The Harvard Doctor Changing Nursing Homes Forever

Dr. Bill Thomas is a Harvard trained doctor who has been helping people understand the process of aging. He wants Americans to know that aging is a good thing. He has had a first-hand experience of aging and his radical views throw some people off although they are positive. He has been in the news lately because of his views. The Washington Post some time ago featured an article on the doctor and described him as a one-man crusade whose aim is to change people’s perception of aging. The doctor believes that the story and philosophy Americans have been sold on aging is that it is a period to be feared and this fear has brought lack of autonomy, isolation and loneliness. When he became the medical director of a nursing home for old people in New York, he described the place as a desultory environment that made old people depressed. He decided to do something positive for the residents in order to change their lives and their outlook on life. What he did was to tell the nurses to stock the nursing home with two dogs, ten cats, some rabbits and several hens along with several plants. This became something of a revelation for the staff of the nursing home when they saw the tremendous changes that it brought about.

Key Takeaways:

    • Dr. Bill Thomas is a Harvard doctor who is skilled in coaching people about old age and he wants people to know that they need not be afraid.
    • The doctor has made many news headlines recently because his views on aging are very radical yet they are positive in retrospect.
    • The doctor says that Americans have bought the philosophy that says that old age is a time to be feared and it has encouraged isolation and fear.

“Caring for the plants and animals restored residents’ spirits and autonomy; many started dressing themselves, leaving their rooms and eating again.”

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