Donna Vallario has been a tireless advocate for the elderly for her entire professional career, having served in the capacities of Director of Adult Day Care and Memory Care Director with prominent adult-care organizations such as the Atria, Briarcliff Manor, New York, and Wartburg, Mt. Vernon, New York.
As a six-year member of the Alzheimer’s Association Advisory Committee, Donna is no stranger to the very unique population of people, who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.
Donna’s program creativity skills have been put to good use during her career with the development of various programs designed specifically for optimum care of people with dementia. One of her creations was the development of a Multi-Sensory Room to stimulate or soothe the senses of memory-impaired participants.
Donna is a seasoned educator having filled this role often by training staff in a myriad of best-care strategies in caring for people with dementia.
In addition to her professional work, Donna is very active in community outreach. Aware of the tremendous stress that most caregivers experience, she developed a Caregiver Support Group & Bereavement Counseling service.
For six years Donna was Executive Director of Just Like Home, Inc., a social model adult care center, which she co-founded and managed long before adult day care achieved the popularity it has today.
During her entrepreneurial stint with Just Like Home, Donna received an award from the county’s Office for the Aging for her formation of an inter-generational program, which provided a daily opportunity for interaction between elders and children.
Donna’s life passion is evident – helping people, especially the elderly and more specifically, those afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. Her goal is to effect change in the manner that care is delivered to the memory-impaired community at large.
While Donna’s hot button is advancing the cause for effective care of people with dementia, she has also proven herself in the areas of budget management, administration, government compliance, marketing, and strategic planning.
In whatever role Donna finds herself, her genuine care and devotion towards people with dementia, in addition to her well-honed skill set in meeting the needs of this community, breeds success in terms of resident occupancy and program participation. Her drive and enthusiasm inspires those around her to meet the stringent status she demands in care management.
In a departure from her usual staff positions, Donna recently joined the staff of Engaging Alzheimer’s LLC as a Dementia Coach. In this role, she is better positioned to achieve her life’s goal of creating positive change in the way people with dementia are cared for and perceived by society.
As a Dementia Coach, Donna is able to have a wider impact on dementia awareness issues as well as being able to train and encourage a broader spectrum of healthcare professionals to adopt the standard of care this population deserves and requires.
Donna is a graduate of Long Island University with a M.S. in Education Guidance and Counseling. She also holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY.