August 18 2023

We (brother and sister) reached out to Umbrella Care when our parents were in their early 80s, had just sold the family home of 50+ years, and were transitioning through independent living to assisted living. We are not local, and in addition to the typical adjustment phase when moving out of a home, our parents were also each going through several significant health crises at the same time. Despite our best efforts, we were completely overwhelmed with trying to manage our parents' increasing needs. They frequently canceled needed doctor's appointments without telling us, and even when they did attend they were unable to retain what the doctors told them or give us an account of what happened. Enter Diane from Umbrella Care, who immediately threw herself into learning everything she could about our parents' multiple, complex issues. She worked tirelessly to get up to speed, and was soon accompanying our parents to doctor's appointments, providing us with detailed reports afterwards. She has already shepherded each of our parents through a couple of surgeries and other acute medical situations, which has been a lifesaver to us. Instead of having to rush in from different states to take care of logistics, we have been able to visit our parents as their (adult) children rather than their primary caregivers. We still take an active role in making important decisions for them, but with Diane on the case we never have to worry about what's going on when we're not there. Another of Diane's great strengths is how seriously she takes the dignity of the seniors she works with. She never loses sight of the fact that, however physically or cognitively disabled someone might be, that person is still an adult whose autonomy should be respected to the extent possible. She has consistently told us when she feels a doctor or aide has fallen short in this regard, and shared praise for the ones who get it right. And she never tires of finding creative ways to solve problems as they arise. To take only one example, when the aides were reporting that our parents were spilling a lot of food on themselves at meals, Diane took it on herself to research and find purpose-made "dining scarves" they could wear at meals that looked attractive and dignified, rather than allowing them to be put in aprons or bibs. We would be lost in this phase of our lives without the assistance from Diane and Umbrella Care. She is truly an advocate as well as a professional, and even if we did live locally we could never do what she does for our parents. We know she has their best interests at heart, and she never stops trying to find better ways to advance them. We are grateful.