I arrived in London this weekend despite some major weekend travel snafus thanks to New England’s snowy Nor’easter. More updates from the UK soon but first I wanted to share a note I sent to my good friends at CharterCare in Rhode Island, who I missed speaking to Saturday night because of the weather. On the bus, on the way to the train, on the way to Boston to make my flight to the UK, I composed this message:
I sit down to write these words with genuine sadness. I have been looking forward to this evening for months. This gathering is something special, something important and vital. The people in in this room represent what is best about our families, our neighborhoods and the American culture. You have come together to honor Elders and to pledge your support for the cause of improving quality of life and quality of care for our mothers and fathers.
This is a noble cause.
If the weather had allowed me to be with you, I would have used this opportunity to proclaim a powerful new reality that is changing aging all around the world. We understand, now better than ever before that….
It can be different.
We can change the facilities, the programs, the services. the organizations and in dramatic and highly effective ways. We can radically transform how we imagine aging, how we think about elders and how we provide support to these wonderful and vitally important— human beings.
We can do all of this– and you can be part of making this change happen. This treasured evening, cold and wind swept may have delayed my travel but it can not and will not extinguish the bright flame that burns in the hearts of the professionals of CharterCare. It can not touch the warm of giving hearts that are here in this room.
Working together, we will change the lives of elders in this community. We will repay the good people who raised us, educated us, encouraged us and taught us to— always— think of others.
Tonight we think of them. Tonight we offer our thanks— to them.
Dr. Bill Thomas