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Cultivating Readiness with Dr. Bill Thomas and his Partner Jude
(The Open Nesters Podcast Season 2 | Episode 48)
[Tessa] We start off Season Two with a bang. This one is about a couple who are, in truth, redefining what it means to age. Dr. Bill Thomas and his partner Jude Thomas have been at it for a long time and in a very big and meaningful way. These two don’t trifle… they do on the grand scale. So grab a mug of green tea, get in your favorite chair and listen to our interview with Bill and Jude Thomas.
Dr. Bill Thomas is an author, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, farmer and physician whose wide-ranging work explores the terrain of human aging. Best known for his health care system innovations, he is the founder of a global non-profit (The Eden Alternative) which works to improve the care provided to older people. He is the creator of The Green House® which Provider Magazine has called the “pinnacle of culture change.” Dr. Thomas also developed the Senior ER model of care and is now working to transform the acute care services provided to elders.
Read Bill and Jude‘s work on Ageism
Jude Meyers Thomas (Born September 23, 1959) is an American advocate and educator whose work has centered on improving the well-being of older people with a focus on promoting inclusion for people of all abilities. She is the co-founder of multiple long-term care reform efforts including, The Eden Alternative, The Green House Project, The Pioneer Network, and Minka Homes and Communities.
She married Dr. Bill Thomas in 1993 and their first child was born in 1994. Soon after her birth, Haleigh Jane Thomas was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition known as Ohtahara Syndrome. A second daughter, Hannah O’Hara Thomas, was born with the same condition in 1997. Hannah died of complications related to the syndrome in 2015. A healthy third child, Caleb James Thomas, was born in 1999. Her work caring for her daughters had a significant impact on her outlook and advocacy for people living with differing abilities.
An Excerpt from the Interview
[Jude Thomas] We have such an amazing group of friends of all ages. My son, Caleb, our youngest, 22 years old, his friends love coming and hanging out with us as much as my friends who are in their eighties and nineties. I didn’t have that when I was in my thirties. All of my friends were just about the same as me. You just thought you had to hang out with people your own age. I love that it has opened a door for me to be friends engaged with people of all ages and all abilities. I’m really proud of that.
Resources for You
We want to provide you with support and many many resources for your own Open Nesting Journey. Our resource page has so much to offer as does our private discussion group on Facebook about queerness and other topics of interest:
The Open Nesters Private Facebook Group
- ask to join and we’ll let you in