We work together to support your loved ones.


Learn MoreMy Vision and Experience


My name is Dorothy Guajardo and my mission is to be an advocate and elder care advisor for you and your family as you navigate the confusing and often frustrating world of senior care and senior services.  I am passionate about using my years of experience in various areas of senior care to help you find the right care or living situation for your aging loved one.  

My journey to become an elder care specialist started when I became the primary caregiver for my mother who suffered for many years from congestive heart failure.  I cared for her until she passed away on hospice in 2005. I have been in your shoes and I know how scary it can be to try to navigate things like home care and hospice when you have never experienced them before. This experience inspired me to pursue a degree in Gerontology because I saw the high demand for people with expertise in the needs of the aging population.  I attended San Francisco State where I received my graduate degree in Gerontology, the study of old age, the process of aging, and the particular problems of old people.

Image

After graduating I jumped into the senior care industry where I gained the experience I will use to help you find the best care for your loved one.  I completed 480 hours of an Administrator Training Program in a local Assisted Living and Memory Care community where I was able to shadow all of the directors and see first hand what their jobs entail.  Many of these hours were spent working in the memory care unit where I became confident in working with residents experiencing many different forms of dementia.  I then began working for the Northern California branch of the Alzheimer’s Association.  Through this position I made connections with important resources in the local community that can make caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s and dementia easier.  Connections like home care agencies, day programs, support groups for families and people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, and hospice. I then became the Assistant Executive Director of a local memory care where I gained expertise in the workings of a memory care community.  I know everything required to move into an Independent, Assisted Living and Memory Care community.  I can lead you through the process of moving a loved one into a community smoothly.  Let me take the lead on gathering paperwork while you concentrate on your loved one.


Support

I am an advocate for you and your family. We will meet to determine the best senior care in Sonoma County and Marin County that works for both you and most importantly for your loved one.


Education

With a Master’s degree in Gerontology from SF State University and an RCFE (Residential Care for the Elderly) licence, unlike many other placement agents, Dorothy offers unique insider knowledge through her detailed investigations into evaluations and complaints by state reporting agencies.


Placement

There are so many options in Sonoma and Marin Counties for senior placement and care! I help you sort through and evaluate all of the options available to you, from assisted living, to memory care and more.


Advocacy

Dorothy serves on the Board of Directors for Senior Advocacy Services of Sonoma County and is a Liaison for Sonoma County Adult and Agency Services.



I also have work experience in skilled nursing.  I volunteered in a skilled nursing facility shadowing the speech pathologists and occupational therapists to gain knowledge of therapies available for dementia residents. I was also the Admissions and Marketing Director for a local Santa Rosa skilled nursing facility.  Just as I am well versed in Assisted Living and Memory Care communities I am also very knowledgeable about Skilled Nursing.  I can explain the different services provided to residents in a skilled facility as well as help you understand how your insurance works for you in this setting.

Overall my goal is to work tirelessly for you and your family.  I will meet with you to determine the best situation that works for both you and most importantly for your loved one.  Let me use my years of experience and knowledge of the senior care industry to find the best next step for your personal situation.


Image

“There are four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.”

- Rosalyn Carter, Former First Lady

senior advocateCommunity Involvement


Member of Petaluma Chamber of Commerce and the Age Friendly Sonoma County Committee sponsored by the Council on Aging.

Through this community effort, Sonoma county was deemed age friendly through the WHO in Switzerland.

This designation can help to provide grant money for elders in our community in need of low income housing, transportation, and socialization.


Board member for Senior Advocacy Services which advocates for residents in nursing homes and gives voice for seniors who may be facing eviction or need help with medicare.

The Ombudsman program trains volunteers to defend residents’ rights and resolve problems in assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities. They also serve as mediators between family and facility to work out problems and provide mediation for residents and facilities.

Dorothy was fundamental in implementing the Empathy Connection program (based on the Alive Inside film) at an elder care community in Petaluma California. She worked to bring students from the Casa Grande High School and elders from The Oaks together through music and inter-generational shared community.

Read more about the work of Music and Memory and the Alive Inside program to be inspired about what is possible!

Need someone on your side?

Don’t let another day go by worrying about what to do next!