This origin story goes all the way back to the womb! Not only does it take a village, it really takes a family. Donna Fedus and Lauren Lewis are twin sisters who work together in their gerontology education company, Borrow My Glasses (BMG).
Donna discovered the field of aging at age 23 in 1988. While working in PR in New York City, Donna came across an annual report that changed her life. It talked about America coming of age and all the changes the longevity trend would bring. She was hooked. Donna rearranged her life to be part of this new world, applying to grad school and leaving her PR job. She earned her masters in gerontology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. Back then, she had to get the Tuesday NY Times science section to catch a sporadic story on aging. Today, stories on aging are everywhere! As a gerontologist educator working in hospitals, universities, client organizations and with individuals for more than 30 years, Donna brings her passion for dementia and caregiving issues, curriculum design, building coalitions, and new program strategy to her work as a gerontology educator everyday.
Lauren is also an educator, starting at the opposite end of the age spectrum. Lauren worked in children’s television and then in the global youth leadership space. She lead a not-for-profit which amplifies the ideas and impact of teens around the world. And she’s spent over 20 years educating adults by producing/project managing corporate training, conferences, events, e-learning, databases, and apps to track performance for Fortune 500 companies. Lauren is happy to work with her sister in aging because it encompasses everything she loves: stories in any form, family, ancestors and descendants, and getting people the knowledge they need. She is both left brained (lawyer, project manager, producer, proud Excel geek) and right (writer, producer, photographer), and a offers a wide range of experience which perfectly compliments Donna’s background.
Donna and Lauren combine their passion and expertise as teachers and storytellers, utilizing Lauren’s background as a producer with Donna’s subject matter expertise to create compelling education on aging and caregiving.
“Everyone sees the world through their own eyes.”
We get asked about the name a lot.
It’s all about perspective.
The name “Borrow My Glasses” came to Donna as a powerful metaphor for her work with family caregivers. She noticed how everyone sees the same situation from their own vantage point and realized it’s often helpful to “borrow the glasses” or “try on the perspectives” of others in the family or situation. At the same time, Donna thought people could benefit from borrowing the glasses of professionals with gerontology expertise like herself, nurses, doctors, social workers, care managers, pharmacists, etc.
She wanted a unique name to fit the unique worldwide demographic shift we’re all living through, and “Borrow My Glasses” crystalized before her eyes.
Borrow My Glasses reflects Donna and Lauren’s deep belief in the importance of bringing new perspectives to aging and caregiving. They bring positive attitudes and joy to their work which is always grounded in solid education. A powerful combination!
Donna B. Fedus, M.A.
Gerontologist & Founder
Donna Fedus is a gerontologist educator, adjunct professor, program strategist, instructional designer, and researcher, who has worked enthusiastically in the field of aging for more than 30 years, so far. Its more than a job – it’s her life’s work! Critical to Donna’s mission is offering alternatives to the tragedy narrative and stigma that often surround aging, caregiving, and dementia.
Donna is also an entrepreneur. She founded gerontology education company Borrow My Glasses, which offers scalable learning solutions, training and evaluation services for organizations, professionals, educators, students, and individuals looking to embrace the many opportunities brought by longevity.
Over more than three decades, Donna has immersed in the field of aging becoming known as a subject matter expert, continually developing new and creative ways to engage and educate audiences. Topics range widely for healthcare and social services professionals, business leaders, user experience specialists, family caregivers, college students, and clergy. Donna’s primary interests in aging, caregiving and dementia are reflected in the three courses she developed and has taught since 2017 on a rotating basis an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University: Dementia Fundamentals, Social Issues in Family Caregiving, and Sociology of Aging.
Donna does some research in addition to collaborative evaluation work. She is Principal Investigator (PI) of the Gerontology Relevance Study, in which college students found studying gerontology to be relevant to their personal and professional lives after engaging in a self-study module. Donna also served as PI throughout a five-year collaboration between BMG and AARP to develop, pilot and evaluate Connecticut’s Disrupt Aging Model. The model, shown to transform attitudes about aging, was presented at multiple conferences, recognized by AARP as a best practice in innovation, and replicated in colleges and communities nationwide.
Donna contributes to the field through board service and committee work. She currently co-chairs the education workgroup of the Connecticut Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Coalition. This group, convened by the CT Dept of Public Health and the Alzheimer’s Association, is developing a statewide strategic plan to address Alzheimer’s. Donna serves on the Board of Directors of The Towers at Tower Lane in New Haven, CT. She is a member of Quinnipiac University Committee for Age Inclusivity, and a founding member of the Grandfamilies Outcome Workgroup (GrOW), a national group that works in support of kinship families. Donna is a Contributing Editor for Grandfamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy.
Donna is a two-time winner of the “Stop Ageism Now” Campaign Partner Award from the Agency on Aging of South Central CT. She was honored with the Employee of the Year award at The Consultation Center, Yale University and the Einstein Award at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Donna earned her master’s degree with distinction in social gerontology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991.
Lauren Lewis, J.D.
Co-Founder & COO
Lauren Lewis brings entrepreneurial, business, legal, financial management, project management, data management, technical, and creative experience combined with a passion for teaching and learning. She has over 30 years of experience in the worlds of public television, not-for-profit management, and corporate training. Lauren’s strategic thinking and stewardship translate large concepts and detailed data into accessible content with the ability to scale from a single person to thousands. She sees the big picture and understands the details, processes, and people needed to carry projects to completion on time, on budget, and with resonance for audiences. Lauren’s experience is both broad and deep.
Projects range across the life span from teaching kids to read through the Emmy-winning PBS TV series Between the Lions to creating innovative multimedia programs that change attitudes about aging with AARP.
Previously, she spent 10 years in television production, nearly 10 years running a not-for-profit in the youth leadership space and 20 years creating corporate training, conferences, events, e-learning, databases, and apps to track performance for Fortune 500 companies. In each of these worlds, Lauren focuses on the most effective ways for people to learn. She and her teams utilize innovative storytelling techniques, multimedia approaches to engage audiences, effective materials, solid management, and fresh creative ideas.
In television, Lauren produced, wrote and developed several Emmy award-winning PBS television series and multimedia brands. She also created a database for the PBS TV series Between the Lions to track assets and pay union residuals to performers, musicians, writers and directors.
In corporate training, Lauren produced high-level product launches, live training events, and e-learning initiatives for Fortune 500 clients. She also worked as a technical producer, creating training apps that increase engagement and measure performance.
In not-for-profit, Lauren led the We Are Family Foundation founded by legendary musician and producer Nile Rodgers. As Executive Vice President, Lauren amplified the voices of young people who are changing the world through two major initiatives: Three Dot Dash which empowers Global Teen Leaders from over 40 countries who believe peace is possible if basic human needs are met, and TEDxTeen whose talks from conferences in New York & London have been viewed over 5 million times.
Lauren earned her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and is admitted to practice law in New Jersey. She earned her B.A. in international relations from Lehigh University with double minors in law and philosophy.
Proud to be Woman Owned
Certified Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) with the SBA
Borrow My Glasses, LLC has been certified as a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB Program).
Certified Connecticut Disabled Woman Owned Small/Minority Business Enterprise (S/MBE)
Borrow My Glasses, LLC is proud to be certified with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Administrative Services Supplier Diversity Program. The disability refers to hearing loss. Rest assured that through the wonderful technology of hearing aids, We Hear You!
In the Media
Gerontological Society of America
Higher Education and Aging:
The Age-Friendly Movement Building a Case for Age Inclusivity
Shalom New Haven
Temple Beth Tikvah Member Shares Holocaust Story with Students
Yale School of Medicine
AARP Real Possibilities
Living With Palliative Care: Joan’s Story Screening and Discussion at Sacred Heart University
Hartford Courant/Connecticut Magazine
San Francisco Senior Beat
Age Well CT
San Francisco Senior Beat
Negative Views of Being Older Can Be Hazardous To Your Health
San Francisco Senior Beat
Bridgeport Regional Business Council Blog
West Hartford News
Connecticut Health Care Providers Recommend Care Plans Best Made While Parents Are Still Healthy
New Haven Register
To Understand Someone, You First Must Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
Connecticut Health I-Team
Come for Care Show
Donna Fedus, Gerontologist with Borrow My Glasses & Joan Blumenfeld, Consultant – Living With Palliative Care
Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut
CT Local Administrators of Social Service Inc.
Finding Balance: Caring for Others as we Care for Ourselves – Annual Conference