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Wild Bird Feeders - Can Feeding the Birds Save Lives?

Many elderly and disabled people lead lives increasingly marred by boredom and loneliness. The concept of introducing life in order to enhance life is not a new one but is perhaps one which is too often overlooked. The introduction of animals has so often been shown to yield dramatic results, literally transforming and possibly even saving lives. The provision of wild bird feeders and bird food for the birds is one way to bring appealing animals closer to home.

The Heart-Warming Story of Dr Bill Thomas

Watching wildlife can certainly be an uplifting experience for those who lives are restricted by disability, failing health and dementia. As can interacting with animals. Perhaps the most heart-warming example of this was the amazing work Doctor Bill Thomas in New York. He became a man on a mission when he accepted a new role in a nursing home. Having discovered a disturbing level of misery and inertia in the home he quickly resolved to do something about it. Something dramatic and daring that had many of his colleagues wondering if he had lost his own mind.

The Power of Animals

Thomas decided to introduce animals to the Chase Memorial Nursing Home, lots of animals! After fighting his way through a great deal of annoying bureaucracy in order to be allowed to institute his plan, he moved two dogs, four cats and one hundred birds into the home. He also created a wildlife garden and installed a chicken coop. Many plants were brought in and children were encouraged to visit. Some of his colleagues recoiled at the mess and extra work, others thought he was crazy but the new regime worked wonders on the patients.

A Reason to Live

Elderly residents who hadn’t uttered a word for years started speaking. Some of those who were thought to be completely immobile began taking the dogs for walks. Dementia sufferers also improved as did the entire atmosphere of the home. People had literally come alive and the death rate fell by an impressive 15%.

Bill Thomas had challenged what he saw as a damaging culture. One of institutional routines where safety was a higher priority than living a fulfilling life. He added life to every corner of the home and effectively provided a reason for the residents to live.

Researchers studied the new programme and discovered that the use of prescription drugs fell dramatically. Indeed drug usage dropped to less than half that of the nursing home used as a comparison in the study.

Closer to Home

There are many reasons why elderly, sick and disabled people are unable to enjoy the privilege of pets. For these people the ability to feed and observe wild birds could be a fabulous solution that changes their lives. If you know or care for someone whose life has become restricted then do consider the important role that wildlife could play in enhancing their lives. By investing in wild bird feeders and wild bird food you could help the birds and lift
people’s spirits in equal measure.

Sometimes it is the simple pleasures in life that make all the difference.


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