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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 09/13/2023

Dr. Bill Thomas; Live & Interactive Discussion

The challenge our society faces is how to improve the health, well being and longevity of people who are already old. How can we harness the power unleashed by elders who choose to grow old rather than merely get old? Strength, purpose and belonging are legitimate pursuits for older people. Aging is simply the name we give to growth when we are no longer young. 

Dr. Bill Thomas is a prolific author, speaker and founder of the Eden Alternative and the Green House Project. In 2008, the Wall Street Journal named him one of the 12 most influential Americans shaping aging in the 21st century. He is currently chief independence officer of population health pioneer Lifespark. 

His most recent book is Better Together: The Awesome Power of Growing Stronger Together. The book is the last of a free four-part series dedicated to help older people and their families perfect the process of Aging Magnificently.

Produced in partnership with Reston for a Lifetime and the Positive Aging Community

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Questions Asked

  • How do you know when to go to an assisted living place and discuss it with your family?
  • I know you use technology (3D printers for the Minka project. etc.). Are you seeing any uses for Artificial Intelligence (robotics) in addition to generative AI (ChatGPT & Bard) for marketing?
  • How is the Minka project coming along?
  • Do you believe the population shifts towards elders, will lead cultures back to caring for their parents at home? If so, what changes do you think will be needed in our culture to sustain "iliterate" caregivers?
  • How do you spell Kalemus?
  • I agree. People move too late. I often experience people "ignoring" the reality of their physical or mental condition. They are fiercely, often stubbornly independent. Everyone else has aged, but they haven't. How do you help folks accept, embrace their reality?
  • I completely agree - independence and community go together!
  • It would be great to have a robot that could help our seniors with their medication management - keeping it straight and administering it on time!
  • So, how would you have the same conversation with your parent? Would you be as straightforward?
  • I think Dr. Thomas has changed his mind from the time I first asked him and he now supports MAiD (Medical Aid in Dying)?
  • Is there any credible evidence in your opinion on how to possibly prevent dementia through lifestyle?
  • Can Bill recommend strategies for gaining paid employment (preferably remote) in positions that advance Aging Literacy?
  • IF Dr. Bill got a blank check, where would he travel to learn from and do more research about another society about how to age more magnificiently?  Thank you.  Excellent event
  • Hi Bill - Sonya Barsness here - along with holding up independence as the gold standard for aging well, there is alot of focus on "successful aging" so that people who are living with various disabilities as they grow older might hear messages that they are "failing" or less than (they are not). This is so detrimental for so many reasons. From your perspective, how do we address this?
  • What is your view of self dying because of forgoing eating and drinking?
  • Are the elderly in Scandinavia integrated into the rest of society? You just answered my question!
  • How can we revive Adult Day Services?  So many have closed or expanded to service younger folks who  developmental disabled.  Its such a needed service!!!
  • Given your comment about the importance of exercise, why is there so much emphasis on medication over exercise. In fact, I believe the medical community has a problem now in being honest with people about their physical condition/weight because of "body shaming", regardless of your age. Do you see this?
  • Who are our allies for aging magnificently in Congress or the fed govt these days…. No more Claude Peppers!
  • Loved your comment about setting ourselves up for failure if at 80 we want to live and look like we’re 40. My issue is accepting that I no longer have the body of my 40-year old self . How do you talk to your clients/patients about positively reframing body image?
  • How to reach the filmed  version of this session?

Chat Transcript

12:00:53     From  Elva Roy : Hi Bill!

12:01:05     From  Bill Floyd   to   Hosts and panelists : Hello

12:06:07     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Hi Elva!

12:06:12     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Hey Bill!

12:06:49     From  Elva Roy : Dr. Bill Thomas is one of my top 3 heroes...right up there with Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders. Love all that he has done for older adults...love his book!

12:07:45     From  Bill Seitz   to   Hosts and panelists : my old Eden notes http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/EdenAlternative

12:07:53     From  Nicole Smith : How is the Minka project coming?

12:08:56     From  Mary Williams : I would love to know where I can purchase the book, please.  Mary Williams, Herndon VA

12:10:22     From  Nicole Smith : yes, my baby bible

12:10:52     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : What to Expect When You're Expecting https://a.co/d/g2wzddf

12:11:12     From  Scott Parkin   to   Mary Williams and all panelists : The book is available online to download at Lifespark.com.

12:11:28     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, Tenth Edition https://a.co/d/8UYimcM

12:12:29     From  Bill Seitz : this literacy trail also reminds me of Whole Earth review/catalog. http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/WholeEarth

12:13:16     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Dr. Bill Thomas, Lifespark Chief Experience Officer, has spent decades working with seniors and their families to perfect the process for Aging Magnificently. Each of the four books tells a unique story, so download them all and enjoy! https://lifespark.com/spark-pillars/

12:13:51     From  Mary Williams : Thank you for telling me how to download the Ebooks.  There are 4 online:  https://lifespark.com/senior-living/

12:15:01     From  Susan V : Thanks for this discussion on sleep!  I am in my late 60s and sleep is so different now

12:15:18     From  Sandra Frazier : This doesn't include illnesses related to aging and otherwise.

12:19:27     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : https://lifespark.com/spark-pillars/

12:20:43     From  Lee De Cola   to   Hosts and panelists : Do you talk about talking about death?

12:23:10     From  Nicole Smith : you think it is too soon.... until it is too late

12:24:00     From  Mary Williams : Agree!  If you love your current community, work with a great contractor to ensure your current home serve your anticipated later needs, and see if that is financially feasible.

12:25:33     From  Nicole Smith : brilliant

12:25:59     From  Sandra Frazier : I lucked out into a townhouse community with wide corridors and only one short step into the house.

12:26:30     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : You can be independent alone or dependent together

Kallimos is pioneering a new way https://kallimos.com/

12:26:35     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Kallimos.com

12:27:34     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Intentional Community

12:27:58     From  Nicole Smith : same with self care, easier to practice self care when a community supports you!

12:28:20     From  sharon Paarver : can you address the role of elder villages in the future of aging at home?

12:29:16     From  Judy Zimmerman Herr : Village to Village Network -- crucial component for those of us who can't move to a Kallimos village; it provides the same kind of community

12:29:21     From  Jose Ramos : It's called Kin-Keepers.com. They use Generative AI and voice to translate ADRD utterances.

12:29:27     From  Nicole Smith : ALZBetter is an app

12:29:28     From  Cynthia Taylor : Amen

12:30:32     From  G M   to   Hosts and panelists : https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7100168993381990401?updateEntityUrn=urn:li:fs_feedUpdate:(V2,urn:li:activity:7100168993381990401)

12:31:12     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Angela Baker 12:30 PM 

It would be great to have a robot that could help our seniors with their medication management - keeping it straight and administering it on time!

12:31:40     From  Patricia Lepkowicz   to   Hosts and panelists : I live in the lower level of my sons home which I have kitchen, bathroom,bedroom etc but have no friends my age as I moved here 5 years ago …so I’m lonely and don’t drive anymore..go to Drs and haircut and pedicure…I’m happy but lonely

12:32:13     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Stupidly independent

12:32:55     From  Louis Tenenbaum : You speak so clearly about the respect for choice in housing selection, and literacy regarding aging experience, process, and planning. Can you discuss the importance of preparing (in advance )the physical environment of existing homes for aging in place as a prerequisite for fulfilling that choice?

12:35:05     From  Laurie Pross   to   Hosts and panelists : Have you abandoned hope for the nursing home industry? No more hope for an Eden Alternative?

12:36:00     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Eden is Rising

12:36:37     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Let's Talk About Death (Over Dinner) + Death Cafe https://www.retirementlivingsourcebook.com/videos/let-s-talk-about-death-over-dinner-death-cafe

12:37:48     From  Bill Seitz : MutualAid http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/MutualAid

12:38:00     From  Virginia Keim   to   Hosts and panelists : Virginia Keim is there a stigma placed on you if you ask for a little help/or service?  It is not easy asking for help even if you know its out there.

12:38:15     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : mutual aid society https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/mutual_aid_society#:~:text=A mutual aid society is,that communities support each other.

12:38:25     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Virginia Keim to All Panelists 12:38 PM

Virginia Keim is there a stigma placed on you if you ask for a little help/or service?  It is not easy asking for help even if you know its out there.

12:39:21     From  Cele Garrett : Village to Village Network: vtvnetwork.org  There are 283 villages in operation or in formation in the US

12:39:40     From  Virginia Keim   to   Hosts and panelists : Yes

12:40:06     From  Virginia Keim   to   Hosts and panelists : Virginia Thank you

12:41:04     From  Angela Baker : I agree, small house - big life!

12:41:57     From  Angela Baker : Getting people to overcome the emotional challenge of leaving their bigger home is the key!

12:42:21     From  Angela Baker : I so agree with you Doctor!

12:43:31     From  Angela Baker : Thank you! I so agree. My father is 85!

12:43:49     From  Nicole Smith : an elder person with capacity has the right to make the 'wrong' decisions

12:45:27     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Understanding End-of-Life Options, including Medical Aid in Dying https://www.retirementlivingsourcebook.com/videos/understanding-end-of-life-options-including-medical-aid-in-dying

12:45:33     From  Sharon Canner   to   Hosts and panelists : Timing for ending life

12:46:02     From  Virginia Keim   to   Hosts and panelists : Virginia Keim a reason to stay in your home is the familiarity with getting around driving vs learning new surroundings

12:46:12     From  Elva Roy : It's not "suicide" if you have a terminal illness.

12:46:47     From  Nicole Smith : tennis is a big one I think

12:47:33     From  Adriana Pavletic   to   Hosts and panelists : Avoid ultra-processed foods

12:47:41     From  Sharon Canner   to   Hosts and panelists : Witnessed my mother calling me to say “good by” the day before she passed.  Called and said to me: “love you, good-bye!

12:50:26     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Still

12:50:42     From  Wendy Pachter : How can a solo ager navigate finding (and planning finances for) a community that will not deteriorate from beautiful independent living to institutional takeover and moves to other levels of care where someone else’s financial interests or narrow risk tolerance trumps individual’s quality of life?  After seeing what happened to my mother, I am waiting to find my move until there are sufficient new options (perhaps like Kallimos).

12:55:34     From  Elva Roy : I recommend Diane Rehm's books "On My Own" and "When My Time Comes" regarding Medical Aid in Dying. Also www.compassionandchoices.org  Now legal in 11 U.S. jurisdictions and everywhere in Canada.

12:56:01     From  Scott Parkin   to   Steve Gurney - ProAging Community(Direct Message) : Give me a question toward end. Thanks

12:57:26     From  Bill Seitz : "compliance"

12:58:11     From  Bill Seitz : see John Ratey books “Go Wild” and “Spark”

13:00:50     From  Elva Roy : Bernie is a friend!

13:00:59     From  Mary Williams : Thanks to our host, sponsors and guest Dr. Thomas today.  Time is flying and the discussion is so helpful.

13:02:20     From  Kim McRae : This was so wonderful! Thank you to Bill and Steve for your passion and focus on these important issues!!

13:06:09     From  Sandra Frazier : Wonderful podcast. Thank you. ????

13:06:43     From  Sonya Barsness : amen

13:06:48     From  Kim McRae : Amen!!!

13:07:14     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Thanks everybody!

13:07:47     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : The more we know the better we do

13:08:31     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Make your team

13:08:46     From  Dr. Bill Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Create your social network

13:09:18     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Dr. Bill Thomas to All Panelists 01:08 PM

Thanks everybody!

The more we know the better we do

Make your team

Create your social network

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