2012-04-19 / Local News

ShareCare shows off new digs in Lake Leelanau

By Patti Brandt
Of The Enterprise staff


ANNE KELLY, care coordinator for ShareCare of Leelanau Inc., from left, Tom Evans, a ShareCare member and Deb Wetherbee, office manager, enjoy a visit during an open house held Monday to show off the non-profit organization’s new digs at the Connie Binsfeld Resource Center in Lake Leelanau. ANNE KELLY, care coordinator for ShareCare of Leelanau Inc., from left, Tom Evans, a ShareCare member and Deb Wetherbee, office manager, enjoy a visit during an open house held Monday to show off the non-profit organization’s new digs at the Connie Binsfeld Resource Center in Lake Leelanau. Several ShareCare of Leelanau Inc. members and community supporters were on hand Monday to help welcome the organization to its new home in Lake Leelanau.

Now in the Connie Binsfeld Resource Center at 7401 Duck Lake Road, the non-profit organization is more centrally located than it was in its former Northport home.

And more people have already been stopping by, said Deb Wetherbee, office manager.

ShareCare’s goal is to keep people living in their homes independently and safely, said Anne Kelly, RN, care coordinator for the organization.

“People would rather stay at home than go to an extended care facility prematurely,” Kelly said. “If there are just a few things they need to make that happen — a volunteer here and there, a ride here and there — we can do that.”


STEVE PAIGE provides a little entertainment during an open house held Monday for ShareCare. STEVE PAIGE provides a little entertainment during an open house held Monday for ShareCare. Kelly visits all members who need services and also acts as a liaison between members and their families, especially when those families don’t live in the area.

ShareCare, which is only open to residents of Leelanau County, has been around for nearly 20 years. Its 420 members pay annual fees that give them access to services such as a ride to a doctor appointment, help with simple chores, an occasional meal or just a friendly visit.

Wetherbee and Kelly are the organization’s only employees; Most services are provided by a cadre of volunteers, many of whom are also members.

“One of the things that sets us apart from other organizations like this is that our members volunteer to do things for each other,” Wetherbee said.

Like Tom Evans, who recently needed surgery to repair a broken hip and spent about six weeks in an extended care facility for rehabilitation. Now home, he gets regular visits to make sure he’s getting around OK.

Evans and his wife, Jane, have been members of ShareCare for about 15 years, spending time volunteering as drivers.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Evans said. “You volunteer to help others and when the time comes that you need help, others are there to help you. It was a nice resource for us.”

But ShareCare also maintains a list of caregivers to recommend to members who need professional help, whether that’s for two hours or around the clock. Caregivers, who are independent contractors paid for by the member, have been interviewed and had background and references checked by ShareCare.

“ We’re the matchmakers,” Wetherbee said.

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