Margaret Thacker
Margaret Thacker, Mother, Daughter, Writer, Activities Director GLC

Margaret-Dawn Thacker, Daughter, Writer and Director of Recreational Activities at Golden Living Health & Rehabilitation:

“I was called to Chesapeake, Virginia because my father had been diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma. When I arrived, the strong man I knew had been reduced to a small, fragile, elder who shuffled from his recliner to give me a hug. We sat down to talk and he asked me to help him. He wanted me to be his power of attorney, and I had no idea how to go about the process of assisting him with this. I called Doris Gelbman. She had been the volunteer ombudsman at the nursing home where I worked, and I had seen her in action, advocating for our residents, explaining complex information in simple terms so residents could understand. I knew she could help us. 

It was a weekend, but Doris took my call and  walked us through the process over the phone, asking my Dad all the questions that proved to her he was still of sound mind. Then, she emailed me the needed forms. That afternoon my Dad and I made the trip to the bank to have the forms notarized.

Doris came to our rescue, and afforded my father peace of mind in his final days. I could never thank her enough for her expertise, compassion and empathy. There is only one Doris Gelbman, and she’s a jewel.”


assisted living in charlottesville
Client situated safely and comfortably at local Assisted Living Facility

Beth Adams, Client:“A little more than a year ago, a Social Services representative from Charlottesville, Virginia contacted my husband saying that his sister and her husband had been placed in a local Assisted Living facility, after a neighbor informed Social Services of a problem.  My husband’s brother-in-law has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and his sister is confined to a wheelchair and has communication difficulties. Neither one is capable of making sound decisions on their behalf and probably has not been able to for some time.We live in Maryland and were unaware of their situation.  When we arrived in Charlottesville, it became abundantly clear that a local attorney was necessary to help us with the legal, medical and financial decisions.  We were fortunate to find someone as conscientious as Doris. She has played a vital role in the welfare of this unfortunate couple. Doris was instrumental in finding them a nicer Assisted Living facility, and sorting out their finances.  Now she is helping them obtain certain VA benefits they are entitled to receive. She genuinely cares about her clients and has repeatedly earned our trust and respect. We have peace-of-mind knowing that the quality of life for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law has improved now that Doris is their attorney. We are grateful for her kindness, and expertise.”

Care is There
Elizabeth Swider, daughter and Owner, Care is There

Elizabeth Swider, Owner of Care is There a Geriatric Care Management Company:

“I met Doris Gelbman through her frequent and important contributions to the Aging in Place Business Round Table, a community organization that supports vitality and choice in the second half of life.  I refer clients to Doris because of her commitment to and knowledge about the specific field of elder law, and because I know she will be my clients’ champion and protector.  We are lucky to have Doris Gelbman serving our community.”


Dr. Mary Evans
Dr. Mary Evans, mother, daughter, MD specializing in care of the elderly

Mary P Evans, MD CMD, Blue Ridge Long Term Care Associates. Specialist in Medical Care for the Elderly:

“I am always happy and relieved when I find out that Doris is advocating for one of my patients. I know that Doris will represent her client fairly, competently and professionally. I also know that Doris will go to the mat if she has to, to ensure that her client’s rights are respected and that they get the care that they need and deserve.  When I needed an advocate for my family member, I called Doris.  That’s my best endorsement!”

(what she REALLY said was “You’re the bomb diggity!” THEN she wrote that  ^ ^ stuff )


Virginia Downs, Care Manager (and Guardian) for Bridges Senior Care, Fredericksburg, VA

“Doris Gelbman truly cares about her clients and always has their best interests at heart.  She demonstrated a high level of professional expertise and compassion as a court-appointed Conservator for one of our clients.  Doris went way beyond simply paying the client’s bills.  She was thoroughly involved – researching many options for liquidating and building assets, executing a sound plan for our mutual client’s financial security and for taking the time to get to know the person and her family. She is informative, knowledgeable, easy to work with and I would not hesitate to recommend her services.”


Dr. Van Der Sommen
Dr. Van Der Sommen, daughter, M.D. and. Chair of GCCV

Lyn Van Der Sommen, M.D. Geriatric Coalition of Central Virginia:

“It is my pleasure to speak of the professionalism, the many kindnesses and the contributions that Doris Gelbman has made both to me and our senior community. 

 Doris started out being a colleague as we served on many senior-centric committees together. Since that time she has also provided expert legal services when my family and I were dealing with POA and estate issues.  Doris is a very knowledgeable and passionate person with regards to all things “geriatric”, providing much expertise to the community as a volunteer.  She often presents material, answers questions and generally serves with a great sense of humor, helping to make sober subjects palatable for any audience.  When hand-picking an Advisory Council for my non-profit geriatric education and training programs, I chose Doris without hesitation. I can always count on her to provide reality checks as well as levity. 

 It is my growing pleasure to know, to serve with, and be advised by my friend, Doris Gelbman.”


Kathryn McMillan, CEO, Clutter Conversions, LLC  

“Ms. Gelbman and I have presented seminars together for several organizations and retirement communities that cater to our Senior population and every time I learn something new from her. She has demonstrated tremendous knowledge about the legal issues that people face as they reach retirement age and their families. She has a giving heart as she directly demonstrated on a case she on and I worked on together. For Ms. Gelbman, your best interest is what it is all about!”