There are many things we all have in common. Aging is one of them.
In Western society, we’ve come to view our elders as no longer productive members of our families or society as a whole and have pushed them to the perimeter of our active lives. This can have a profoundly negative impact on a loved one’s mental and physical health.
As people age, their health often fails. Given the inability and/or unwillingness of younger generations to care for ailing seniors, institutions have been created to provide them with regular care and treatment.
Many of these “retirement homes” are marvelous places that provide social activities, promote autonomy, serve healthful foods, and provide care commensurate with residents’ needs. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
The Doctor Who Changed the Concept of “Retirement Home”
Bill Thomas, MD is a Harvard-trained physician who has come to specialize in geriatrics. This is (surprisingly) not a popular specialty, as only about six thousand doctors in the U.S. are certified geriatricians.
He is on the faculty of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s Erickson School, which has programs in aging, management, and policy. (1)
In 2008, Dr. Thomas was billed by The Wall Street Journal as one of twelve pioneers who are shaping the way Americans live, work, and play in later life. (2)