Here’s what our clients and their family members have to say about AltaGolden…
Dearest Laura. I am very honored to have been a part of Bob and Margaret’s journey and I must say they’re both very lucky to have you. Please call if we could be of assistance. My sincere condolences. Betty Olaya RN, Elizabeth Hospice
Laura, Thank goodness they had you! Let us know if you need us. Best, Sharon Ramirez Chaplain, Elizabeth Hospice
Dear Laura & Staff, Thank you again for your excellent services. My parents John & Yolanda have been so happy with their caregiver Erica. She is a wonderful caregiver!! We also appreciate the rest of the staff members who work so hard to juggle schedules sometimes. Your special visits with gluten-free cookies are also appreciated. You are very kind. Your cookies are warmly appreciated and very yummy!!
Sincerely, John, Yolanda & very grateful daughter, Diana
The staff at Alta Golden were wonderful with my husband who has a difficult form of Dementia. They were caring and patient and very flexible yet very professional. He enjoyed going there and they brought out the best in him. When it came time for placement they were very helpful as well. Rita Zide, wife of Memory Center client
Wow!! I am so, so, so happy to have found this wonderful place with it’s outstanding people! Everyone goes above and beyond for the care, safety, health and happiness of the clients. Not only do we have their caregivers going to my parents home, my dad attends the memory center!! I have accompanied him on several occasions and it is a blast!! The clients are engaged, happy, active and safe!! A really wonderful program.
Honey bear is a beautiful white standard poodle who keeps the clients company as well. All in all, a well rounded, outstanding program!!
Thank you for all you do for my parents….and me!!
Laura some how always has the energy and finds the time to make that personal connection and check in with clients and family members. Not sure how she does it, but very, very much appreciated!! I am already looking forward to volunteering again!!!
Gerri Beth Borga, daughter of client
My family hired Alta Golden about a year and a half ago to provide care for my parents in their home for a few hours daily. Both my parents and us, their 2 sons, are extremely pleased with the choice we made. Our father is 96, blind, and, has Parkinson’s. Our mother is 93, has fibromyalgia, mild dementia and, is only partially mobile. They were both fiercely opposed to having anyone in the house to help them. After considerable prodding by us they finally relented to having help three to four hours a day. That is when Alta Golden came into the picture. The owner, Laura Barish, is very caring and knowledgeable. She has sent two highly qualified people to care for my parents. They shop, prepare meals and clean up, do laundry and light housework and keep an extremely careful watch on the medications taken by our parents. They also take them to all their doctor’s appointments and make certain that our parents follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter. Laura, herself, will drop in and visit our folks to see how they are doing. Through her, they have found a doctor willing to make house visits, making their life much easier, as getting out is traumatic for both of them. They have had a few medical emergencies between them and Laura accompanied them to the hospital and followed up on them, advocating for them in the hospital when the doctors seemed slow to respond to their needs. In another case, the care giver went with them to the hospital and when back in the house stayed for two evenings to ensure their safety. All along, my brother and I were informed and consulted with by Laura and her staff about each step needed. Most importantly, my parents are very satisfied with the attentive care they are given. All of us consider ourselves very fortunate for having found this gem.
Rick Yenofsky, son of client
My name is Tilda and I’m an epidemiologist. I have both a Masters degree and PhD from Johns Hopkins. The reason I’m telling you this is because I know what it means to be professional and do great work. I’ve been using AltaGolden for 5 years. I believe they are the reason I am still alive. Two years ago I had an internal bleed and almost died. The surgeon couldn’t fix the bleed and I was put on hospice. Miraculously I survived but was told the recovery would be long and difficult. I was despondent and lost all will to live. I asked AltaGolden to provide me with caregivers to help me as I felt my only recourse was to let go.
AltaGolden provided me with exactly the help I wanted and needed–no more and no less. Their caregivers were professional and caring. They provided me with support and companionship. They helped ensure that I was surrounded by friends, that I always had soft music playing, and they massaged my arms and legs and encouraged me to live. The result of all of this incredible support is that I chose to try to get better. I signed myself off hospice, started back with physical therapy, regained my strength, and then moved back to my apartment. Without their incredible support I would not be alive today. Every step of the way they were kind, conscientious, professional, and caring. I can’t imaging a better company to have in my corner. My family and I are all extremely grateful for the efforts of this great company and their wonderful caregivers. Since my recovery I have gone to London to watch my grandson be nominated for BAFTA awards, I went to New York to watch another grandson graduate from Medical School, and I went to Sacramento for a family reunion with all of my children and grandchildren.
None of this would have been possible without AltaGolden. Anna “Tilda” Sandberg, client
AltaGolden’s “Family” has been a God Send to myself and my siblings, but mostly my father. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, in 2013 with the begining stages of dementia . My frustration was, I needed a place for my Dad, that had programs designed to help him with his short term memory and keep him engaged. I tried other Elderly “Day Cares”, but they were noisy, crowded and the staff did nothing to help him with his memory nor assist him in activities.
Alta Golden Memory Center is staffed with people who greet him with a smile and hug every time we arrive. They assist him with puzzles, games, exercises, music, art projects and even for a while helped him remember how to use a cell phone, all in a quiet relaxed atmosphere. He feels safe here.
I also use their in home care several times a week. This service has been invaluable for me as I also care for my own home and family. For my father, it allows him to remain “independent” in his own home. He has the same two care givers, whom he adores and looks forward to their “visits”. They work with him on word games, prepare his dinner, clean up, encourage him to take walks, listen to music together, and even do an occasional load of laundry. If there is ever a question on what needs to be done they contact me. I have tried other in home services, but the care givers sat and watched TV and snacked on my father’s food. Never engaging him or stimulating his mind.
If you are looking for a welcoming, safe and stimulating center and/or in-home care for your loved one with any type of memory disorder, this is the place. You won’t be sorry, you’ll be as grateful as I am.
Lisa Chabot, daughter of AltaGolden client
In 2008 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She already lived with us and was able to care for herself during the day while my husband and I were at work. We noticed mid way through 2012 that the disease was causing her to decline and she was becoming unable to initiate daily living tasks (bathing, eating, picking up after herself). We made daytime as easy as possible with easy premade food items that could just be taken out of the fridge and consumed, which she still found difficult to do. We started to engage mom in discussions to get some help for her during the day while we were away. The discussions did not go well and she did NOT want a “stranger” to help her during the day. I finally had to realize that I was now in the parental role and that I needed to start acting on what needed to be done for her health and safety and stop asking for permission. My husband actually found AltaGolden online by searching for in home assistance for seniors. We had the difficult discussion with mom that we had engaged AltaGolden and they would be coming to the house to meet us and discuss our needs.
Both Laura and Nancy came to the house and it didn’t take more than 10 minutes for us to realize we made the right decision to engage them. They were both incredibly warm and friendly and immediately put all of us at ease with the process. Even mom was excited! It was immediately obvious that this isn’t just a business to them, they genuinely care about helping seniors live life to the fullest and to insure that they are able to stay in their homes as long as possible with kind, loving, skilled care. I loved the fact that unlike other similar businesses, they didn’t just have a pool of people ready to be “assigned.” I was very honest with them about my expectations of the type of individual I wanted them to try to find and they absolutely understood. It took them only a few days before they contacted us with their excitement regarding the individual they found. They wanted to arrange a meeting so both mom and we could meet her and see if we felt she would be a good fit. The meeting could not have gone any better than it did and we immediately felt comfortable with their choice. I think the importance of this is that I have heard horror stories from people about companies who just have people that they “dispatch.” May not be the same person every day and it is a job to these individuals. Alta Golden makes sure that they provide a caregiver that becomes part of your family and someone who truly has the best interest of the senior at heart.
Needless to say we started the service immediately and a little over two years later we cannot express how happy we have been with every aspect of AltaGolden. They make a personal visit once a month and send notes regarding any changes to mom’s environment that they feel may be needed. They email articles they feel might be of interest to us. They provide memory games that they swap out monthly so mom has some fun games to play with “her Vickie.” Yes mom refers to her caregiver as “her Vickie” and several times a week she will comment how she loves her dearly. Vickie helps with appointments, they do light housekeeping, she makes mom lunch every day, they share stories about their families, look at pictures and of course I love receiving the “selfies” they send to me at work. If laughter is the best medicine than I know mom is getting some healthy doses each day. Her demeanor when Vickie is there will warm your heart.
If you are reading this review because you are starting your own journey to find the best care for your aging parents or other relatives, I would strongly encourage you to let AltaGolden into your lives to provide this care. You will not regret your decision and you will know without a doubt that you made the right decision once you meet Laura and her staff. If I could rate AltaGolden more than five stars, I would.
Tricia Lambert, daughter of an AltaGolden client living with dementia
The Short Version ~
Without hesitation I recommend Laura and Alta Golden for anything to do with adult care. They did an amazing job with and for my dad.
The Gory Details ~
We have endured the loss of 3 family members over the last 18 months. In August of 2013 we lost our sister to a bad driver. Then, in July of 2014, we lost our dad’s 2nd love-of-his-life after their 15-year relationship. Dad had just returned from a month-long ordeal in a local, highly rated, skilled nursing facility (SNF – sniff). That facility for dad was a “less-than” experience. He came home completely bedridden, having gone in with the ability to walk with a cane.
We interviewed several in-home service providers and settled on Laura and her team. They would be responsible for all of dad’s daily care, maintenance, doctor visits, medications, meals, re-ambulation ~ everything.
At our insistence, they set-up 5 rotating in-home 24/7 caregivers; with the primary goal of re-ambulating him ASAP. We knew his recovery/rehab was going to take a few months. Dad had a vibrant and amazing mind – we did not want him to get bored with the same stories from the same person too quickly; or have a possible personality clash he would have to endure for a long period.
I spent quite a bit of time with dad and the AltaGolden team starting at the end of July, learning from, watching, and interacting with all of them. The care and caring were evident; it was not just a show for me, it was clearly their modus operandi.
Dad had no loss of mental faculties – so he and I discussed his likes and dislikes about his situation and the individual caregivers. He did state often that none of them could cook like mom or his 2nd life-partner – but, he respected them and appreciated what they did for him.
In late November, he had recovered a good portion of his ability to ambulate with a walker. Thanks in large-part to AltaGolden — and his drive to be self-sufficient again. We gave the caregiver that weekend off. He and I were headed out to dinner one evening and while getting in the car, I was not attentive enough, or close enough to catch him ~ he fell; breaking his hip. The story of his health and efforts to recover again ended on January 21st, 2015, when he passed with me sitting by his side.
Throughout his decline after the fall and ongoing hospitalization, Laura and her team continued to help, be supportive, and present without requesting compensation of any kind.
Bottom Line ~
I consider Laura and members of her team extended family – they provided quality care to dad and peace of mind to our family; we trusted them in caring for dad and would do so again without hesitation.
Eric Holzheimer, son of AltaGolden client
“Thank you for all of your help so far, and for all you have offered to provide going foward. I don’t know how we would have made it thus far without you. You can quote me on that for your website, and you can also relate that the passion and professionalism of the AltaGolden team continues to amaze and delight us. Caring for a loved one many miles away who needs daily attention,and help with everything from daily chores to seeing doctors , is an enormous challenge. We are so appreciative of your proactive initiatives on our behalf, your clear and regular communication with us, and most of all, your warm and loving support of our beloved uncle.”
Merrill Naughton, niece of an AltaGolden client living with Alzheimer’s
In referring to the Alzheimer’s Cafe: “Dear Laura, Thank you for starting the Alzheimer’s Cafe and for being so supportive of my family! It is such a big help to us in this difficult situation. Warmest regards, Janette”
Janette Mueller, family member of a loved one living with Alzheimer’s
AltaGolden is a great resource if you are searching to keep your loved one active, engaged, stimulated and socializing. Their personalized caregiving and dementia day care program made a big difference during my father’s struggles with Alzheimer’s-dependent dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease has several stages and unfortunately, there aren’t many effective treatments available for the symptoms at any stage. The best treatment programs for delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s, backed by multiple clinical studies, cite the importance of staying active physically, mentally, and socially. During the initial stage of Alzheimer’s seniors often recognize their declining lack of cognition. If you are a senior reading this review, this may be your reality too. If you find yourself in this position, AltaGolden’s dementia day care center can be a great resource in your own personal efforts to remain mentally and socially active. Several of the seniors that I met at AltaGolden were in this position; namely, doing everything they could to stay active and stave off the progression of the disease.
My father’s interaction with AltaGolden began during the intermediate stage of the disease. It was an awkward time. My father had transitioned away from a state of independence but was not yet in need full-time memory care. Still highly functional in many regards, my father simply could not organize his activities of daily living, and as a result, he spent most of his time either sleeping or trying to figure out how to turn on the TV. In my opinion, it is during this awkward time of the disease where AltaGolden’s caregivers, and their dementia day care program, really shine. Laura Barish and her team of caregivers created a personalized care program for my father. Caregivers became increasing involved in “queuing” (or prompting) my father’s daily preparations (showering, dressing, grooming, etc.). They would then transport him to the AltaGolden memory care facility where my father would spend his day. The caregiving was spot-on due to their efforts to understand my father and to reach him on his level of reality. And it was competitively priced. But what truly makes the AltaGolden special is that they couple this excellent caregiving with their dementia day care center.
The atmosphere at the day care center is fun. The staff get clients involved in exercises by presenting physical activities as “games” that are enjoyable and engaging. They also spend time with brain stimulation games which challenge cognition and memory while being genuinely enjoyable (I admit that participated too, from time to time). And finally, all of this takes place in context of peers; namely, other seniors with varying levels of dementia. Therefore, clients are more at ease and tend to interact with each other.
The results for my father were impressive. I wish I could say that they reversed the course of the disease, but in his case, they gave him a sense of purpose. He could never remember the day care center with any specificity, but he talked about it incessantly. He would refer to it as “the place on the hill where I work.” He would jokingly go on to say, “We never get anything done there, but we always have a good time!” It was a spirit that I had not seen in my father for some time.
AltaGolden can also directly benefit the primary caregiver (you!). You also need a respite in order to manage your own affairs. You can hire personal caregivers to provide respite care in the home of your loved one, but for an 8-hour day I’ve found the cost from most agencies is around $200 or more. AltaGolden can certainly provide private (and excellent/less costly) caregiving services, but the day care center is a cost-effective option that can spell you in your ongoing role as the primary caregiver.
One last word specifically about the staff; they are awesome. They will get to know your loved one and will be a resource for whatever is needed as the condition progresses. Laura Barish is somewhat of a savant when it comes to relating to individuals with dementia. I think she taught me more about how to deal with my father than I taught her. And the office managers, who have the massive task of coordinating schedules, are the most cordial and understanding in the business. All of them were instrumental in his care, and an invaluable resource when it finally came time to placing my father in a full-time memory care facility.
So, if you are a senior looking to stay active in the context of your peers, or a primary caregiver looking to setup a network of support for you and your loved one, or if you just need a day of respite care as you support someone with dementia, I can’t recommend AltaGolden enough. I would gladly give them 10 stars for their efforts. They were there for me and my father in a time of need and have made a lasting impact on both of our lives.