Friday, June 23, 2006

The Greening of Aging

Most of the people I've worked with to create their own ethical will have been elders (or "boomers" headed towards elderhood). Among their "hopes and dreams" for future generations that I've heard is for a world that provides loving care for every person throughout their lives -- and, especially, for children and the elderly.

That "hope and dream" came to mind when I found an article on "American Leaders" in U.S. News that featured a doctor who is leading the way to revolutionize the nursing home industry. If you've ever spent time visiting (or working in) any of today's many decades old facilities, I'm sure you'll be pleased to learn about the Eden Alternative and the Green House Project.

Imagine giving every nursing home resident a parakeet, populating the place with dogs and cats, and plowing up the facility's manicured front yard for an organic garden. "Are you nuts?" The results were a 71 % drop in daily drug costs per resident, a 50% decrease in infections, and a 26% drop in nurse's aide turnover! Not so nutty after all!

Here's a link to the article which also describes plans for Eldershire -- a multigenerational "intentional community":

The greening of aging; William Thomas

May you come away from reading the article feeling more hopeful about the future of eldercare ! I certainly did.
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1 comment:

Dr. Bernard J. Baca said...

Interesting perspective. I have developed an interest in roses. My father was a superb rose master. His flowers never failed to amaze many with their beauty, scent, and growth! I guess I've inhereted his rose green thumb! thanks.