The Harvard Doctor Changing Nursing Homes Forever

A physician at Harvard University, Dr. Bill Thomas wants to tell you one of the most important things about aging and life: ” To grow old is a good thing! “.

He has been doing some interviews lately, and he gives people quite a positive perspective about the aging. Washington Post’s article has been featuring this man, and his idea, which obviously has changed people’s negative thoughts about aging, and made them feel their post-adulthood as their time of enrichment:

“Dr. Thomas believes that most Americans are looking at the post-adulthood life with fear, and they consider it as something that will isolate them from many things, and something that will make them lonely and not loved”, this is what was stated in the article. In the early 1991 Dr. Thomas was promoted to be a medical director in one of the upstate New York’s nursing homes. His thinking about the nursing home was, that place was very depressing and awful for the elderly people, and it made their bodies and minds to become dispirited and very dull, this is what Dr. Thomas reported.

As he was promoted in 1991 to be a medical director in one of the nursing homes in upstate New York, he reported for the Washington Post article, he reported: “the place seems very depressing and dispirited for the elderly people, which actually has made their bodies and minds very dull.”

So, what did Dr. Thomas did to make a difference in people’s lives to see the aging process differently and more positively? Washington Post: Dr. Thomas made a decision to make a transformation in the nursing home. His idea was to bring 4 cats, 2 dogs, several bunnies and hens, and more than 100 parakeets, with thousands of plants, including a flower garden and a vegetable garden, and also he wanted to make a day-care site for the staffer’s kids.

“His idea was going against the law, the law didn’t allow any animals in the nursing home, but for Dr. Thomas this was only a revelation. The resident’s spirits were restored by taking care of the plants and the animals around them, many of the elderly started eating regularly, getting dressed and cleaned every day, and living life like they should. The number of prescribed medication was lowered by 50% in the nursing home, mostly for the drugs which are treating agitation. The death rate was plummeted along with the medication costs.”

“Dr. Thomas named the nursing home -- Eden Alternative, which actually he wanted to sound more like a garden of life, than like a hospital which elderly people should be sad and depressed about. After that, this method was practiced by many other nursing homes all around the globe, including in Europe, Australia, Japan and Canada, and in more than 50 U.S states.”

Dr. Thomas has also invested in some smaller residences which he called “Green Houses”, where everything is the same, but every patient has his own bathroom and bedroom only for himself.

What was the result? “After less then a week, a truck was sent over to us, in which all of the wheelchairs were loaded, because nobody needed them anymore” -- Dr. Thomas reported for the Post. “Have you ever asked yourself why elderly people in nursing homes are using wheelchairs? Because all of the nursing homes are very big, a lot more than they should be! “

Don’t think of aging negatively, here is another proof that age is only a number and nothing more. And the only thing that makes us feel alive is love, love given or love felt, whether it is from a puppy, or from a person close to you, that is the only way you will feel full of spirit and energy through the post-adulthood period, that is the only way that will make you feel alive for the last time!



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