Rosemarie Ruggero is the CEO & Founder of ElderCare Advocacy.
Growing up with her 101-year-old grandmother ingrained in her a respect and appreciation for elders. Seeing the love and care her father poured into caring for his mother showed her what true compassion looked like.
After graduating from Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work, Rosemarie was hired by Eger Nursing Home as Director of Social Work, and what a wonderful 12 years that was.
She became Chair of the weekly Interdisciplinary Team meetings consisting of department heads of the Medical Nursing, Rehabilitation, Nutrition, and Recreations Departments. Periodic care plans were developed for each of its 336 residents medically complex residents. Rosemarie created the first Family Advisory Committee, instituted an intensive mental impairments program for all levels of staff, and submitted a written proposal to the Board of Trustees for an in-house Intergeneration Day Care Program for the nursing home residents and staff pre-school children.
Additionally, Rosemarie served on several community boards and worked with other agency leaders to provide borough wide training on Aging, Support Groups for Caregivers, and continues to advocate for local elders’ needs and legislation affecting elders.
While she loved the work at Eger Nursing Home, she felt limited in what she could offer, as nursing home placement is usually the last choice preferred by the family of the chronically ill. She interviewed hundreds of families while at Eger who struggled with having to place their family member in a nursing home and how deeply they cared for them but felt alternatives were lacking. Adult children wanted to care for their chronically ill parents—just as they did for them as children— but were frustrated by their inability to provide the continual care needed while balancing their own job and family commitments.
Their lack of awareness of resources available to care for their family member at home was the driving force that led Rosemarie to establish the first private Geriatric Care Management Practice on Staten Island. She wanted to maintain the elderly or disabled adults in their own homes and to advance their physical care, emotional well being, and to bring peace of mind to their family or advisors through expert advice and oversight.
This has been her life’s purpose and passion for the past 40 years. She and her team have helped thousands of caregivers and their family members find solutions to complex aging and disability issues. When Rosemarie started her private practice, she worked concurrently as a School Social Worker for 23 years, maintaining a dual career with expertise in both aging and childhood-developmental, physical, social/emotional delays, and disabilities.
Rosemarie recently graduated from an intensive Goldman Sachs Small Business Training Program, has run triathlons, was a dog handler and breeder, is a stained glass craftsman, and is the loving grandmother of two girls. She has devoted her life to helping people; even as a kid, she would always stick up for the “little guy.” Now the “little guy” is her elderly client, and the “big guy” is the bureaucracy.
While you’re dealing with the emotional aspects of caring for your family, let us handle the logistics.