student works with an instructor that she doesn’t have a personal relationship with, then it is just business. But when my mother tells me to do something that I don’t agree with I feel totally comfortable telling her that I don’t agree with it! So, sometimes it is easier to go to an outside trainer that we both really respect to get advice. We both try to get into ‘business mode’ rather than ‘mother/daughter mode’ but sometimes that line gets blurry.”

Cindy continues, “From a business point of view, it is good, because we trust each other completely and want the best for each other. When I don’t have the time for a new client, I refer them to Eliza, and I’m sure the reverse will happen soon as Eliza becomes more popular. Another advantage is that we help each other in our daily training and riding. Eliza is very good at teaching and coaching, and I appreciate her corrections. Everyone needs a ground person. Everyone.”

Eliza’s riding goals are to continue training and showing her horses up the levels and continue to help her students progress as well. Her big goal is to compete her horse Lancer at Grand Prix next year. “I have taken him from pre-training level through Intermediaire 1 with my mom’s help, and he is so close to the Grand Prix I can taste it!” she enthuses.

Eliza also has many young horses that have been competing at the lower levels. Prince Hopeful, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding owned by The Hopeful Group, LLC, is an exciting young prospect that she is hoping to compete in the FEI 5-year-old tests next year. The stallion Wilmington is a 2001 Hanoverian (Waikiki/Fabriano) owned by Lucile Broadley of Honey Locust Farm in Chapel Hill, NC. This is a Hannoverian breeding farm where Eliza also works starting young horses under saddle. “He’s a super young horse who has done very well this year at First level and I hope to continue working with him for many years to come,” says Eliza.

Cindy and Eliza Sydnor: A Family Dressage VentureBy Amber Heintzberger

Cindy Sydnor – USDF Instructor Examiner, Instructor of Instructors

An examiner for the USDF Instructor Certification program for almost thirteen years, Cindy works with one or two other examiners once or twice a year at “testings” where the candidates are tested on longeing horses, longeing for seat, teaching private and group lessons, and riding familiar and unfamiliar horses. They also have to take a written exam and a verbal exam.

She explains, “In addition to acting as an examiner, I and the others on the “faculty” teach workshops in all the disciplines mentioned. A “Pre-cert” is also in the program. This is a mock testing so the candidates can do a practice exam before the real one. The Pre-cert turns out to be very valuable for the candidates’ time management in the exam and it settles their nerves a little.”

The program is the first certification program of a high standard to exist in the U.S. It is patterned after the British Horse Society’s and the German Federation’s programs, both of which are enormously successful and productive in those countries. “It is quite an honor to be certified by the USDF,” says Cindy. “Students are asking instructors if they are certified, and we are very proud of those who are.”

Cindy’s involvement in instructor certification prompted Eliza to start organizing USDF IC workshops in NC when she was just 15 years old. “I discovered that I really enjoy organizing events like this, so over the years I have organized around 15 workshops, two pre-certs, one final testing, a USDF L Program and many other educational events,” she says. “I really like the USDF IC program. It is tough but fair, and I found it to be really fun!”

Eliza teaches many juniors and a few adult amateurs. “ I have really grown to love teaching, and I get a lot of joy out of seeing my students progress,” she says. Eliza passed her Training – 2nd USDF Instructor Certification in 2004 at the age of 22 and hopes to test for 3rd-4th level next year.

She reasons, “The workshops, pre-cert, and even the testing make you think about what you’re doing, express it, and do it better. Without pushing myself, I feel that I would get stuck in always being ‘pretty good’ at what I do. The process is humbling, but it makes you realize how much more there is to learn. You can look at that as a scary, overwhelming thing, or as a really exciting thing. I choose to look at it as being really exciting. Look how much more I have to learn, and look how good I could become if I keep learning.”

Cindy and Eliza Sydnor: A Family Dressage VentureBy Amber Heintzberger

Sound Business Advise for The Equestrian Professional

Asked what advice would she give to other people going into business with a family member, Eliza emphasizes that the business aspect needs to be taken seriously. “Sit down with a lawyer, an accountant, and other people whom you admire in the business world and plan out how you want things to work,” she says. “Make a written business plan, make your business a legal entity, keep track of finances, learn how to really be a business owner/operator. We’re all in this because we love horses, but if you don’t figure out how to make it work for you as a career, it’s easy to get burnt out and broke and not know how you got there.”

When she decided to make horses her career, Eliza sat down with a long time client of theirs who was a very successful businesswoman. “I wrote a business plan and had her critique it,” she says. “Then I started working with a wonderful lawyer who helped me create the LLC that is my business and also put together the syndicate that owns one of my young horses. I’ve never had business classes in college, but I can assure you that I know a lot about all of that now!”

Cindy answers, “First, there has to be a feeling of total trustworthiness and good intentions. Both parties have to want to see success for the other person and for both. If there is jealousy or dishonesty, it would never work, as in any relationship. Secondly, it is very important to outline who does what, so that responsibilities are clearly defined. Thirdly, it is essential to have regular business meetings to discuss goals, plans, and any problems. And lastly, the financial information must be well-kept, accurate, with good business principles, with a profit.”

She advises, “It is actually very difficult to go into business with a family member. One must be honest, considerate, and somewhat unselfish. Otherwise, not only the business will fail but the family bond can be severed.”

For this proud mother and her aspiring daughter, there seems to be no limit to their dedication to learning all that they can and sharing what they learn. In admirable fashion, this mother/daughter team is making a success of their venture. With planning, openness and love for their horses and each other, their business grows and prospers.

Secrets of rural NC: This old country road will take you to a lost stop on the Underground Railroad

Driving along the back roads of Alamance County, you’ll find the crumbling remnants of a colonial settlement -- older than the United States itself.Park your car and step into the 1700s: Small wooden houses, a historic post office, and even an old school house – still full of antique desks and a tattered map. One tiny wooden building squats behind a historic marker describing it as an original Quaker meeting house.It was in this small, unassuming and un-incorporated community of Snow Camp that Freedom Seekers would ...

Driving along the back roads of Alamance County, you’ll find the crumbling remnants of a colonial settlement -- older than the United States itself.

Park your car and step into the 1700s: Small wooden houses, a historic post office, and even an old school house – still full of antique desks and a tattered map. One tiny wooden building squats behind a historic marker describing it as an original Quaker meeting house.

It was in this small, unassuming and un-incorporated community of Snow Camp that Freedom Seekers would hide as they escaped from slavery down the Underground Railroad.

In this part of North Carolina, 'stations' along the Underground Railroad could be found every 20 miles or so – about as far as a Freedom Seeker could travel in one night. The high population of Friends – colloquially known as Quakers – and communities of free Black families provided safe houses for freedom seekers moving north. Quakers were known by many during the era as passionate abolitionists, who would often provide food, shelter and supplies for Freedom Seekers along the Underground Railroad.

"We are the Quaker Belt of North Carolina," says Ron Osborne, a historian and member of one of the oldest Friends meetings in the area, the Spring Friend Meeting.

Even today, there are Friends living in Snow Camp whose history connects back to the Underground Railroad.

Osborne can trace his roots back to his great-great-great grandfather Needham Perkins, who ran a 'station' on his farm.

"So this area of Snow Camp may have been a station, and the next station would have been up around New Garden. Centre may have been a station, and Mendenhall Plantation," he says.

Even today, Mendenhall has one of the only remaining relics of the Underground Railroad in NC: A false-bottom wagon used to 'smuggle' Freedom Seekers to safety.

This dangerous, unwritten pathway to freedom was not documented. To help protect Freedom Seekers and abolitionists alike, secret codes and hushed voices provided the only guidance along this portion of the Underground Railroad.

"There was this very loose organization of stations, and probably the next station up the road knew who you were, but you didn’t know who the subsequent stations were -- so that if somebody got caught, the whole system was not compromised," says Osborne.

His great-great-great grandfather Needham Perkins was, in his younger years, a teacher at the New Garden Boarding School – today known as Guilford College. A tree known as the 'Underground Railroad Tree' still stands on that campus today, a centuries-old marker of the old-growth forest where Freedom Seekers would hide along the pathway to freedom. Students of the school were known to bring supplies and food to Freedom Seekers hiding in the woods around that tree.

Dangers of the Underground Railroad

Whether you were a Freedom Seeker trying to escape or an abolitionist trying to help, there was immense risk to taking part in Underground Railroad activities. This necessitated extreme secrecy – leaving very little oral or written history for us to find today.

Needham Perkins was eventually 'punished' by his neighbors, who discovered he'd been helping the abolitionist cause. His experience provides a real-life example of the real dangers abolitionists could face.

"He was returning home one evening from an extended trip, and two of his neighbors fell upon him in the dark," explains Osborne. "They were waiting for him on his way home, knowing he was going to be there. They used the stock of the rifle to beat him. They slashed his throat. They knocked all of his teeth out. And left him for dead.”

Perkins did survive the experience, according to Osborne. However, Freedom Seekers caught escaping faced the threat of torture – and, of course, losing their freedom. An 1800s jail still standing in Halifax County provides proof of that history.

Despite facing potential for torture, there is documentation that many Freedom Seekers tried multiple times for their freedom – showing the strength of their enduring desire and dream of living free.

Rivers, known as Freedom Roads, were often a powerful symbol in the Underground Railroad. Even today, some popular hymns, such as Deep River, tell the tale of crossing rivers and finding freedom. Some historians say these hymns served as a 'map' for Freedom Seekers, guiding them on which rivers to follow and which settlements would have 'Friends' to help them along the way.

For Freedom Seekers in this part of North Carolina, the symbol of freedom was the Ohio River. After many nights of traveling and hiding at stations along the Underground Railroad, they'd see the river and cross into the 'Free State' of Ohio.

What can you see today?

Today, the centuries-old community of Snow Camp still holds many remnants of Underground Railroad history. At the Snow Camp Outdoor Theater, there are old, wooden structures dating back to the 1800s and before.

A tiny, crumbling wooden structure is marked as one of the first Friends meeting houses. Peek in the window of a historic post office, where everything is frozen in time.

There's even an old school where emancipated children were educated after the Civil War – the old desks, chalkboards and a tattered map still decorate the room.

Just down the road, an old stone wall marks one of the oldest homesteads in the area. Frozen in time, the historic meeting houses for the Spring Friends Meeting and Cane Creek Friends Meeting strike an idyllic pose on the antiquated landscape.

Snow Camp is rural enough that history has been preserved – allowing visitors to touch tangible remnants of the Underground Railroad firsthand.

Listen to stories about secret codes used by the Underground Railroad

To maintain secrecy, the Underground Railroad used everything from songs to scattered black-eyed peas to share secret codes. Something as simple as the color of a thread on your skirt could be a virtual map showing Freedom Seekers whether they should escape by water or stay hiding in the woods. Hear WRAL's Amanda Lamb talk to Hidden Historian Heather Leah about more secrets of the Underground Railroad in our podcast.

Visit these real-life places in NC connected to the Underground Railroad

In our Following the Underground Railroad series, we show you multiple places across the state you can visit to touch tangible remnants of the Underground Railroad.

This enormous swamp holds centuries-old secrets from the Underground Railroad -- including remnants of Maroon Colonies formed by Freedom Seekers who chose to live in the swamp.

Halifax was a site of triumph for many Freedom Seekers, who escaped across the Roanoke River. However, it's also home to a jail where Freedom Seekers were imprisoned if they were caught.

Take a look at one of the last remaining relics from the Underground Railroad in NC: A genuine false-bottom wagon where enslaved Freedom Seekers once hid while trying to escape north.

Or visit a 200-year-old aqueduct, built using enslaved labor, that ended up helping enslaved men and women escape instead.

Explore this patch of old-growth woods, undeveloped since the 1800s, where the Underground Railroad Tree stands as a reminder of Freedom Seekers who once hid in these woods, helped by nearby Quakers.

Learn about the secret codes used by abolitionists to help pass messages safely in the Underground Railroad.

'My ribs were popping like popcorn' | Triad dairy farmer up and moving at hospital after being attacked by bull

Since the attack, the Lewis family has raised more than $177,000 to help with hospital care and recovery.SNOW CAMP, N.C. — A well-known North Carolina dairy farmer is up on his feet after being attacked by a bull a couple of weeks ago in Alamance County.Randy Lewis said the farm Ran-Lew Dairy Milk Co. has been in his family for generations.On May 7th, Lewis was attacked by a bull in his dairy pasture in Snow Camp."I was u...

Since the attack, the Lewis family has raised more than $177,000 to help with hospital care and recovery.

SNOW CAMP, N.C. — A well-known North Carolina dairy farmer is up on his feet after being attacked by a bull a couple of weeks ago in Alamance County.

Randy Lewis said the farm Ran-Lew Dairy Milk Co. has been in his family for generations.

On May 7th, Lewis was attacked by a bull in his dairy pasture in Snow Camp.

"I was up in the air. I couldn’t figure out if I was looking up, and I couldn’t figure out how I got to be looking up until I fell back down, and I was on that bull's head," Lewis said.

Officials said, he suffered broken ribs, punctured both lungs, and had broken bones in his face, back, collarbone, and skull.

"My ribs were popping like popcorn. I knew that I broke all the pieces inside," he explained.

Even after the attack, Lewis managed to call 911 himself and walked over 100 feet to his barn so EMTs could find him.

He was flown to UNC Hospitals and underwent immediate surgery.

He's alive and officials said as of last check walking around at the hospital.

Lewis is doing physical therapy and working hard to get back to the farm.

Taylor Hayes is the Milk Plant Operator at the Dairy Farm. She explains that what happened on the farm is, while serious, completely normal.

"It’s like when you get in your car and you go driving. You’re driving this huge vehicle and it’s scary and somebody could hit you or you could hit somebody, and somebody could get really hurt but you don’t think about that when you get in the car," Hayes shared.

She told WFMY News 2 that the farm is working hard to keep operations going while Lewis recovers.

"I would love to have him back and be able to ask him so many questions. I do think more than anything I want him to recover and recover well so that when he returns, we can have breakfast again and dance again,” Hayes said.

Since the attack, the Lewis family has raised over $177,000 to help with hospital care and recovery.

Lewis said this money will also go towards maintaining the farm and giving him extra time to heal before heading back to work.

"I don’t quite know what to make of all of that. It’s hard to believe people are that kind,” Lewis said.

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Abandoned colonial settlement, stop on Underground Railroad, falling apart in Snow Camp

The remnants of a small colonial community, built roughly 270 years ago, before the Revolutionary War, can be found crumbling and rusting on a country road and covered bridge in Alamance County.Small wooden houses, a historic post office, a museum and even an old school house are now ramshackle – and some are collapsing. The school even has old desks still inside.While most colonial homesteads and communities have been completely wiped away, Snow Camp had stood for centuries – in part due to its historic connection ...

The remnants of a small colonial community, built roughly 270 years ago, before the Revolutionary War, can be found crumbling and rusting on a country road and covered bridge in Alamance County.

Small wooden houses, a historic post office, a museum and even an old school house are now ramshackle – and some are collapsing. The school even has old desks still inside.

While most colonial homesteads and communities have been completely wiped away, Snow Camp had stood for centuries – in part due to its historic connection with the Underground Railroad.

However, today the physical remnants of that history are slowly disintegrating.

Lost history from the Underground Railroad and Quaker community

Snow Camp Museum and historic site, like many other places in this area of Alamance County, has shut down. The current owner's father once collected damaged historic structures from around the county and moved them here, where they could be cared for and viewed by the public.

However, caring for buildings nearly three centuries old can be difficult – and expensive. The site has been closed for about a year, with the pandemic economy threatening to leave this colonial settlement weathered and abandoned.

The theater, which now has tall grasses growing up between the stadium seating, once put on live shows and told tales of Snow Camp's role in the Revolutionary and Civil War.

"I think it's sad because it's a piece of history that a lot of people don't know anything about," said Peggy Zachary, a generational member of the Zachary family who has spent generations in this area.

Zachary is worried that the incredible historic work done in the1800s will be forgotten.

This site was a stop on the Underground Railroad – a place where people escaping slavery could find refuge and aid with the abolitionist Quaker community who lived here.

Many remnants of the Underground Railroad have vanished with the centuries – with Snow Camp being one of the few remaining tangible pieces remaining.

"Once they got into these 'anti-slavery' and 'free black' communities, they just disappeared," said Dr. Max Carter, an Underground Railroad Historian and former professor at Guilford College.

Many Quakers like the Zachary family taught escapees how to read the Bible, and gave them instructions for how to get north. They'd also teach them laws, to help them become aware of their own rights. Finally, they'd show them how to read maps to help them escape.

"It was dangerous work. Some people lost their lives. And if you're a Quaker, you can't fight back," he said.

Regardless of the rich history, the site has been abandoned. The owner closed it several years ago. Today, many fear the moldy walls and rusted beams indicate the history will not be preserved.

Secret messages from the Underground Railroad

Because of the extreme risk involved in helping someone escape slavery, the Underground Railroad often used secret codes to pass messages. Because of this, it can be difficult for historians to find clues to the Underground Railroad's past.

The Underground Railroad used many symbols and songs to pass secret messages to men and women escaping slavery. Songs like, "Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot" meant a conductor was coming.

Scattering black-eyed peas along a river meant, "It's not safe to travel. Eyes are watching."

Quaker abolitionists might also utilize specific thread colors in their clothes to give messages to people escaping slavery. Simply wearing a certain dress outside could give a message to someone hiding in the woods nearby.

Sadly, historic preservation comes with a cost. Although these centuries-old buildings are gathered into a protected area, it doesn't mean they can't fall apart. The current owner says donations are greatly needed to help fix up and preserve the collapsing structures.

They need donations and community support to keep this piece of history alive. Their website and an Snow Camp Donations.

Financial struggles from lack of visitors, damage to old structures – and now, the final nail in the coffin, the pandemic – mean that someday soon this could easily become another piece of lost history, overgrown and unrecognizable on the roadside.

"Sooner or later, our kids are not going to even know what happened in the past," said Zachary.

Exploring the remains of the colonial Quaker settlement on Facebook Live

WRAL's Hidden Historian explored the remains of this colonial Quaker settlement, taking viewers for a live look inside the historic school, church and overgrown theater.

Today, the Hidden Historian will be joined by a college student who first submitted this story idea and who helped write the story – Natasha Laguer, who also works as a production assistant at WRAL.

Laguer helped put this segment together, and also created this video for viewers:


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