“I am a firm believer that older people should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want.”
- Dr. Bill Thomas, founder, The Eden Alternative and professor at The Erickson School of Aging, University of Maryland/Baltimore County.
I wanted to make sure you know about a very interesting leader in eldercare with some intriguing thoughts about how we must perceive seniors in the San Francisco East Bay and all across the world. And, if you are a baby boomer or older adult, he provides some facinating insight into how one can approach the process of aging, put it into perspective, and choose the right path for yourself when it comes to deciding whether to move into a smaller home, a retirement community or a more unique environment.
In my job as a real estate agent in Contra Costa county – one who helps senior adults and their families plan, downsize and prepare for a move into a new home – I consider it my responsibility to help seniors and their families ensure that their new home will be a welcome and workable place for them to grow and strengthen as they age.
Dr. Bill Thomas is considered to be a visionary leader in geriatric medicine and eldercare and has made it his business to change the culture surrounding how we view the aging process and treat our elders. He’s the founder of two movements to reshape long-term care globally – The Eden Alternative and Green House Project.
Bill’s Eden Alternative philosophy put forward a radical critique of long-term care and offered a creative way to “change the culture” of nursing homes by bringing growth and laughter into the lives of elders.
According to his website, Dr. Thomas’ Green House® Project creates small, intentional communities where 7-10 elders and staff focus on living full and vibrant lives. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $15 million to support rapid replication of the model in all 50 states.
Central among his philosophies with the Eden Alternative is the belief that aging should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline. I think that’s a concept we all can adopt, whether we live in Walnut Creek, Benicia, Concord, Pleasant Hill or anywhere across the world.