As I become more involved in the community of aging adults, including my own aging, I am determined to better understand the world of elderhood. From my experience, for the generation of my parents, those born between 1915 and 1930, old age has often been synonymous with illness, nursing homes, hospital stays, and, in too many instances, undignified end-of-life experiences.
William H. Thomas, M.D., has spent his career as a geriatrician trying to educate the world about having a “positive elderhood”, and in the process has helped create Eden Alternative, a living experience for elders that takes a rather different slant to what it means for older folks to live together. I first heard of William Thomas when viewing his TED Talk Elderhood Rising: The Dawn of a New World Age.
Yes, I know he has a semi-syncopated way of talking, but his message is well worth hearing, as he presents important and useful ideas to consider as you age and as your parents age.
I have since picked up his 2004 book, What are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World, and that’s the topic of my next post or two.