Mary S. Daniel stimulates, motivates and encourages caregivers with her personal story of how she fought for the rights of her husband and thousands of others who were isolated and locked in long term term care facilities during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Her story of perseverance and determination was featured in hundreds of news outlets around the globe when, in order to see her husband Steve, an Alzheimer's patient, she took a job as a dishwasher in the memory care center where he lives.
Hear how her grassroots effort to get the governor's attention help changed Florida regulations and motivated others in every state to boldly advocate for their loved ones.
Caregiver. Advocate. Speaker.
Mary S. Daniel is a Board-Certified Patient Advocate with more than 30 years of medical practice management experience.
Mary’s husband, Steve was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013 at the age of 59 and was a resident at Rosecastle at Deerwood Memory Care Center in Jacksonville from July 2019 until his recent passing on December 21, 2022.
In July 2020, Mary gained national attention after taking a job as a dishwasher at Rosecastle so that she could spend time with Steve after being separated for 114 days during the lockdown due to COVID-19.
Mary founded the Facebook group Caregivers for Compromise – because isolation kills too! which has over 14,000 members and chapters in every state. Her grassroots effort got the attention of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who named Mary to the Florida Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities. The recommendations of the Task Force were accepted by the Governor on September 1, 2020 and Essential Caregivers were allowed back in facilities to see their loved ones.
She has continued advocating for long-term care residents by leading Caregivers for Compromise to promote H.R. 3733, the Essential Caregiver Act. Her Congressman, John Rutherford is an original co-sponsor of the bill. She has also worked extensively with Rep. Clay Yarborough and Gov. DeSantis’s office to get SB 988, the No Patient Left Alone bill passed in the 2022 session of the Florida Legislature. Governor DeSantis signed the bill into law on April 6, 2022.
Mary is a lifetime member of the Georgia Bulldog Club of Jacksonville, a two-time past president and currently serves on its Board of Directors. She also is President of the group’s 501(c)(3), the Jacksonville Bulldog Alumni Scholarships, Inc. Mary also volunteers as a puppy raiser for K9s for Warriors. Her fifth service-dog-in-training Riggs, a Golden Doodle was placed with a veteran in October 2022.
How to Boldly Advocate for your Loved One: A Dishwasher's Story
Being a caregiver is never easy, but the COVID-19 pandemic has presented caregiving challenges that have never been seen before. When Mary Daniel’s husband was locked down in his memory care center in March 2020 she knew she had to find a way to get through their closed front door. Her story of perseverance and dedication to become a dishwasher in his facility will empower you to overcome obstacles and boldly advocate for your loved one too.
“Mary Daniel is an exceptionally skilled speaker and story teller. Her ability to provide audiences with complex information and concepts in an understandable and emotionally appealing way, makes her a terrific presenter for virtual webinars or educational sessions for a wide range of potential learners.
Mary uses her personal experience to guide the audience through the world of dementia. She uses her care partnering story to address common challenges of transitioning into new roles and relationships while sustaining those that make life worth living when you care for someone living with dementia.
Her remarkable willingness to hold true to her primary goal of staying connected with her husband is both a testament to her flexibility and excellent capacity for getting something to happen, when it seems impossible, not only for herself, but for many, by empowering others to act in a spirit of cooperation.
This is a great message for our times.I have had the pleasure of working with Mary on multiple occasions and I strongly recommend Mary Daniel as a speaker.”
“Mary Daniel has been fantastic to speaking to the issue of isolation, she personalizes what I knew from the very beginning was an unavoidable consequence of our protective measures. She has helped lead the Florida Re-opening Task Force. She showed she would go through lengths to be with her husband, why shouldn’t we go to whatever lengths we could with policy so people like Mary can be with those they love.
She was a great inspiration and I want to thank her for her hard work.”
Governor Ron DeSantis
“Mary Daniel is a fierce advocate and a unifying force in forging a path forward in the midst of chaos. Through engaging stories and deep emotional connection with her audience, Mary galvanizes people and readies them to drive the change that’s needed in the world.”
“Mary Daniel has shown a true passion for helping family members of senior citizens navigate the journey to finding long-term care solutions to meet their needs.
As a geriatrician, it is refreshing and wonderful for me to see someone advocate so strongly for this vulnerable population, and truly step up to support them in their time of need.”
Dr. Kevin O’Neill
Catch Mary in Action
‘Isolation Kills Too’—Mary Daniel on Becoming a Dishwasher to See Her Husband; Advising Gov DeSantis
Visit to DC
2021 Florida Council on Aging Conference with Dr. Nick Dewan
President Biden’s nursing home vaccination announcement
Governor Ron DeSantis
Alzheimer’s Disease | Is Love Stronger than the Disease?
There Has to Be a Better Way: Caregivers for Compromise
Teepa for Ten – More from the front lines for families
Teepa and Mary Daniel discuss Caregivers for Compromise
Community Care Circle Round Table with Teepa Snow
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