You are the founder of Cirkel, which promotes intergenerational networking through cultural events. How did you come up with this idea?
Cirkel as a concept was something I was thinking through for about a year before the first event ever took place. I had been living with my parents for four years after graduating from college and established a totally new relationship with them as basically adult roommates.
You are a psychiatrist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine with a research focus on dementia, public health policy, end of life care, and bioethics education. What led you to write your new book, Dementia Reimagined?
My mother and grandmother both had dementia. I was surprised and humbled to see how little I knew about good care for dementia, even though I am a physician and medical school professor. I hope the book will provide some of the information I wish I'd had.
You have recently published Target Funding: A Proven System to Get the Money and Resources You Need to Start or Grow Your Business. What need were you seeing in the marketplace that prompted you to write this book?
There were three needs I was seeing that prompted the book.
The first need was to target the necessary funds (including grants) and resources to a particular situation, product, service, or business model. For example, targeting funds and resources to a women-owned business in Boise, Idaho that has a social media platform geared at stay-at-home moms is quite different than targeting funds and resources to a women-owned technology start-up in NYC that is focused on a gaming platform geared at improving communication for children with Autism.
You have spent over a decade supporting caregivers and elders through your writing. How did you come to find this purpose?
I spent nearly twenty years caring for a total of seven elders. This was during a time when family caregivers were hardly acknowledged at all and there was little support. In the last of my elder care years, I felt the need to write about my experiences and that of other caregivers I had met during my 15 years of daily visits to a local nursing home, where various loved ones had gradually moved.
You are a Dietitian and Diabetes Educator with a focus on Mindful Eating. What drew you to the intersection of mindfulness and diabetes?
Prior to meditating on a consistent basis, I worked as a diabetes educator. I think most people imagine having diabetes means that they can't eat certain foods or that they must radically change everything about their life. These thoughts are fueled by society and companies selling products targeting people with diabetes, but it's not true. Having diabetes is a condition that requires you to listen to your body and to learn how to balance what you want to eat and need to eat. Mindfulness can help a person hear the story of “can and can't” and let it go, providing a healing experience that you deeply crave.