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SAIL preparing for launch

By Staff | Jan 27, 2012

A new approach to eldercare has emerged in Shepherdstown.

The Shepherdstown Area Independent Living (SAIL) will celebrate its launch with members, volunteers and friends this Friday.

According to Judy Moore, founding director and chair of public relations and marketing for the group, SAIL’s mission is to help Shepherdstown’s senior citizens stay exactly where they want to: at home.

“The goal is to help seniors remain in their homes as long as possible,” she said.

Moore explained that for many senior citizens and others with disabilities, it becomes increasingly difficult to accomplish day-to-day tasks without some assistance.

Though seniors may need help with certain tasks, many wish to lead largely independent lives, in the comfort of the environment they’ve spent their lives in.

Moore said that after watching many friends become frustrated with the limited options for those living in the area who need extra help, she and a handful of others set out to bring SAIL to life.

Moore explained that SAIL’s creation is rooted in one member’s interest in something called the “village movement,” a neighbor helping neighbor system developed around the country by seniors who are assisted by other members of their community in their own homes.

Moore said that for the elderly in Shepherdstown, who do not have an easily accessible retirement community nearby with services to meet their needs, the “village” concept was very appealing.

SAIL will provide members with help going to and from the grocery store and appointments, with simple home repairs and can even provide members with basic companionship in times of need.

Moore said that SAIL is open to seniors and others with disabilities living in the 876 and 870 exchanges.

Members pay a yearly fee of $500 for individuals or $700 for a household.

Now comprised largely of volunteers, Moore said she hopes SAIL will become successful enough to hire a part-time director in the next year.

Moore said for this to happen, membership numbers will have to grow.

“Our goal is to have over 100 members by the end of 2012,” she said.

Those interested in volunteering with SAIL or those interested in more information can visit www.shepherdstownSAIL.org or contact info@shepherdstownSAIL.org

The SAIL office is located at the Parish House of Trinity Episcopal Church at 210 W. German St. The staff can be reached by phone at 304-870-SAIL.