"Merrill Stone has been a godsend for our family. Her warm and generous nature combined with her experience and training in gerontology has made her indispensable in helping us look after our father, who, after a distinguished 50 year career as a psychiatrist in New York City, fell victim to progressive dementia. Having moved out of the city ourselves, able only to visit, we needed someone to serve as our eyes and ears, to be both companion to our father as well as a clinical sounding board for us. Merrill has done just that and more, adapting to his changing capacities, keeping him in touch with both the external world around him and the internal human founts of laughter, friendship and good cheer. Seeing her interact with others as well, I know that these qualities and abilities are not for our father alone - she takes genuine delight in reaching out and connecting with people of all ages and capabilities.
When my sister and I realized that dad needed help, we reached out through our own social networks and within days Merrill's name came to us. Not only was she qualified, she lived in the neighborhood! I first met Merrill soon after, as the three of us met at a local restaurant to size each other up. My sister and I arrived first, somewhat subdued after a couple days of looking into home nursing options and possible diagnostic avenues for our father. The door to the restaurant opened, we turned to look and knew it had to be Merrill, a literal breath of fresh air. We bonded quickly, set up an initial meeting with dad and it was clear they were going to be buddies. Not only did they immediately start laughing together, but her technique of reacting to each small interaction with "yes, and" rather than "no, but" was obviously effective and beneficial. Merrill has continued to work with us to ensure our father's quality of life is as uncompromised as possible, becoming not just his friend, but ours as well. She has a gift for working with the elderly, and my entire family is very glad we found each other."
Matt Rosenberger, Son of client
"Again, I thank you, Merrill, for your ongoing care and concern in helping [my relative] to navigate and, to the degree possible, enjoy what must be more often than not for him a very confusing world."
Sally C., Related to client
"It is with great delight and enthusiasm that I recommend Merrill Stone to any future employers. She is good at so many things because she is thoughtful, skilled at caregiving, knowledgeable about aging issues given her masters in gerontology, fun to be with, and deeply caring. My brother and I hired her 3 years ago in January 2018 to work with and be a companion to our aging father, who was showing increasing cognitive decline. He was reluctant at first to admit anyone new into his orbit-- and my brother and I worried that we would have to continue looking. But Merrill has a unique and deep ability to connect with people-- and in particular the elderly. She made friends with our father, guiding him to doctor appts he didn't want to go to but needed to, helping him eat well and regularly, getting him outside on walks, keeping him engaged socially and cognitively, and so much more. She was our person on the ground because my brother and I do not live near our dad--and though I visited often during those initial months--we needed someone we could trust to help our dad, to be our eyes and ears at doctor appts, to help make sure he stayed safe and healthy. She did so much more--he was safe for certain, but he was very happy as well--and that was --and remains --such a huge blessing. About 18 months after that first meeting, we moved our dad to an assisted living facility near where he had lived. Merrill continued her excellent work--- and frankly she became the light in our dad's life--and still is though his dementia is much progressed from when she first met him. They laugh together, she invites him to engage with her when the rest of us have more difficulty doing so. It is a true pleasure to watch Merrill with our dad. Now more than ever as his abilities diminish, I love seeing him laugh with her and come out of the "distance and remoteness" that dementia can cause.
I recommend Merrill so very highly to you. She will be a great companion and caregiver to your loved one. She would be wonderful working as an activities director at an assisted living or dementia care facility. She brings light and laughter wherever she goes. She is deeply skilled at her work and yet so deftly does she draw out the people she works with that they see her as a friend and companion, not someone who is "working" with them.
You would be lucky indeed if Merrill comes to work with and for you and your family or your facility. She is a gem!
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about Merrill. Please reach out to me if you would like."
Kate Staley, Ph.D., Daughter of client
"I couldn't have gotten through this move without dear Merrill."
"Merrill has been a godsend for our family...she has continued to work with us to ensure our father's quality of life is as uncompromised as possible, becoming not just his friend, but ours as well."
- Matt Rosenburger
"Merrill has a unique and deep ability to connect with people -- and in particular the elderly...She brings light and laughter wherever she goes."
- Kate Staley, PhD
"Thank you for your ongoing care and concern in helping [my relative] to navigate and, to the degree possible, enjoy what must more often than not be for him a very confusing world."