Creating a feeling of home
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
That is the philosophy Tammie Guy and her mother apply to.
Guy, 45, and her 66-year-old mother, Terry Loeffler, were laid off in a span of days.
Both had been working as managers of mental health facilities, with Guy running a 26-bed facility and her mom operating a 66-bed facility.
This was a couple of years ago.
“We took a bad turn, a closed door, stewed on it for a couple of weeks and then decided to open up our own place,” Guy said.
“It took a lot of determination.”
And last week, that work paid off as they held the grand opening of Graceland Gates last week (June 27).
Graceland Gates is a long-term care home for young adults with disabilities. The 24/7 facility is a non-institutional setting.
“It started as a dream for my mom and I as we wanted to open up a care home for young adults with disabilities because a lot of them end up getting put in seniors homes,” Guy said.
“They are young, they don’t need to be in a seniors care home.
“We decided we wanted to open up our own place.”
They bought four acres of land beside Williams Park and offer a six-bed care facility.
“We wanted to be in the country (and) this is like they are living in a little garden,” Guy said.
The goal is to create a feeling of home rather than an institution.
“We try to get them to be more like living with their family,” she said.
As for the reward for their line of work, Guy said it is “to see the smile on the residents’ faces and on their families’ faces.”
“And knowing we are helping someone have a better life.”
Some of the features of Graceland Gates include an on-site heated outdoor pool and hot tub; WiFi and cable TV in all the rooms; aqua therapy, exercising and physio; and more.
Guy and Loeffler take turns staying on site. The entire facility is wheelchair accessible.
For more information, click here.