Alzheimer’s Caregiver, Helene Bergman, Elder Care Alternatives, New York, NY | Alliance ECA

Our Team

Helene Bergman

Helene Bergman, LMSW, MA, C-ASWCM is the founder and director of Elder Care Alternatives. She is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager (‘Fellow’) and served on the Board of Directors of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA). Following a career in public elementary school teaching and administration, Bergman received a Master’s degree in Social Work and embarked on a second career in Geriatrics. Her initial work with Alzheimer’s was as a Social Worker in Adult Day Care followed by years as a Research Associate/Family Counselor at the NYU Aging & Dementia Research Center in a landmark longitudinal study on Spouse Caregiving. She co-authored the book “Guiding the Alzheimer’s Caregiver: A Handbook for Counselors.” She has led many caregiver support groups for the Alzheimer’s Association (now known as CaringKind).

Helene frequently speaks on a wide range of eldercare topics for professional organizations, community agencies, EAPs (employee assistance programs) and senior living facilities. She has published many articles in “Inside GCM” (the professional journal for Aging Life Care Professionals) including “Alcohol and the Elderly”, “Care Management Supervision” and most recently, “The Challenge of Aging in Place”. She was on the advisory board of the initial Brookdale Center of Aging Certificate Program in Professional Care Management and taught the seminar on Home Care. She served as President of the Greater New York Chapter from 2000-2004.

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Carol Kushner


Carol has over 10 years of professional experience delivering comprehensive care management services, including family consultations, long term care coordination, crisis intervention, and client advocacy.

Prior to joining Alliance Homecare, Carol worked at Visiting Nurse Services as a Pediatric Palliative Care Social Worker and later as a Hospice Social Worker representing VNS at Mt. Sinai Hospital and The Jewish Home. While in this role, Carol provided extensive support and guidance to caregivers, educated and connected client’s families to all available community resources, served as a client advocate, and assisted with end of life care planning.

Carol has demonstrated a deep devotion to the geriatric population of New York City. She is a strong advocate for elders to age in their familiar surroundings. She enjoys assisting her clients achieve the greatest degree of independence possible and helping her clients make educated decisions about their care. Carol understands that the current climate of long term care is rapidly changing, and she stays well-informed on how to coordinate health and social services for the aging population. Throughout her impressive career, Carol has become a specialist in dementia and palliative care.

Carol obtained her Master of Social Work degree from Hunter School of Social Work. Since completing her degree, Carol has become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has obtained her Care Management Certification. Carol is an active member of the Aging Life Care Association.

When Carol is able to step away from her role, she spends her time playing tennis with her loved ones and enjoying all the artistic entertainment New York City has to offer.

Jillian Rieger


Jillian is a graduate of the University of South Florida’s School of Aging Studies. She holds a Master’s Degree in Gerontology as well as a Master’s Certificate in Geriatric Care Management. She is a designated Care Manager, Certified (CMC) and was a board member of the NY Chapter of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM, now ALCA).

Jillian’s career in Care Management began in New Jersey where she has provided comprehensive services to older adults in the Jersey Shore area.  Since 2010 she has been enhancing the quality of life for older adults here in NYC with her infectious energy and passion for life. Jillian strives to advocate on behalf of her clients by promoting their independence, accessing and coordinating public and private services and therapies, seeking alternative living arrangements when needed, offering crisis intervention, and collaborating with family members and professionals. Her motto is ‘accent the positive’ and ‘eliminate the negative.

Drew Barnes

Drew is a Certified Care Manager and a Licensed Social Worker. Drew has six years of experience working with older adults and individuals with disabilities. Prior to Alliance Homecare, Drew worked as a Social Worker at The Carter Burden Center for the Aging providing comprehensive case management, including individual and group counseling services.

Throughout her career, Drew has been dedicated to providing services and support systems that will enable clients to be as independent as possible while maintaining quality of life. Drew firmly believes in going beyond basic care by creating an individualized plan for each client that is integrated across the entire continuum of care.

Drew graduated from William Peace University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and North Carolina State University with a Masters in Social Work.

Susan Sugarman

Serving the New York City Metro area’s older adult community for more than 25 years in various capacities, Susan joined ECA on June 1, 2016.  Throughout her career, Susan’s priorities have been to help provide environments where safety is paramount, maintaining independence for as long as possible, training multidisciplinary teams, and fostering self-esteem by treating clients with dignity and respect.

Susan was inspired by the newly created special care dementia program at Cobble Hill Health Center, where her mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, was one of the first residents to be admitted.  That experience helped shape her career – developing, establishing and directing special care dementia programs at skilled nursing facilities and, in 2000, The 80th Street Residence.

In 2002, Susan joined the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter initially assisting in program and services. With a firm foundation of its mission and vision, Susan was promoted to Vice President, Director of Marketing, Communications and Events, which became the hub of the organization.

Susan is excited to be back to her roots in older adult services as Associate Care Manager, utilizing her knowledge of relationship development, advocacy and individualized care.

Susan is a graduate of Brooklyn College of The City University of New York.

Hailey Elkind

Hailey’s decision to become a social worker, specifically working with the geriatric population, came very easily. When she was a teenager her grandma started showing signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Helping her deal with the issues and seeing her gradually deteriorate was tough but Hailey welcomed and embraced the opportunity to help out in any way she could, not only through providing unconditional love but also helping out with her day to day chores and activities. Her grandma had eventually passed away, but her desire to help those in need only grew stronger as she embarked on this tough but extremely rewarding path.

Hailey pursued her education studies in psychology and social work receiving her bachelors and masters in each respective field. She has been working with the Geriatric population for the past 7 years, and she looks forward to helping and making a lasting difference in the lives of the elderly for many more years to come.

Wendy Rosete

Wendy always had a passion for working with seniors to provide them the best quality of life in times of adversity and struggle. Her goal is to ensure that people live in a safe environment while being mindful to treating each person with dignity and respect. Wendy has worked to find the best provider to fit each person’s individual needs. This lifelong passion was her inspiration to pursue a career as a Social Worker so she can have a better tool kit to identify and address people’s needs from an environmental as well as emotional perspective.

Wendy obtained her Social Work Degree at Hunter College School of Social Work in 2007 with high honors and began her professional career as a geriatric social worker. Wendy obtained her license (LMSW) in 2008 and was certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the beginning of 2016.

Wendy worked for numerous years at MJHS Medical Model Adult Day Health Center working with elders with chronic medical conditions, dementia/Alzheimer’s and older adults with developmental disabilities. In this role, she provided care management, crisis intervention, bereavement counseling, and discharge planning to ensure safe transitions home from health care facilities. Wendy was promoted to Social Work Manager and provided guidance and assistance to the social work department, while always making herself available to all the clients of the Adult Day Health Care Center.

Wendy facilitated bi-monthly support groups to caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s through the Alzheimer’s Association as well as weekly support groups for people with Multiple Sclerosis. Wendy was also part of the Senior Committee for seniors with Developmental Disabilities.

Live each day to the fullest.