May 1, 2000 (San Francisco) -- Excerpt from the book Life Worth
Living, by William H. Thomas, MD:
"We did our best to treat his depression and to encourage, cajole, and
assist him, but nothing seemed to help. First, he gave up on walking. Then he
refused to eat and became confined to his bed. At this time, the Eden
Alternative began to take root. We offered Mr. L. a pair of parakeets to keep
by his bedside. He agreed, with the indifference of a person who knows he will
soon be gone.
Like many things in life as we get older, eating can be a challenge.
The sense of taste, like the other senses, diminishes as we age. Appetite and taste can also be affected by medications. In addition, dental problems can make it difficult or painful to chew food.
Loss of appetite can make it difficult to get adequate nutrition, especially when you’re sick or not feeling well. What can you do to be sure you’re getting the nutrients you need?
“No single strategy works for everyone,” says Kathleen...
"The changes were subtle at first. Mr. L. would position himself in bed
so that he could watch the activities of his new charges. Then he began to
offer comments to the people who came in to care for them. These comments grew
into bits of advice about what the birds liked and how they seemed to be doing.
He was hooked. The parakeets were drawing his spirit slowly back into the realm
of the living.
"He began eating again, dressing himself, and getting out of his room.
The dogs needed a walk every afternoon, and he let us know that he was the man
for the job. His condition rapidly improved. His children once again saw the
sparkle in his pale blue eyes. Three months later, it was our turn to be sad as
we watched him pack his belongings and move back home. The Eden Alternative had
saved his life."