Kimberlee D. Goldsmith, M.D.
July 25, 2016
To whom it may concern,
As a physician, I thought that I would be able to research and select the best possible assisted living facility for my aging father. I have learned, the hard way, that bigger is not better, and that what you see is often quite different from what you get. While the staff may care deeply for the residents, they are often overwhelmed by volume and needs. Residents who are less demanding tend to fall through the cracks. My father was in this category.
A friend recommended hiring a Senior Care Advocate, to ensure that Dad’s needs were being met, when I could not be with him. As he is in Virginia, and I am in New York, this was the best advice that I could have been given. I was lucky enough to meet Donna O’Hara, who has become like family to us. She has been able to make certain Dad gets to doctors appointments, and accompanies him, so he is not alone or confused. She helps with daily needs when necessary. And most importantly, she monitors the staff, and ensures that Dad is getting the assistance he needs.
He had an episode of bradycardia, and Donna made certain he was seen by a cardiologist when the house doctor failed to evaluate him. In spite of this, he became weaker, and she called me with her concerns. I honestly believe that he would have died without her care and concern. She had him transported to the emergency department, which would not have happened without her intervention. He was sent to a different facility for subacute rehabilitation, and thrived there. She then helped orchestrate his move to this better facility, and has continued to monitor his care there.
While facilities do have internal personal care assistants, I feel that having an independent advocate does put the facilities on notice, and improve care. I cannot give Donna a high enough rating. She has saved my father, and given me piece of mind, both of which are priceless. I would recommend hiring her to anyone who has a family member in assisted living, or is considering moving into assisted living themselves.
Kimberlee D. Goldsmith, M D