Tag Archives: lack of autonomy

How a Harvard Doctor caused the death rate & medication costs to plummet in a nursing home for the elderly

In my opinion this has always been a no brainer. How are our elderly who have often lived active and happy lives, supposed to ‘rejoice’ when they are suddenly plucked from all things familiar & forced (yes frequently against their will without consultation as to their wishes) to live in a ‘dorm’ of sorts with complete strangers? All activities they enjoyed gone. It is surely a no brainer that they need something to do, not just be expected to sit and stare at the walls? Well this wonderful Doctor had the residents dressing themselves and taking an interest in life. To wake in the morning & wonder if the lettuces you just planted are growing, or if the cats have been and dug them up are all about purpose and a reason to get up. How many folk have I seen after admission to these mausoleums suddenly decline and pass on. Hope is a powerful motivation. Well here we have a working example of the success of providing just that. EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

from econewsmedia.org

Based on a hunch, he persuaded his staff to stock the facility with two dogs, four cats, several hens and rabbits, and 100 parakeets, along with hundreds of plants, a vegetable and flower garden, and a day-care site for staffers’ kids.

Dr. Bill Thomas, a Harvard trained physician, wants you to know one very important thing about life and aging: “growing older is a good thing.”

He’s been in the news quite a bit regarding his somewhat radical, yet very positive, first-hand perspective of aging. A Washington Post article featured this one man crusade to change negative attitudes about aging and help people to think of “post-adulthood” as a time of enrichment:

“Thomas believes that Americans have bought so willingly into the idea of aging as something to be feared that it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy leading to isolation, loneliness and lack of autonomy,” the article stated. In 1991, Thomas became the medical director of a nursing home in upstate New York. He found the place, as the Post put it, “depressing, a repository for old people whose minds and bodies seemed dull and dispirited.”

In 1991, Dr. Thomas found himself the medical director of a nursing home in upstate New York and in the words of the Washington Post article, he felt the place a: “depressing, a repository for old people whose minds and bodies seemed dull and dispirited.”

So, what did Thomas do to change the resident’s lives forever and spark a movement in aging? The Washington Post explains“[Dr. Thomas] decided to transform the nursing home. Based on a hunch, he persuaded his staff to stock the facility with two dogs, four cats, several hens and rabbits, and 100 parakeets, along with hundreds of plants, a vegetable and flower garden, and a day-care site for staffers’ kids.

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http://econewsmedia.org/2017/12/05/harvard-doctor-changing-nursing-homes-forever/