As an adult daughter, not to mention an individual who is moving inexorably, but not unwelcomingly, toward retirement years, I read a lot of books about philosophy, aging, transitions, and mindfulness. I have plenty of books to choose from on all sorts of aging and life topics.
Ronni Bennett over at Time Goes By has just updated the books section of her blog. She lists her favorites — published over a 30 year time span – along with short quotes, and her selections offer thoughtful, realistic, and even a few downright literary portrayals of the aging process during our senior years.
As a group, Bennet explains, her favorite books offer “collected wisdom and knowledge of their superb writers – thinkers and activists who aim a bright, shining light onto the realities of getting old.” It’s a pretty cool list, one that steers determinedly away from pop culture and promises of wrinkle-free elderhood.
Two of the books, What Are Old People For?, by Dr Bill Thomas, and The Longevity Revolution, by Dr. Robert N. Butler, have inspired a number of posts here on As Our Parents Age, and I’ve been privileged to hear both of these gifted physician authors speak. Dr. Butler died in 2010. To find out how much I am influenced by Dr. Thomas’ book, please visit my Green House Homes page. Read more »
Check out the post Exploring Green House Core Values: Real Home over at the Changing Aging blog.
Rachel Scher of The Green House Project describes how Green House movement founder, Dr. Bill Thomas, envisions homes where residents create a community together — supported by staff members (shabazz) who are trained not only to provide care but also to provide and encourage the home-creating process.
In her post Scher makes the distinction between creating “home-like homes”versus making real homes.At the end of the post watch a great video that celebrates ten years of the Green House Movement.
In this picture Dr. Bill Thomas speaks at the dedication of the new Woodland Park Green House Homes at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community early in January 2013.
“Now I don’t mind getting old,” exclaimed Marie Detwiler, age 91, as she explored a new Woodland Park Green House Home at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC). She understands the Woodland Park philosophy as do lots of others attending the first of two grand opening events in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
After chatting with Mrs. Detwiler, I remembered my reaction last week when I dropped into one of the homes for a sneak preview. “Exquisite,” I kept saying to myself as I walked from room-to-room.
Today (January 5, 2013) we celebrated at the first of two Woodland Park grand opening events — almost one year to the day since the groundbreaking. With these first Green House Homes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, VMRC aims to start a trend, encouraging other providers to recast the way they address aging issues and helping elders age well in a caring community that preserves their independence — even when they need considerable medical support.
Ron Yoder, the VMRC Chief Executive Officer, shared his thoughts about Woodland Park, thanking scores of people — contributors, committees, builders, planners, fundraisers, and everyone else who has made it possible for VMRC to design and build the new community. Each resident, Yoder noted, is assured privacy in his or her own bedroom and bathroom, ample common living space, easy access to a kitchen, wireless, and plenty of outside space to enjoy. Read more »
Dr. Thomas’ post tells about the activities that will celebrate the book’s launch, but it’s especially easy to take part in the festivities on Wednesday, April, 4, 2012 at 3:00 P.M. eastern standard time. All of the proceeds from this book will be contributed to The Eden Alternative.
Order a standard book or get a version for the Nook, Kindle, iPhone, etc. This week, before purchasing the book, fans should consider participating in a launch purchase at Amazon.
I will review Tribes of Eden here on AsOurParentsAge.
Dr. Bill Thomas, known for Changing Aging, Green Housing, and Eden Alternative, as well as his position as a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, has just given a TED Talk. Click to learn about TED Talks.
Below you can listen to and watch Dr. Bill’s TED presentation, Elderhood Rising: The Dawn of a New World Age (this link takes you to watch and read Dr. Bill’s Post at his ChangingAging site).
According to the website, “Each year, the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference hosts some of the world’s most fascinating people: Trusted voices…” Quite a few of these presentations are fascinating and though-provoking. Browse TED Talks.
I’ll write some of my thoughts about his presentation in a subsequent post.
Head over to the always information-filled and sometimes wonderfully provocative ChangingAging blog to see a guided video tour of a Green House Home. Led by elder advocate Dr. Bill Thomas, the walk-through is a must-see for anyone who wants to understand exactly what a Green House looks like as well as learn more about this non-medical, neighborhood-oriented living choice for elders.
Green houses are revolutionary, though I marvel at how it became revolutionary for people in the later years of their lives to expect to avoid a medical model and instead live in a normal residential situation while getting the support that they need. Go Green!
Sometime soon I plan to check in with Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC) to see how the planning for their Green House Homes building campaign is going. In the meantime, you can read the three posts I wrote about VMRC’s Green House planning a couple of months ago .
Information about the conference is from the Changing Aging website and more information is available there. Because of continuing interest in the Green House Homes movement, and after posting four Green House Homes pieces, on this blog, I am planning to listen in to these presentations, and you can, too. See the information below.
Begin Section from Website
You can view the conference livestream from The Green House website here. Here’s a schedule for the sessions that will be broadcast live, including Dr. Bill Thomas and panels featuring elders and shahbazim:
September 29th@ 9:00-10:00a EDT
- Elderhood: on Being and Doing,Dr. Bill Thomas, Founder of the Eden Alternative and The Green House Model
September 29th @ 4:15-5:15p EDT
- Elders Rule! Panel of Elders Talk about a Life Worth Living!
September 30th @ 1:30-2:30p EDT
- In a Different Voice,Panel of Shahbazim
As Our Parents Age has published a series of articles on the planning and building of Green House Homes, a concept developed by Dr. Bill Thomas. The series includes: Green Houses for Older Elders, Replacing a Nursing Community with Green House Homes, Nuts and Bolts of Green House Planning, and Building a Green House Home – The Inside. To learn even more about Green House® Homes go to the web site and request the DVD and/or guide-book.
The Boston Globe published a terrific article, A ‘Green House’ in Chelsea Provides Skilled or Elder Care on a Family-like Site, about Green Housing for the elderly, describing newly a constructed community in the Chelsea section of Boston. According to the August 30, 2010 article by Kay Lazar, the new housing provides “alternatives to traditional institutional care for people needing long-term skilled nursing services.” The elder care arrangement banishes the medical model, instead setting up homelike communities where about 10 residents live and eat together as a community. They receive needed medical care, but that care is on the periphery — far from the center of daily life.
In his book What Are Old People For: How Elders Will Save the World, Dr. Bill Thomas (read his bio), points out that Green Houses look exactly like any other house in a neighborhood, other than being designed for individuals who may need certain types of assistance. The medical model is banished, as is the unrelenting rotation of staff members, day in and day out. Green Houses are intentional communities that fight ageism and celebrate the wisdom and experiences of “elderhood.”