a private-duty home healthcare agency serving Palm Beach and Martin counties.
Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
Each Monday evening from 6-7 p.m., listeners to Seaview 95.9 FM, are invited to join what may be the talk show with the longest title in radio history.
Oh My God, I’m Getting Older and So Is My Mom addresses issues of importance to aging Floridians and features expert guests, call-in questions and a host who brings both empathy and humor to sometimes uncomfortable facts of life.Now that radio show with the long title is a book with a long title, written by the host, Scott Greenberg.
Greenberg, 64, is just back from New York City, where he accepted first place in the parenting/family category of Book Expo America’s awards for independently published books.
“Stroke, spinal surgery, volunteering, food banks, glaucoma, elder law and, of course, Alzheimer’s disease,” Greenberg says, “We’ve done shows on them all.”
A former New Yorker, he lives in coastal Boca Raton with his wife, Irene, married 44 years this month. The couple has two daughters and three grandchildren.
In addition to his radio work, he is also the president of ComforCare Senior Services, which provides private, nonmedical home care.
In both his radio show and book, Greenberg emphasizes the importance of not waiting for a crisis before making decisions about aging.
“There are all too many people out there whose real motivation is to sell you a product whether it’s good for you or not,” he says. “I think navigating the aging highway, while not as simple as we sometimes believe, can be a great experience with proper planning and preparation.”
— Ron Hayes
Q. Where did you grow up and go to school? How do you think that has influenced you?
A. I grew up in Queens, N.Y., and was brought up in a very traditional, struggling, middle-class family, the oldest of three kids. I grew up in an era when you were thrown out of your house early and came home at dinnertime. It taught me to treat people like I would like to be treated. I had a public school education, and then attended Queensborough Community College and SUNY Plattsburgh, but never finished my degree. I still regret that.
Q. How/when did you become an author?
A. The publisher, Brenda Starr of The Starr Group, was a listener of the radio show and called me and said “Did you ever think of writing a book?” I wrote the book because I see that people often make really critical decisions in a crisis as opposed to when they’re thinking clearly. Any decision made in crisis, you later regret.
Q. Have you had mentors in your life? Individuals who have inspired your life decisions?
A. Oh, that’s a wonderful question. I would not be who I am today without a couple of wonderful people who took me under their wing and taught me. I was very young, about 17, and a social worker at camp named George Singfield said to me, “People treat you the way you let them treat you.” That really taught me to own who I was.
My most important mentor was Denis Connors. I worked for Denis off and on for 35 years and he has shaped the person I have become. I’m not sure anybody thinks I’m humble, but I think he taught me humility.
Q. Tell us about your other careers, what were the highlights?
A. For 22 years I was president of a firm that specialized in the design and production of corporate annual reports and I learned a number of things from dealing with CEOs and COOs of major public corporations. One thing is how to compartmentalize, when to make decisions. Do I need to make that now? Is it urgent and important right this minute or can it wait? I learned the value of patience, analysis and compartmentalizing.
Q. What advice do you have for a young person entering the workforce today?
A. The harder you work, the luckier you get. It’s a cliché, but I believe luck is where opportunity and preparation meet.
Q. Tell us about your interest in issues of aging.
A. I had retired from the annual report business and spent about 18 months playing golf five days a week and I got tired of talking about my lousy golf game, my crazy parents, my crazy kids, my next trip to the doctor’s. I started looking around for something to do and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that serving the aging in Florida is a growth business. So I started this first as a business decision. I would like to say it began as a passion, but I didn’t enter it as a passion.
Q. How did you choose to have a home in coastal Boca Raton?
A. It’s funny, considering I hated Florida and I hate the beach. I still think sand is directly designed to infiltrate every nook and cranny of my body, but my wife is a beach lover and I adore staring at the ocean. In the annual report business, my second biggest office was here in Florida. I came down a couple days every other month. We had a small place for about five years and ultimately moved here fulltime 10 years ago.
Q. What is your favorite part about living in Boca Raton?
A. Being able to play golf 365 days a year isn’t bad. The restaurants are pretty good and we have a lot of friends.
Q. What book are you reading now?
A. I don’t have time to read a lot of books, but I’m an avid newspaper reader, two papers every day. My favorite book is Setting The Table, by Danny Meyer, the famous restaurateur. It’s a recipe for success in business based around multiple restaurant concepts.
Q. If your life story were made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
A. Robin Williams, because he sees everything in a humorous light.