“At Aldersbridge, we look at unmet needs in the community and meet them,” says CEO Richard Gamache, who has worked in elder care for 41 years. “Like the Rhode Island Foundation in its 100 plus years, we serve the underserved. Because of our roots and our values, we know we have a responsibility to our earth and its people.”
Formerly operated as United Methodist Elder Care, Aldersbridge Communities—currently comprised of four facilities providing assisted and independent living, long-term care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation—is now in its 51st year of providing such services in Rhode Island. In 2018, they rebranded as Aldersbridge, keeping its connection to Aldersgate in England where the Methodist movement started in 1738.
“Aldersbridge cares for people who have been turned down at other facilities,” noted Rick. “People with low and moderate income, and people who might otherwise be homeless.” They are the state’s largest assisted living provider for Medicaid recipients.
He acknowledges that the past two years have been difficult as COVID-19 hit the population they serve especially hard. “They have also been personally and professionally fulfilling for me and for our staff,” says Rick. “True character is revealed during times of turmoil and distress.” In April, 2020, when their first two cases appeared, he called the staff together to let them know that Aldersbridge would not mandate that anyone take care of the individuals. However, he was asking for volunteers. “All hands went up—it truly renewed my sense of purpose.”
Aldersbridge recently started an organizational endowment at the Foundation, a process that was a long time in the making according to Rick. Their relationship with the Foundation is two-pronged: their development team has received grant funding in the past, and a long-time trustee endorsed starting an endowment fund at the Foundation as a way of facilitating planned giving.
“It gives us tremendous peace of mind to know that our endowment will be managed by the Rhode Island Foundation,” says Rick. Their endowment will be invested in socially responsive funds, and Rick hopes to grow the assets. “We have been reaching out to the underserved for 51 years and want to continue for at least another 51.”