GERIATRICIAN AND DEMENTIA EXPERT

Elizabeth Landsverk MD and Michelle Dhanak MD have worked withliterally thousands of patients and families. Here are testimonials and excerpts from letters written by some of them:

Dr. Landsverk communicates with me very well in regards to my Mom. She goes out of her way and I have even spoken to her on a Sunday from her home! (Ten stars!) Dr. Landsverk has always returned answers or any information regarding my Mom very quickly and in a way that’s understandable (Big Kudos!)
Dear Dr. Landsverk:

I want to thank you for this past year of care for my mother. When you started to visit my Mom in March 2017 at her home, I was so grateful. I was past the breaking point as a long-distance caregiver. As you know, I live over 300 miles away from my Mother. She lived alone with physical, mental, cognitive, emotional and dementia issues and absolutely would not move to a higher level of car at her home. She often would refuse any care from her doctor who was nearby. That level of care was very inattentive at best for my Mothers issues. So, I traveled up and down the state several times a month.

When you came into our situation you really nailed down the issues and were there for us as Mother deteriorated. Your timely letter helped us go through the paces to get her more help through Visionary Care Management at home. Janice King and Yana did not give upon us and you didn’t either.

Without your help we would not have found the wonderful care home she is in now. All the helpful people that helped us through Mothers transition was started from you. You were the seed that grew into this group of caregivers that don’t give up on my Mother and us the family even with things that were challenging.

I thank God for you really and hope and believe that when you someday retire the person that takes on your caseload is as thoughtful and astute as you are to us and my Mother.

Sincerely, Thank You,
— Edwina A. and Family
Dr. Dhanak has been my mom’s primary care physician For a few months. I couldn’t be more pleased. She is very personable, always available, and always keeps me in the loop. I highly recommend her as a physician for the elderly.
— Tom M. - Rancho Mirage, CA
What a wonderful visit we had with Dr. Elizabeth today. What an absolute blessing Out of Heaven she is.

Thank you and thank you so much for all of your help. We are all so encouraged.
— Nancy H.
I just got home from a short visit with my mom and I’m happy to report that it was a night and day difference from our recent experience. She called me at work (in a pleasant voice) and said “it would be a dream if I could drop by after work tonight” (it’s not on the way and I initially said no because I was exhausted). But while I was grocery shopping I kept replaying her request, and noting the difference in her voice so I decided to stop by. She was thrilled to see me and was quite understanding that it would be a quick visit. Amazing - no teary goodbyes. ;-)

During the visit she showed me 3 notes that she had written to family today - this is HUGE - showing initiative and also interest in others. She kept saying she can’t write as well as she used to but I kept encouraging her and telling her how great it was that she was writing. She continues to read the Anne of Green Gables books.

it looks like we are definitely moving in a POSITIVE direction. Thank you so much for working with us on this.
— Patient’s Daughter - 2/28/2018
For more than two years Dr. Landsverk has helped my mother (and our family) deal with the heartbreaking impact of vascular dementia. After we made the decision to move my mom out of her home because of her extreme anger, paranoia, and delusions, Dr. Landsverk evaluated her and made the thoughtful decision to put her on several medications, including certain anti-psychotic medications. She clearly explained to us that she only believes in using these medications if the patient is suffering in some way. My mom was clearly suffering, as she thought everyone around her (including my dad) was hurting her and she was constantly scared and angry. Dr. Landsverk explained the risks and benefits of the medications and helped us to understand that using the medications could help my mom to suffer less.

It became apparent almost immediately that my mom’s delusions and anger were lessened by the medications. She did not seem at all overmedicated or sedated — just less agitated. In fact, she made friends in her memory care community and engaged in many activities. Dr. Landsverk regularly checked in with my mom to make sure her behavior still warranted the ongoing use of the medications. At one point, she seemed less agitated, so Dr. Landsverk decreased the dosages. However, after doing so, my mom’s agitation increased, so Dr. Landsverk brought the dosages back up. If my mom occasionally seemed overmedicated, Dr. Landsverk reduced or eliminated the medications as appropriate. It became clear that this is a careful balance and Dr. Landsverk has the knowledge and experience to navigate these challenges.

The fact that she will travel to my mom where she lives is also a lifesaver. There is no way we could easily get her to a doctor’s office, given her challenging behavior.

We appreciate everything that Dr. Landsverk has done for my mom. She has made a huge difference in our lives.
— Deborah H. - 1/18/2018
Dr. Dhanak has been my mom’s primary care physician for a few months. I couldn’t be more pleased. She is very personable, always available, and always keeps me in the loop. I highly recommend her as a physician for the elderly.
— Tom M. - 12/7/2017
Dr. Landsverk is brilliant and a godsend for my wife Kate who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2013. My wife’s case is more complicated than most due to her significant behavioral issues. As I learned more about this terrible disease, doctors have different protocols in dealing with dementia. Dr. Landsverk is expert in utilizing protocols that bring some normalcy back into the patient’s life instead of just sedation, which unfortunately ends up being the default protocol of many other doctors. I feel extremely fortunate to have found Dr. Landsverk and highly recommend that anyone with a loved one who suffers from dementia utilize her extraordinary services in geriatric medicine. It is confidence inspiring to know that my Kate is not going to have to live the rest of her years sedated in a care facility. Another big benefit of Elder Consult is that Dr. Landsverk makes house-calls and has a support team that handles all the administrative tasks more efficiently than I have ever encountered. I don’t think you could find anyone more qualified in geriatric medicine, she is absolutely expert and I highly recommend her.
— Phil B. - 10/20/2017
I was lucky enough to find ElderConsult nearly four years ago. My mother was suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s and I wasn’t happy with the level of care she was receiving at Kaiser. To further complicate matters, mom was immobile and extremely fearful of leaving her facility to go to Kaiser.

Fortunately, Dr. Landsverk and her wonderful team came to the rescue. Not only did they see my mother personally at her facility but they also provided a secondary perspective on my mother’s medical care. To those of you who have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s easy to be blinded by one opinion and or Doctor. Mom’s MD at Kaiser was good (on the whole) and meant well but as I came to learn he wasn’t always right nor as involved with my mother’s care as I wanted him to be. Dr. Landsverk and her team made subtle adjustments to my mother’s treatment (medication, physical therapy, diet, etc.) that had a profound impact on her health and quality of life. Four years later my mother has defied the odds and is still with us.

Dr. Landsverk takes her job very seriously. She’s constantly monitoring the newest developments in the fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia. She’s also highly thought of in her field of expertise as a noted author and speaker on geriatric medicine. After spending just a few minutes with Dr. Landsverk you can sense her intelligence, dedication and passion. Many Alzheimer’s suffers are seen by a ‘general’ physician which is fine but Dr. Landsverk and her team specialize in elderly patients and are able to draw from a narrow but incredibly deep breadth of experience. The elderly and their health is ElderConsult’s sole focus.....

Recently, I tried to save my mother the trauma of going to Kaiser to receive the Zoster vaccine. Once again ElderConsult came to the rescue and administered the vaccine in mom’s bedroom. They also provided smart, out-of-the-box, nuanced and practical suggestions to increase my mother’s quality of life that are rarely ever given from my her managed care physicians - from getting a gel pad for her wheelchair for added comfort and less stress on her spine to serving her more ice cream which would help her teeth while giving her more pleasure as opposed to calcium supplements which she detests.

I’d also like to praise ElderConsult’s incredible team of nurses. Ann Kositsky has been invaluable to my mother’s continued health and happiness and is an extension of Dr. Landsverk herself. Additionally, Jane Ammenti who handles much of ElderConsult’s logistics is incredibly nice and keeps the ElderConsult ‘ship’ running smoothly.

I hope my mother is with us for many more years. Whatever happens, I will know that thanks to ElderConsult I did everything in my power to make sure mom received the best medical care possible thereby not only improving her health but also her quality of life. For me, that’s priceless........
— Thomas K. - 2/26/2016
Brilliant. Great doc, knows what she’s talking about, gets things done. Doesn’t put up with BS from unprofessional nurses, aides, etc. Will fight for her patients.
— PY
My father was experiencing aggressive dementia at home and was deteriorating rapidly. He was treated by drugs at our east bay hospital and other doctors but was still having issues. He was accepted in an assisted living facility that was accustomed to aggressive behavior but continued to get worse. He had to go back to another hospital where he was given more drugs by different psychiatrists and hospitalists. He continued to deteriorate.

That is when Dr. Landsverk was recommended. She stepped in and immediately began adjusting medications working tirelessly to find the right mix that would help his specific situation. She has confidence, humility and medical expertise mixed with compassion and she consistently acted that way toward my father and our family.

Slowly he began to get better. Dr. Landsverk did many tests and watched him very closely. His memory slowly returned and his aggression ceased. She also discovered other non-dementia-related medical problems and treated those as well. Dr. Landsverk is an outstanding doctor, very professional and very caring. She is truly a patient advocate and a blessing from God. She is well known and respected on the peninsula. Doctor Landsverk succeeded in achieving stability for my father when at least 6 other doctors and two hospitals could not. She is an outstanding aggressive dementia geriatric medical specialist and deserves the highest recommendation possible.
— Dave G.
Dr. Landsverk’s saved us all this past year. She was recommended by a close friend, and when I contacted her, described my mother’s mental state of aggression/anger/depression, she was there immediately to assess her and get her the medications she needed to get back to a state where we could seek care for her.

Then her continued attention to check ups and follow-up calls, etc., was something that I had not experienced with all of my mother’s previous physicians.

Mom is now in an assisted living facility and happy and enjoying life—something she had not been able to do for more than ten years. In short, Dr. Landsverk is an exceptional geriatric specialist. I can’t praise her enough.
— Joanie C.
I have observed in my husband a total turn-around; the facility at which he lives is extraordinary, the staff caring, competent—they like him, wanted him to stay, but there was a time when his removal was being considered. I attribute this remarkable turn of events to Dr. Landsverk’s intervention.

When at home, the meds were wrong, (diabetes controlled with meds, restless legs in the extreme with Requip, and vascular dementia); he was awake all night; he would cook, (I was awakened by the smoke alarm, a frying pan turned on high; the microwave oven turning element burned. . .; at 3 a.m. he was lighting a pipe with a blow torch—yes, near a car with a tank filled with gasoline!); and exhibited other destructive behaviors, showed poor judgment, had to be eating and/or doing something or going somewhere at all times; I took him to art classes, calligraphy classes, yet could not fill his hours with enough activity. I was exhausted due to sleepless nights.

Recently, my husband remarked, “Thank you for putting me here; the food is delicious, the people treat me so well; I think I’ll live out my days here.” I attribute this entirely to the expertise of Dr. Landsverk. She is no doubt highly qualified in pharmacology, and in my husband’s care, reduced or deleted previously prescribed medications. I can’t say enough good things about her; and I concur with others regarding her on-site visits, reducing stress, trauma to client and caregiver. I therefore highly recommend Dr. Landsverk.
— LaVonne F.
Dr. Landsverk has been professional and compassionate in finding solutions for my aging female relative that give her the best possible outcome. She is not over-sedated and genuinely seems to be enjoying her life more. In our case, the behavioral problems were limiting where she could live and how she could be treated when medical problems arose. Because of Dr. Landsverk’s care she has been able to remain in her current living situation, (with less frequent trips to the ER!) and I am able to spend quality time with her, rather than running interference between her and her caregivers.
— Maggie B.
Dr. Landsverk was an absolute Godsend to our family as our dad struggled with Alzheimer’s. We were at our wit’s end when the Alzheimer’s Assoc. recommended her to us. Dad was a wanderer, going through a very aggressive time with his illness and nearly jumped out of a car while I was driving him home on Hwy. 280 from a doctor’s appt. His regular doctor, a gerontologist, didn’t know how to treat his extreme behaviors.

“He got kicked out of his previous assisted living complex when he tried to jump out of the 3rd floor window. When we moved him to the new place he was being very aggressive with the caregivers and we were unsure if they would keep him there.

Dr. L came to see our dad (we didn’t have to drive him anywhere which was always stressful) and very calmly and respectfully observed his odd behavior and immediately put him on an anti-depressant and other meds to calm him down. Within a couple of weeks he was much, much better. And, he was able to stay at the facility and get along with others. This was amazing to us and to the facility and made his last years much more pleasant for him as well. He was not doped up, and sleeping all the time and he was able to interact appropriately for the most part. (Alzheimer’s is an awful disease!)

When physical manifestations of the disease took hold Dr. L was always there to lend a hand and help forge a plan with the hospital or with the doctor. She was very professional, proactive and extremely compassionate with our family.

We highly recommend Dr. Landsverk to anyone seeking help for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. You will not find a more dedicated doctor.”
— Julie B.
…I had a case of peritonitis and almost died. I wanted to die. I had to turn things around, and with the help of Dr. Landsverk, I was able to live one day at a time and be happy to be alive…
— Henrietta
I noticed he was having difficulty at work. Problems with speech, conflicts and he lost his job. His symptoms worsened. He was finally diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia. It was a nightmare… I just wanted someone to tell me what to do! Dr. Landsverk you’re my guardian angel.
— Christine
My mom needed care, refused it and became more agitated. In the hospital, she was given a shot to calm her down and that put her out for 3 days…her regular doctor couldn’t deal with her at all. Dr. Landsverk, you have been a godsend…You have helped immensely.
— Dan
“…things really started getting bad. She became very agitated and was a mess. Then you came and started tinkering with her meds and began a regimen and within 72 hours there was a major turnaround; within a week she was almost back to where she was 5-6 years ago. It was magic! To this day, she is on very few drugs and doing great.
— Perry
It was terrific that you made a house call on such short notice…but how you treated both of us mattered tremendously to me. You really listened to my mother; I could tell, when you repeated her situation and her wishes back to the medical ethicist you called on the phone, I felt you really respected my mother as a person. You were prepared to take difficult practical steps…but I didn’t feel you were going to railroad me or my mother into a decision. You also didn’t strand me after the house call…thank you for being the help that came.

I wanted to express to you again what a blessing you were to our family for making a house call to assess Mom the same day I called. May God richly reward you for your compassion.

Your orchestration of Norma’s health care has been paramount in getting her in a safe environment. You have been so helpful in such a whirlwind situation. Andy and I both thank you.

Thank you for your efforts this evening regarding my mother. She really seemed to respond to your help and I greatly appreciated your candor and direct approach. You are a true professional and a delight to work with under such a difficult scenario.

Of all the doctors that had treated Mom on her medical odyssey, Dr. Landsverk was far and above the most outstanding. If only we had found her at the beginning of our mother’s illness, I have no doubt our mother and our whole family would have fared so much better.

Dr. Landsverk approached my mother with utmost kindness and respect, talking directly to her (as opposed to me with my Mom as a nonentity). She was very non-threatening in her approach, letting my Mom get used to her gradually. (I often felt other doctors were rushed and preoccupied.) As Dr. Landsverk took this time it was apparent she was assessing my Mom on a range of issues (memory, speech, hearing, appropriateness of response, movement ability etc.) and she was letting my Mom assess her… She listened very carefully to what I was observing in my Mom’s behavior. She interfaced directly with the nurses, being sure that her instructions were clearly understood… Dr. Landsverk worked carefully with the drugs my mother was on, gradually weaning her off some altogether, reducing others and adding new, more appropriate ones. Dr. Landsverk gave my Mom a much higher quality of life. Depression lifted, she would engage much more readily, and her memory seemed more stable… Best of all her smile (which she was famous for) returned. Her strong will and sense of self were also back… Dr. Landsverk was always available by telephone. She returned messages promptly. If problems developed, she was available for unscheduled visits… Dr. Landsverk is a special doctor. She brought not only all of her expertise, but her wonderful down-to-earth personality, happy smile and nurturance to my mother. She addressed in my Mom the person, the soul inside, that was shrouded by illness and dementia. Like for us, I am sure she would be a godsend in helping any patient or family of the elderly navigate the confusing healthcare labyrinth.