2010-04-22 / News

Island adult day services center to open next week

Grand opening reception April 29
By Holly Benton

“If it were easy, everyone would do it.”

Jamestown residents are lucky that island business owner Gail Sheahan works for what she believes in – even when it’s not easy.

Sheahan, owner of Consistent Care Corporation, a personalized home health care agency in Jamestown, is looking forward to the grand opening of Alite Care, a comprehensive adult day services center specializing in Alzheimer’s Disease management.

Struggling against a crumbling economy and financing complications, Alite Care has been a work in progress for nearly a decade.

“The saying, ‘If it were easy, everyone would do it,’ is certainly true,” she said. “The array of obstacles seemed endless.”

Alite Care – named for Sheahan’s late parents, Alice and Ted – will offer comprehensive services to individuals based on their needs. Sheahan said services will include assistance with activities of daily living, such as eating, taking medication on time, social interactions with others, and physical and mental stimulation.

Research shows that if these needs are met with nutrition and adequate medication dispensing, people will remain independent much longer, she said.

Sheahan said she had been in the home health care business for eight years when her father passed away suddenly and she decided to undertake the project of developing the new center. Families had been encouraging her to expand her business because the services they were looking for were so limited – and required leaving the island.

“People asked us, ‘Why build in Jamestown, it’s only eight minutes over the bridge and land is cheaper,’” she said. “My response has always been: Location, location, location!”

Sheahan said that Alite Care will complete the continuum of comprehensive services. Consistent Care has been implementing a high level of care for the past 18 years by servicing patients who are acutely ill and those who require long-term care. Consistent Care services individuals within a 20-minute drive from the office on Clinton Ave.

To go beyond that radius is not productive, she said.

“It allows for better case management,” Sheahan said. “It is cost effective and allows people to remain in the community and their homes that they have lived in and enjoyed all their life.”

With Consistent Care aiding many residents of Jamestown and surrounding communities, Sheahan is excited to be able to do more with Alite Care, saying she prides herself on the ability of her company to deliver high-quality services to its patients.

“We service clients from two to 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she said. “When we take a client, we provide service regardless of the circumstances that occur in day-to-day life. This business is different from the hospital or nursing home environment.”

Sheahan said that while Alite Care will specialize in Alzheimer’s Disease, it will also service any individual over 55 who meets the state requirements for adult day care settings. She added that she is particularly proud of the physical setting of the center, which resembles a large home instead of an institution, and hopes it will serve as a model for other centers.

“There has been a lot of time and energy that went into the physical setting,” she said. “And the program is the next big piece of the puzzle. We have so much beauty here on the island that rides and picnics will take place often. Many people within the community have asked to volunteer their time or be part of the center.”

Sheahan added that the talent in Jamestown is “incredible” and she hopes to incorporate everyone from massage therapists and artists to dancers and pet therapists into the program.

Having dedicated herself since 1991 to the health care business – originally out of a desire to achieve flexibility as a working mother – Sheahan credits a great deal of her success to her family and her outstanding staff.

“Over the years, I have been blessed to have a great staff,” she said. “We have some patients that have been with us for the 18 years that we have been in business. That is also true of our staff. Not many other agencies can say that.”

The grand opening of Alite Care will take place next Thursday, April 29, at 49 North Main Rd. in Jamestown and will include a dedication and reception. To learn more or to register, call 423- 1060.

“We have waited 10 years for this grand opening,” Sheahan said. “It does not seem real to me yet. There were many times over the last years that I thought this day would never happen. We plan to roll out the red carpet and have some fun.”

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