I have over 30 years experience volunteering and working with aging adults, and have worked as a caregiver for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and other neurological disorders both in the US and in Denmark. I have a passion for working with older adults and for working in all things dementia. I like learning new things and can get quite involved in any new “project” that I take up as my cause.
I earned a double BA with honors in Psychology and Human Services from Dakota Wesleyan University in 2003, and MSc in Applied Gerontology from the University of North Texas in 2004. In 2014, I completed my PhD fellowship in Electronic Systems at Aalborg University, where I focused on Quality of Life issues for the elderly and their caregivers in regards to Assistive Technology (gerontechnology) in dementia care.
You are welcome to check out my LinkedIn profile and connect with me there.
I am located in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark. I work in both English and Danish.
Employment History (highlights)
Correspondent (Europe, volunteer) May, 2016 – present
- Contribute articles on aging issues with a global and European perspective.
Consultant in eHealth & Innovation September, 2015 – present
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Division of Information, Evidence, Research, and Innovation
- Highlight: Managed the production and publication of the European Region eHealth report in English and in Russian.
Trainer (volunteer) June, 2015 – August, 2015
- Highlight: Provided online training and educational video on using technologies in dementia care.
Global Burden of Disease collaborator (volunteer) September, 2013 – present
- Consultant on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.
- Review data on cause of death, cost of disease, burden of disease, and identify and assess data sources.
- Highlight: Co-author of multiple GBD articles for The Lancet.
Project development May, 2015 – June, 2015
Copenhagen Living Lab (now dissolved)
- Developing a project to bring personalized music to nursing homes in Denmark, based on the American Music & Memory model.
- Contact with nursing homes, public health services administration, end users and their families.
- Training on the Music & Memory program.
- Read more about my work with Music & Memory here!
Proposal writing April, 2015 – May, 2015
Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology at Aalborg University
- Project management and grant proposal writing on a project using technology for prevention, early detection, and management of diabetes type 2 in aging adults.
Research Intern June, 2014 – August, 2014
Collaboration between the Department of Aging and Handicap Services at Aalborg Municipality, Research Center for Dementia, and the Center for Welfare Technology
- Participatory observation of services offered for persons with young-onset dementia in 3 locations.
- Evaluation of observed services in each location and proposals for continued improvement.
- Evaluation of welfare technologies currently offered for dementia care in the Municipality and suggestions for updating a catalog of available and offered technologies.
- Read more about my work with young-onset dementia here!
Head of Research April, 2014 – November, 2014
I was the Head of Research and Co-founding member of a startup focusing on welfare technologies for aging adults and people with cognitive handicaps. Consulting with businesses to improve their interactive design and recommending appropriate technologies to end users and customers.
- Development of business plan, financial model, go-to-market strategy, etc.
- Development of a user meta-model for the design requirements of aging adults.
- Consulting on design and usability and made detailed recommendations for improvement for a Scottish charity offering reminiscence services in dementia care.
- Consulting on design and usability for a German company marketing a tablet for older adults.
- Read more about my experiences with entrepreneurship in dementia here!
Independent Consultant March, 2014 – April, 2014
Consulting on usability, functionality, and design for a company offering an innovative app for dementia caregivers to coordinate, manage, and track their care activities.
- Assisted in writing project proposal for an EU-AAL project.
- Reviewed current functions and usability and made improvement suggestions.
- Provided research on justification of design and functions.
PhD Fellow and Research Assistant May, 2009 – February, 2014
- Member of multidisciplinary teams and contributor to project proposals.
- Teaching and supervising at the Master’s level.
- Main contributor in European FP7 telehomecare project ISISEMD, and contributor in European ICT for active aging project LIFE 2.0.
- Management of work packages for European Commission review.
- Publication and public dissemination experience.
- Volunteer reviewer for conferences and journals.
- Member of professional societies and chair of local branches.
- Study abroad
- Initial research staff at the Center for TeleInFrastruktur (CTIF)-USA in collaboration with Princeton University’s Engineering School and NIKSUN (April-August, 2011).
Intern January, 2013 – April, 2013
- Proposed glossary of eHealth terms.
- Incorporating eHealth into the Global Age-friendly Cities Network.
- Proposed thematic area of ICT for the new guide on age-friendly environments.
- Communicated with WHO Collaboration Centers on eHealth and Telemedicine.
- Recipient of the Herman Bouma Foundation for Gerontechnology Grant.
- Read my internship report here!
- Read more about my work with WHO here!
Personal Assistant June, 2006 – August, 2008
- Provided in-home care to an individual with cerebral palsy.
- Managed a broad range of activities, such as doctor appointments, outdoor events, concerts, international travel and social outings.
- Personal management of Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.
- Comfortable and familiar with using a wheelchair in nearly every situation and environment.
Personal Assistant December, 2004 – June, 2005
Dallas, Texas USA
- Provided in-home care to an individual with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and managed the daily schedule.
- Supervised and assisted with Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.
- Arranged socially stimulating activities.
- Monitored dietary needs and physical functioning.
- Supported family members through respite care and professional evaluations.
Manager of Start-up Long-Term Care Facility August – December, 2004
Arlington, Texas USA
- Participated in starting a new business.
- Created work schedules and supervised a staff of 3 caregivers.
- Provided direct care to a patient with senile dementia.
- Managed the maintenance and operation of the facility.
- Served as the in-house aging specialist and communicated with external health care professionals.
Assistant to the Director August – December, 2004
Alzheimer’s Association Research-based Adult Day Center
Dallas, Texas USA
- Assisted the director of the day center in administrative tasks.
- Engaged participants with activities.
- Stimulated spatial, memory and object recognition functioning.
- Encouraged socialization among the participants.
- Maintained contact with the families.
- Attended scientific research lectures through the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Created and conducted a wide range of activities, such as music, exercise, creativity and fantasy, current events and hand-eye coordination.
Hospice Internship May – August, 2004
American Hospice, Inc.
DeSoto, Texas USA
- Completed over 500 hours of volunteer work.
- Worked with each branch of interdisciplinary care (social, psychological, medical and spiritual) to gain a holistic perspective of end of life care.
- Increased the organization and productivity of the volunteer program, organized and audited volunteer files.
- Increased the number of active volunteers, and supervised and trained the volunteers.
- Reinforced contact, services and support with patients and families through bereavement services, volunteer visits and respite care.
- Participated in weekly interdisciplinary team meetings to manage and evaluate patient care.
- Promoted community education through speaking engagements.
- Member of a consortium that designed, implemented, and evaluated technologies to increase independent living and Quality of Life for people with dementia and their caregivers.
- European-Commission funded FP7 project ISISEMD was implemented and evaluated in 4 European countries (Denmark, Finland, North Ireland and Greece).
- Helped to design and evaluate the Clinical Trial.
- Co-authored Ethical Application.
- Member of a consortium that designed, implemented, and evaluated technologies to increase socialization and location-based services for active aging.
- European-Commission funded FP7 project LIFE 2.0 ran in 3 European countries (Denmark, Finland and Spain).
- Disseminated research through conference presentations, publications and public education.
University of North Texas
- Project proposal and evaluation design on how older adults cope with the loss of a companion animal.
Dakota Wesleyan University
- Designed and carried out small-scale study on health outcomes with Animal-Assisted Activities in Long-Term care.
- Designed and carried out research on brain hemisphere dominance, handedness and academic major selection in university students.
- Presented research at the Midwestern Psychological Association.
- Presented research at the University Scholar Banquet Program.
- Presented research at the Siouxland Regional Conference for Undergraduate Research in Social Sciences in 2002 and 2003.
Aalborg University in Aalborg, Denmark
PhD in Electronic Systems 2009-2013
- Thesis topic: Using Gerontechnology in Dementia Care and the Effect on the Quality of Life in Older Adults and their Caregivers.
- Student Branch Chair of IEEE (professional society in Electrical Engineering).
University of North Texas in Denton, Texas USA
MSc in Applied Gerontology 2003-2004
- Emphasis in psychology and counseling.
- Certificate in Animal-Assisted Therapy.
- Certificate in Mediation and Aging.
- Active member of Sigma Phi Omega, the honor society in gerontology.
- Read more about gerontology here!
Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota USA
BA in Psychology 2000-2003
BA in Human Services 2000-2003
- Minor in philosophy and religion.
- Active member of Alpha Psi Omega, the honor society in theater.
- Student Branch President of Psi Chi, the honor society in psychology.
Relevant non-degree courses
University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School: “Innovating Solutions for Aging Populations” Read my review here!
The University of Melbourne: “Re-thinking ageing: Are we prepared to live longer?” Read my review here!
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: “Positive Psychology”
University of California, Irvine: “Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Thinking and Action”
University of Copenhagen: “Introduction to Global Health”
Johns Hopkins University, School of Nursing: “The Impact of Dementia on Individuals, Families, Communities, and Societies” (Verified Certificate) Read my review here!
University of Chicago, Department of Neurobiology: “Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life”
University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine: “Clinical Problem Solving”
SundhedsCenter Tårnby (Public Health Center in Copenhagen, Denmark):
- “Sund Aldring” (Healthy Aging) Read my review here!
- “Er vi danskere verdens lykkeligste folk?” (Are we Danes the world’s happiest people?) Read my review here!
- “Kan de varme hænder erstattes af plastic og teknologi?” (Can warm hands be replaced by plastic and technology?)
University of Queensland, School of Psychology: “Think101: The Science of Everyday Thinking”
May, 2016: Special lecture on happiness and eMental Health to Psychology students from St. Scholastica University. (read one student’s short post on the trip to UN City here)
August, 2015: Provided online training and educational video on using technologies in dementia care.
Sept. 2011 – Jan. 2012: Supervision of Master’s project on ICT Platform for Interoperable Medical Personal Health Records for Diabetes Management.
Sept. 2010/2011: Main lecturer in Privacy, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Engineering.
May 2011: Community education on gerontechnology through speaking at long-term care facility.
Feb. – June 2011: Supervision of Master’s project on ICT for Aging Well at Work, Home and in the Community.
Sept. – Dec.2010: Supervision of Master’s project on Social Networking for an Aging World.
Sept. – Dec.2010: Supervision of Master’s project on Electronic Quality of Life Assessment.
Sept. – Dec.2010: Main lecturer in Telemedicine Techniques and Aspects.
May – Aug. 2004: Community education on hospice through speaking engagements at educational institutions.
Professional Society Membership
- Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- IEEE Women in Engineering
- IEEE Communications Society
- IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology
- EEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
- Chair of the IEEE Student Branch at Aalborg University 2012-2013
- Society of Women Engineers
- American Telemedicine Association
- American Society for Quality
- Gerontological Society of America
- International Society for Gerontechnology
- National Association for Professional Engineers
- Assistive Technology Professionals
- Danish Society of Engineers, Ingeniørforeningen IDA
- Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
- Dansk Gerontologisk Selskab