Gals at Rest
Years In Business: 1 month
Number of Employees: 1
Elevator Pitch: “Love and care will do what medication can’t do.”
As part of our follow-up to the progress the Daughters of Zion CNPP grantee is making within Memphis, Shelby County, and beyond- we are highlighting their weekly Entrepreneur of the Week award. When asked why Dana Pearson was selected as the entrepreneur of the week, Dr. Gerald Kiner, PhD declared, “ ” Anyone that works with our seniors with the love, care, and compassion like Dana Pearson does deserves all the recognition in the world. She has a heart of gold. I would trust my mother with her any day. It’s a win-win for our community to have a business we can trust to take care of our senior citizens.”
Dana Pearson answered several questions for the entrepreneur of the week.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Dana Pearson and I am the owner of Gals at Rest, which is a senior citizen sitting service. About three years ago when my mom was in the hospital, the seniors would be sitting by themselves with nobody visiting them, nobody coming to check on them and that pricked my heart, so I’m just reminded when something pricks your heart, go after it. So, that is what made me start. My service is a sitting service, meaning that you’re sitting with the elderly. You are being a companion to them, you’re listening, you’re focusing, and they have your undivided attention. In the event, you want to go on vacation, or you need someone to sit with them at the hospital that you can’t be there, so they won’t be by themselves.
Q: How did you come up with that beautiful name, Gals at Rest?
A: My mom would always call everybody Gals. So, I fasted for about three days and God said, ‘Since your mom calls everybody gals, say Gals at Rest.’ That’s how I came up with that name.
Q: What has the response been to the name, and what’s the response been to your sitting service?
A: The response has been, and it blows people away when I came up with that name Gals at Rest. ‘They were like, ‘that is odd and we’ve never heard that before,’ but it was because of my mom. And because of her it pricked my heart to do this service. I have love for the elderly anyway but to ensure to have love for the elders and to make sure that they’re taken care of, not just because somebody is sitting with them, but you are sitting with them out of love and care.
Q: How do you feel when you hear about nursing homes and other places, the elderly are being abused and neglected? What does that make you feel, and how can you ensure your clients that that won’t happen to their mother or father if you’re sitting with them?
A: It bothers me, it hurts my heart because they would be treated the way I treated my mom. And I treated her with love and kindness, and care. And I treated her the way I wanted her to be treated, and the way that I was raised to treat them the same, with patience, love, listening, undivided attention, always focusing on them and them only, everything else is on the back burner.
Q. What is your elevator pitch?
A: My elevator pitch is, “Love and care will do what medication can’t do.”
Q: How did you come with that?
A: God gave me that again, because love and care, that means if I’m loving you, I’m caring for you. Even if you’re sick you want to get well, and medication isn’t doing that. So, love and care will do what medication can’t.
Q: How did you find out about the Daughters of Zion Community Navigator Pilot Program?
A: I’ll tell you, I thank God for Pastor Kiner. I was driving, and I only listen to 95.7, so I was listening to 95.7, they had an interview, they were interviewing somebody about business. And it came up with Dr. Kiner’s business, and I was like, “Oh, I can do that because I’m new at what I’m doing.” And I’ve been coming ever since and I love… everything has been very helpful to me, everything has just been awesome and amazing. And I’m doing steps and steps, and steps, I love it. Again, I thank God for Dr. Kiner and this business.
Q. What would you say to other entrepreneurs about being a part of the Daughters of Zion Community Navigator Pilot Program?
A. I will say do it. I will say try. I will say it will be worth it in the end. And not only am I excited about it, I’ve gotten others onboard as well, because it is something that has really helped me that I didn’t know. It has really helped me to get out of my comfort zone. It has really helped me to move forward. Even though I’m just now starting, because of this, this has really helped me. And I will tell anybody, come and you won’t be sorry.
Q. What’s a success story of Gals at Rest?
A. My success story is because I started, for starters it is simply that I started. And then, I know that it’s going to be a process, but I understand this well. I’m not going to focus on the process, but I’m going to focus on the promise. And the promise is God’s word that if I make one step, he’ll make two.
Q. What would you say, there’s a lot of companies in Memphis that work with the elderly. So, what would you say to someone that’s going through the internet looking for a company, and they see Gals at Rest, and they see five other similar named companies. What would you say to convince that person why they should trust you, Gals at Rest, with their loved one other than anyone else?
A. I will say this, they can trust me, because first of all, I’m going to, again, treat them the way I treated my mom, and my mom was a jewel to me. So, that means nothing under the sun, I don’t care what it was, she was always number one. So, if you entrust me with your elderly it will be the same way, because again, love and care will do what medication can’t.
Q. Talk about how your mother lived to 100 years of age.
A. If you treat people that way you want to be treated. You want somebody to be nice to you, you want somebody to be caring. You want somebody to listen to you and not just push you away, or be in a hurry. And the thing about it with my mom was, we bonded very well, so we always laughed a lot, we talked a lot. She taught me a lot of wisdom, and everything she taught me I applied and I remembered it.
And so, that means again, the things that she put inside of me is why I am the way I am because of what she did, and how she instilled in us. And so, that means that trickle down from her down to me. So, again, you won’t go wrong because love and care will do what medication can’t do. And when you put the love and care on good enough and correctly, the medication you won’t even need, because that means I’ve loved you back to life. I’ve cared for you back to life, I’ve nurtured you back to life. I’ve dealt with you back to life.
Q. Are you able to provide those kinds of services, 24-hour care?
A.Well, the care I would be doing is like, it would be allotted on a time frame. Like I would come in for probably five hours, then I would let somebody else come in another four or five hours, and then I would let somebody else. Because, I want everybody to make sure that she is getting their attention. They’re only having their eyes for her and her only. So, that means what they’re doing is listening to her, catering to her needs by I mean listening.
Because a lot of times if we just really be honest, elderly don’t require a lot, they don’t… All they want is attention. Me and my mom would laugh on the couch, we would laugh. She would hit me, and say, “Gal, I don’t know who is laughing more, is it me or you?” All they want is attention, you just give them attention and you love them. You nurture them, you take the time out with them. So, I would have instead of just eight hours, or one person just doing it, if you would just split that time up. And, to add to it Dr. Kiner, my staff is going to be just like me loving, caring, good heart. Treat their mom the way I treated mine, and that means a jewel that you cannot replace.
Q. What would you say to someone out there that’s reading this article or watching the video? What would you say and tell them if they’re struggling, they’re thinking about putting their parents in nursing homes, and they’re losing patience, they feel overwhelmed? What would your wisdom, your advice be to that person?
A. I will say, come to Gals at Rest, you won’t be sorry, because, again, they’re going to be treated the way that I treated my mom, and she was a jewel and a ruby. So, if you come to Gals at Rest you won’t be sorry, and you will get attention that nobody else will get. And then, the ones that I’m going to hire as well, they’re going to be just like me. They’re going to have a good heart, they’re going to have patience. They’re going to be loving, they’re going to be caring, they’re going to be kind. And they’re always going to make sure the time that they’re sitting with your loved one, they’ve got your undivided attention and nothing else matters but them.