Shari M. Geller
Shari M. Geller holds a Master of Social Work, a Certificate in Aging and Gerontology, and is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager. Shari has been working with seniors since 2005. She has been a member of the Aging Life Care Association (formerly NAPGCM) since 2005, the National Association of Social Workers and has proudly served on the Alzheimer’s Community Care Advisory Council of South Palm Beach County. Her vast experience in empowering seniors has provided Shari with an unparalleled knowledge of the area’s senior resources, which has allowed her to provide the best care to her clients.
“What I do is more than a job, it is a privilege. The services we provide to our clients and their families is something I take to heart. We aren’t in the business of checking off boxes, we specialize in caring for loved ones and establishing peace of mind. I always think to myself, this is someone’s mother, uncle, grandparent, or friend. This is a human life and I feel blessed that I have the skill set, and the opportunity to assist families, and their loved ones, and to make a positive difference in all of their lives.”
Amy Decker serves as our Director of Client Relations. Amy has been serving the senior community and their families for 5+ years. The experience Amy gained working in an Elder Law Firm guided her to her true passion, assisting the elderly and disabled.
Amy’s role as Secretary for the Palm Beach County Partnership for the Aging Organization allows her to work with a myriad of service providers, making a difference in the senior care community. This assisted Amy in her role as the primary coordinator for the Annual Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys Conference called “Elder Concert”.
Amy also serves as a Vitas Hospice Patient Advocate. She is passionate and eager to put her plethora of skills to the test at Senior Options.
“I am excited to now learn from the best Care Managers in South Florida. I truly feel privileged to reach this place in my career and feel confident in saying “Things you are passionate about are not random, they are in fact your calling.”
Lori Nordheim is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who holds a bachelors degree from Florida State University, in Tallahassee, Florida and a Masters Degree from Barry University in Miami, Florida. Lori has an extensively diverse background in the field of social work. In the course of her career, she has worked with terminally ill patients for hospice, and as a Geriatric Care Manager for a guardianship firm in South Florida. She has worked as part of a multidisciplinary team with the Pediatric Endocrine and Diabetes Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Center at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando Florida. Lori is dedicated to her patients and is a hard worker.
“I love what I do and thoroughly enjoy working with the elderly, they have seen so much in their lifetime, they truly are the greatest generation”
Meryl Berdugo holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. She has worked with individuals with challenges ranging from emotional disorders, Down Syndrome, cognitive disorders, Autism, Asperger’s, as well as physically impaired individuals. Meryl applies her vast knowledge and experience with special needs individuals to elderly patients who suffer from similar disabilities and cognitive disorders. In addition, Meryl holds a certificate from the University of Miami Health Care Navigator Program. She works with patients by helping them navigate through the often complex health care system. Meryl’s latest and best accomplishment is the continued work she does with her therapy dog, Lola. She trained with Lola as her handler while working with patients in hospitals, drug rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. Meryl and Lola are known to leave all of our clients with smiles on their faces.
“When I see how individuals with addictions, psychological issues, Alzheimer’s and other neurocognitive disorders respond to Lola the second we walk into the room, it is absolutely amazing. Dogs can keep elderly patients engaged in mental stimulation and movement. Research has proven over and over again how petting, cuddling, hugging and talking to a dog can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, enhance fine motor skills, release endorphins, and decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness. Lola opens up a line of communication with the client. She allows me to push through, gain deeper insight, and facilitate healing.”
Lola is a Golden Doodle, one of the most intelligent breeds available. She has a curly coat that doesn’t shed and is even recommended for people who are severely allergic to dogs. Lola began training to become a therapy dog when she was four months old. After a year of intensive training, Lola passed her Canine Good Citizen Test then became certified as a pet therapy dog with Therapy Dogs International. Lola is part of the volunteer pet therapy program at Cleveland Clinic Florida. She also makes visits to the Senior Options clients. Lola is extremely affectionate and loving with babies, children, and adults.
“I am like a movie star. I can’t go anywhere without people stopping to talk to me and take my picture. I love to pose. I love when I walk into a room and I can cuddle with everyone. Once you meet me, your heart will melt. I also come very decorated. I love to wear feathers in my hair, bandanas around my neck, and beautiful bows. I love putting smiles on faces.”