old business

Anne Vardar, left, and her mother Sharron Olson are preparing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Share Care Services, the oldest privately-owned home care services business in Glynn County.

Sharron Olson started Share Care Services 30 years ago, after working in the health care industry as a registered nurse who believed patients deserved a higher level of care than her employers provided.

“I worked for a couple of large home health care businesses in Georgia, and I wanted to do things my way,” she said. “We’re small, and we’re able to react quickly.”

The business, which currently has 17 employees, operated in Brunswick more than two decades before Olson said the building they worked from was too large for their needs. The business moved to its current location on Demere Road in St. Simons Island more than seven years ago.

Olseon was part of a group that encouraged the General Assembly to require home health care businesses be licensed to ensure patients receive a high level of care two decades ago.

The industry has changed in the past three decades thanks to new technology and medical advances.

Anne Vardar, the company’s administrator and Olson’s daughter, has been with the family business since 1992. She said the company has a low turnover rate and has one employee who has been with the company since the business opened Aug. 1, 1989.

Computers have enabled the company to streamline information, set up appointments and update primary care physicians about any changes in their patients’ health.

“You get a better picture of a client’s condition with computers,” she said. “We can communicate with family members. We’re available 24/7.”

The business provides a variety of services, including skilled nursing, personal care, shopping, house cleaning, cooking meals, transportation to doctors’ visits and reminders to take medication.

New health care laws also do a better job of protecting the privacy of patients, Olson said. And studies show quality home health care after surgery reduces hospital readmissions, Vardar said.

What has led to the company’s longevity is the family atmosphere among employees and the genuine bond the workers establish with those under their care. Employees have sat with patients recovering from surgery or a treatment. Olson said she has even watched a dog while a patient received a medical procedure.

Olson said she has cut back the time she spends working, but she gets too much gratification to stop working completely.

“I still work in the business, but not as many hours as in the past,” she said. “I just love it.”

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