Reimagining Aging: Connecting Through the Continuum of Life

As Dr. Bill Thomas sees it, there is no continuum of care, at least not when viewed from the eyes of the individual experiencing that care. The founder of the global Eden Alternative was on-hand at Lifesprk’s Thought Leader Lab last month in Minneapolis, Minnesota to help a small group of thinking partners along with Lifesprk’s National Advisory Board explore the challenge of partnering to create a continuum across the life span for people in the second half of life.

thomas-headBest known for his health care system innovation, he is also the creator of The Green House® which Provider Magazine has called the ‘pinnacle of culture change.’ At the Lifesprk Thought Leader Lab, he offered learning from experience launching the Eden Alternative and Greenhouse movements, and his ongoing Changing Aging blog.

According to Lifesprk Founder & CEO Joel Theisen, RN, the Thought Leader Lab meeting is an annual learning opportunity sponsored by the company to push industry innovation. “The more we do this, the more we discover we need to learn. We are always humbled by the thinking and questions we engage in during these sessions. We believe that isolation is fatal. None of us alone can create the experience we want for people. We need to work together – but how do we do that effectively?”

“We have a malignant version of adulthood right now,” explained Dr. Thomas. “We need to master adulthood and create a new phase that people can move into later in life.” He challenged the group’s thinking to examine the full experience from the client’s eyes. “We have silo programs, ‘ice flows’ that we think we can fix with navigation, but that just bands together the ice flows. We need a sturdy bridge.”

Another special guest, Alan Webber, founder of Fast Company Magazine and former editor of the Harvard Business Review shared his insights on starting a social movement based upon his experience at Fast Company.

He urged the group to ‘think big, but start small,’ and shared the story of a tweet he received by someone asking how he could impact millions. Alan’s answer: start with making an impact with one person, and grow it from there.

For more information on Lifesprk and its efforts to collaborate with others to build a continuum of life, connect with Lifesprk.