Is Your Cup Too Full?

Is Your Cup Too Full?

Our minister began a sermon recently telling the story of the Zen master. The story goes that a university professor traveled to visit a famous Zen master to learn from him. They sat down and the Zen master served the

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What’s the Speed Limit?

What’s the Speed Limit?

Spending time with leaders who are open to new ideas and challenging their assumptions can be very inspiring. I recently had the privilege of spending two days with such a group of leaders. We were talking about the challenges of

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United Airlines Debacle: Anything Sound Familiar?

United Airlines Debacle: Anything Sound Familiar?

You’ve probably heard about the big story involving the mistreatment of a passenger who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight last week. The incident has created quite a buzz. Well, there’s a very interesting angle to this story

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Christie Gardens Joins the Eden Registry

Christie Gardens Joins the Eden Registry

Christie Gardens in Ontario, Canada joined the Eden Registry on March 27, 2017. Located in Toronto’s Davenport Neighborhood, near Seaton Village and The Annex, Christie Gardens Apartments & Care has been serving Elders in Toronto for over 30 years. The

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Help Us Welcome Mission at Castle Rock to the Registry

Help Us Welcome Mission at Castle Rock to the Registry

Mission at Castle Rock Rehabilitation Center in Green River, WY joined the Eden Registry on March 23, 2016. Located in the high desert of Wyoming, they are surrounded by rolling green fields and pine trees that provide breath taking views

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Meet Our Newest Registry Member - Signature Healthcare of Spencer County

Meet Our Newest Registry Member – Signature Healthcare of Spencer County

Signature Healthcare of Spencer County in Taylorsville, KY joined the Eden Registry on March 17, 2017.  Located about 20 minutes from Louisville they are nestled in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills. The towns of Louisville and Taylorsville

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New Research Reveals Positive Impact of Person-Directed Care

New Research Reveals Positive Impact of Person-Directed Care

A Signature Research Institute study highlights the impact of the Eden Alternative Ten Principles Authors Angie McAllister and Jeff Beaty have detailed the results of a recent study completed by Signature HealthCare regarding the impact of person-directed care practices on

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Oscars Flub & the Knee-Jerk Response That is Ageism - A Challenge

Oscars Flub & the Knee-Jerk Response That is Ageism – A Challenge

So, I watched the Oscars with a friend last night.  As midnight here on the East Coast neared, it was time to reveal the winning film for the Best Picture category. Like a bizarre replay of the recent Miss Universe

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Mission at Community Rehab and Assisted Living Joins the Eden Registry

Mission at Community Rehab and Assisted Living Joins the Eden Registry

Mission at Community Rehab and Assisted Living in Centerfield, Utah joined the Eden Registry on February 20, 2017. This home is located in the quaint little country town of Centerfiled, Utah, a town that is rich in history and community.

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In Response to the PBS Documentary, "Alzheimer's: Every Minute Counts"

In Response to the PBS Documentary, “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts”

There is much buzz about the PBS’ documentary, “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts” in culture change circles this week.  Award-winning author and world-renowned geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas offers an inspiring counter perspective to the “tragedy narrative” we are all so —

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"Otherization" ... Fuel for Ageism, Foe to Person-Directed Culture

“Otherization” … Fuel for Ageism, Foe to Person-Directed Culture

As culture changers, we make it a daily practice to reach beyond labels and assumptions to deeply know each unique individual. Is it always easy? No. But we know that this alone makes it possible for us to transform the

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Welcome the First Registry Member of 2017 - Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center

Welcome the First Registry Member of 2017 – Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center

Merwick Care and Rehabilitation in Plainsboro, NJ, joined the Eden Registry on January 12, 2017. This home was built with the Elders and environment at the core. The building is LEED certified which means the folks that live and work

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McKnights Features Bill Thomas and the Impact of Loneliness

McKnights Features Bill Thomas and the Impact of Loneliness

As change agents, remember when we had to fight to be heard about the impact of loneliness on the human spirit?  In the nearly 14 years I’ve been doing this work, I recall a lot of strained conversations about well-being

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Meet the Newest Registry Member – Signature Healthcare at Summit Manor

Meet the Newest Registry Member – Signature Healthcare at Summit Manor

Signature Healthcare at Summit Manor Rehab and Wellness Center in Columbia, Kentucky joined the Eden Registry on December 16, 2016.  They are home to 97 Elders and have divided their community into four neighborhoods between the two floors. There is

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Welcome Sagewood Continuing Care Community to the Eden Registry!

Welcome Sagewood Continuing Care Community to the Eden Registry!

The Sagewood Continuing Care Community in Sackville, NS joined the Eden Registry on December 9, 2016. They are creating home for 50 Elders in their relaxed comfortable cottages. There are four cottages within the home with private bedrooms for each

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Broken Systems, Not Broken Managers

Broken Systems, Not Broken Managers

We have all heard that people don’t quit companies; people quit managers. That may be true, but it could also be true that people don’t quit managers, they quit broken systems. Maybe they quit because they don’t fit it in,

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Do You Have GRIT?

Do You Have GRIT?

Leading Age Keynote Speaker Angela Duckworth Has the Answer… Grit.  What is it?  According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, there are very specific markers that define grit.  The cliff notes are essentially this:  perseverance and passion over the long-term.  Sound familiar? 

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Beth Baker on the Village Movement and Cultivating Diversity

Beth Baker on the Village Movement and Cultivating Diversity

I’m posting from the 2016 Leading Age Annual Meeting in Indianapolis and have just returned from a panel discussion about the age-friendly community movement.  This global initiative takes a systems approach to creating communities that accommodate and value people of

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The Hidden Restraint – Part 4

The Hidden Restraint – Part 4

This post by Dr. Al Power was published on ChangingAging.org. All-or-none thinking” and “surplus safety” make it difficult for organizations to visualize a pathway to unlocking doors. At last, here is the final installment of this marathon blog post. First,

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An Excerpt from "Relentlessly Pursuing Wonder:  9th Gathering of the Annual CUSP Conference"

An Excerpt from “Relentlessly Pursuing Wonder: 9th Gathering of the Annual CUSP Conference”

Here’s a thoughtful reflection on the work of Bill Thomas by Nate Burgos of Design Feaster.  This is just an excerpt from the whole piece, which explores wonder from a variety of perspectives.  I’m struck by the phrase “Start living your damn

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Home is Where Well-Being Is

Home is Where Well-Being Is

 This article of mine was published in PS Magazine, Issue 15 on Page 16.  It’s based on a personal story that affirms, without a doubt, that home is where the heart is. Jackie loves the arts… opera in particular.  At

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End of Life Lessons from Dad: Lesson #5

End of Life Lessons from Dad: Lesson #5

Dad’s lesson #5 is that specialists aren’t always special. Nancy Fox would tell you that as human beings, we are all about creating constituencies. It is amazing how fast a group of complete strangers can bond and begin to demonstrate

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Change Agents as Wayfinders

Change Agents as Wayfinders

Life coach Martha Beck’s book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, captures the key qualities of what she calls a “Wayfinder.”  (No, Martha is not my kin, by the way.) Wayfinders, by her definition, look a lot like culture

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End of Life Lessons from Dad:  Lesson #4

End of Life Lessons from Dad: Lesson #4

Lesson #4 from Dad is about the power of communication. We definitely experienced some poor communication during our journey with Dad. Part of it was the communication that should have happened, but didn’t. For example, when we said “no” to

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Venetian Care and Rehabilitation Joins the Eden Registry

Venetian Care and Rehabilitation Joins the Eden Registry

Venetian Care and Rehabilitation Center in South Amboy, NJ, joined the Eden Registry on August 29, 2016. This beautiful new community completed in 2014 is home to 180 empowered Elders. Venetian was intentionally designed to create a sense of smallness

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End of Life Lessons from Dad: Lesson #3

End of Life Lessons from Dad: Lesson #3

Lesson #3 from Dad’s end-of-life journey was all about the search for meaning. Eden Alternative Principle Six states: “Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. The opportunity to do things we find meaningful is essential to human health.” When we teach

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Signature HealthCARE Rocks Elder Vacations... Again

Signature HealthCARE Rocks Elder Vacations… Again

I am always so inspired by this organization’s commitment to living the ten principles of The Eden Alternative in big ways.  Undaunted, they have changed lives by arranging multiple Elder vacations for the people who live in their communities.  There was

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End of Life Lessons from Dad:  Lesson #2

End of Life Lessons from Dad: Lesson #2

Lesson #2 from my Dad’s end-of-life journey is to watch out for Kahlid the Kind. Eden Alternative Principle Seven says, “Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.” Dr. Bill Thomas has written a story

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End-of-Life Lessons from Dad:   Lesson #1

End-of-Life Lessons from Dad: Lesson #1

My father passed away recently. It was unexpected; a stroke. Our family found ourselves in a 3-week journey with Dad that was infuriating, exasperating, surprising, and heartwarming all at the same time. I suspect it was much the same as

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Small Home Big Hearts - St. Francis Assisted Living

Small Home Big Hearts – St. Francis Assisted Living

St. Francis Assisted Living in Forest City , AR,  joined the Eden Registry on August 18, 2016. A small home, in a small town filled with people that have big hearts. This is what you can expect to experience at

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Calling on the Past to Heal the Present

Calling on the Past to Heal the Present

This article, published in PS Magazine in the May/June 2016 issue, Pages 18-22, highlights how Elder stories are a source of healing not only on a personal level, but on a global one as well.   Explore how two unique stories illustrate the vast

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Welcome Our Newest Registry Member: Signature Healthcare of Greeneville

Welcome Our Newest Registry Member: Signature Healthcare of Greeneville

Signature Healthcare of Greeneville in Greeneville, TN joined the Eden Registry on August 11, 2016. Care Partner employees here believe that no one should suffer from the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. They work hard each day to

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The Hidden Restraint, Part 2

The Hidden Restraint, Part 2

This post by Dr. Al Power was published on ChangingAging.org on August 10, 2016. Recently, I posted a provocative argument for considering locked doors as physical restraints.  I have received many comments about the post; and as promised, I am

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The Hidden Restraint, Part 1

The Hidden Restraint, Part 1

This post by Dr. Al Power was published on ChangingAging.org on July 30, 2016. Imagine if we considered locked doors in memory care wards as restraints. Having given many seminars on restraint reduction 15-20 years ago, I am very familiar

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Mariachi and Mom

Mariachi and Mom

This article was published in PS Magazine in the November/December 2015 issue, Pages 22-23.   After my mother passed away in 2010, my family gathered at a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, Texas to take comfort in the ballads sung

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The Bridge at Rockwood Joins the Eden Registry

The Bridge at Rockwood Joins the Eden Registry

The Bridge at Rockwood in Rockwood , TN,  joined the Eden Registry on July 29, 2016. This home is centrally located in the heart of Tennessee in the beautiful Roane County.  When you pull up for a visit you are

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Elders, Children, and Music: A Strong Connection

Elders, Children, and Music: A Strong Connection

A heart-warming story from Mercy Retirement & Care Center, Oakland, CA Emily Sanderson, a Certified Eden Associate and music therapist, at Mercy Retirement & Care Center had an idea. She knew many of the Elders had taught children or cared

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The Clock is Ticking

The Clock is Ticking

I was watching the movie The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this weekend. There is a scene where Judi Dench is contemplating a new relationship with a man staying at the hotel. She tells her co-worker that she wants to

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The Kitchen Table

The Kitchen Table

I recently watched a video about finance.  The speaker began by explaining why he had an old beat-up kitchen table on stage. He talked about the history of that kitchen table, which came from his home.  Although he discussed it

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Finding Ourselves Through Our Teachers

Finding Ourselves Through Our Teachers

What I love most about the concept of care partnership is the opportunity to discover new teachers and even be surprised by who they might be. The 18-year anniversary of my father’s passing has just recently come and gone, and

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Pete's Greatest Hit

Pete’s Greatest Hit

Pete Rose is the all-time Major League leader in hits, games played, and at-bats.  He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made

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Eden Educators are Blooming!

Eden Educators are Blooming!

Dr. Bill Thomas is always reminding us that education is the antidote to fear and resistance. Education is very important on the journey to person-directed care. Education needs to be provided, reinforced daily and refreshed periodically. With budget cutbacks a

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International Eden Elder Award Winner Honored in Local News

International Eden Elder Award Winner Honored in Local News

Alice Lute stole the show at the 2016 Eden Alternative International Conference… in more ways than one.  Not only was she an honored recipient of the 2016 International Eden Elder Award alongside Lucy Kennedy, but she took away the top

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Inspired Words Make Worlds

Inspired Words Make Worlds

In honor of National Nursing Home Week, we have a treat for you.  We, at The Eden Alternative, recently had the distinct honor of receiving three different poems from 3 inspired change agents.  Not only do they touch the heart

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2016 Conference... Hit Rewind, View Highlights

2016 Conference… Hit Rewind, View Highlights

Something happens for me at the end of every Eden Alternative International Conference.  Within moments of the conference closing, I feel it… a sense of let-down or perhaps it’s “good vibes” grief.  After two years of planning and nearly a

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Eden International Conference on YouTube

Eden International Conference on YouTube

The 8th Eden Alternative International Conference theme, It’s About Time!, is a call to action. We are posting video of select conference sessions to YouTube direct from Little Rock, Arkansas. Watch and learn how you can help create a life

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Got Talent? Bring It, Baby…

It’s the same story for every Eden Alternative International Conference.  We are days away, and there are just a few submissions for the notorious Eden’s Got Talent event.  Yet, every year the show ends up being a total delight, complete

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4000 Valley Square Joins the Tribe

4000 Valley Square Joins the Tribe

4000 Valley Square in Grand Forks, ND, joined the Eden Registry on April 14, 2016. Elders in this community enjoy aging in place while benefiting from the many amenities this full continuum-of-care campus has to offer.  Divided into 3 communities,

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The Third Valley Memorial Home in a Week! Welcome to the Eden Registry Valley Eldercare Center

The Third Valley Memorial Home in a Week! Welcome to the Eden Registry Valley Eldercare Center

Valley Eldercare Center in Grand Forks, ND, joined the Eden Alternative Registry on April 15, 2016. The Elders and employee care partners are all about creating close and special relationships. They do this by dividing up into smaller neighborhoods with

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Welcome to the Eden Family Tufte Manor

Welcome to the Eden Family Tufte Manor

Tufte Manor in Grand Forks, North Dakota, joined the Eden Registry on April 13, 2016. This is a special place with special people living and working here. They enjoy the fact that they are located in a neighborhood where they

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ChangingAging features Person-Directed Care in the Community through Eden at Home

ChangingAging features Person-Directed Care in the Community through Eden at Home

On Monday, ChangingAging posted a piece by Beth Baker featuring the work we do at The Eden Alternative through our Eden at Home initiative.  It offers a powerful example of how one home and community-based organization in North Carolina is

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The Leadership Transition Myth

The Leadership Transition Myth

You’ve all heard people say that a “little turnover is expected as leaders change.” I’ve heard it too. The other thing I’ve heard is “turnover is a good thing during a transition. It is a chance to get the right

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Principle One Gets the Spotlight in McKnights

Principle One Gets the Spotlight in McKnights

Yesterday, McKnight’s posted an interesting article highlighting The Eden Alternative’s Principle One — access it here.  For those of you who need a little context, Principle One of the Eden Alternative Philosophy states that “The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account

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sunflower_fields

Making Peace with the Past

“How has Mrs. Smith handled change in the past?” This was how we predicted how well a new nursing home resident would cope with adjusting to placement in 1983. For the most part, this simplistic rule of thumb seemed to

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Support is a Wimpy Word...

Support is a Wimpy Word…

… Especially when it comes to changing the culture of care in an organization. My boss was the first to use it in the journey we were on. He would say, “I’m here for you; I support what you are

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Consumer Education Changes the Game Where Care is Concerned

Consumer Education Changes the Game Where Care is Concerned

Yesterday, the Washington Post published an article entitled “Promise You’ll Never Put Me in a Nursing Home.” I agree with Dr. Bill’s Thomas’ assertion in this piece that having the right language for what we’re asking for is really the

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The Eden Alternative Registry Welcomes its Newest Member – Riverside Care and Rehabilitation Center

Riverside Care and Rehabilitation in Calhoun, KY, joined the Eden Alternative Registry on 1/25/2016. Located in McClean County, they are home to 73 Elders that are enjoying their recently remodeled home. They have new hardwood floors, gorgeous paint colors and

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Welcome to the Registry Points West Living - Wainwright!

Welcome to the Registry Points West Living – Wainwright!

Points West Living Wainwright in Alberta, Canada joined the Eden Alternative Registry on January 21, 2016. This home is nestled in the small town of Wainwright, a unique town in Alberta that has a strong, vibrant & friendly community spirit.

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Welcome Danville Centre for Health and Rehabilitation to the Tribe!

Welcome Danville Centre for Health and Rehabilitation to the Tribe!

Danville Centre for Health and Rehabilitation joined the Eden Alternative Registry on January 13, 2016. This home is located in historical Danville, Kentucky, a small town that is rich in relationships and traditions. The 106 Elders that call Danville Centre

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Signature Healthcare of Putnam County: Off to a Great Start!

Signature Healthcare of Putnam County: Off to a Great Start!

Signature Healthcare of Putnam County joined the Eden Alternative Registry on January 12, 2016. Tucked away in the little town of Algood, TN, they are home to 150 empowered Elders. The folks who live and work here have gone to

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A New Year, A New Addition - Parkside Community

A New Year, A New Addition – Parkside Community

Parkside Community in Chase, British Columbia, Canada, joined the Eden Alternative Registry on January 7, 2016, as our first new Registry Member of 2016. This is truly a living center with empowered Elders and employee care partners driving the rhythm

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back, Looking Forward

As I hang a new calendar on the wall, I am reminded of what an amazing and fulfilling year 2015 was. I was able to travel to 33 cities in 18 states, and another 13 cities in 7 other countries,

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Welcome Points West Living - Lloydminster

Welcome Points West Living – Lloydminster

Points West Living Lloydminster in Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada joined the Eden Alternative Registry on 12/17/2015. There are 65 Elders that live in this vibrant and lively home. To create close and caring relationships, they are divided into 5 smaller cottages.

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Rockcastle Health and Rehabilitation Joins the Eden Registry

Rockcastle Health and Rehabilitation Center in Brodhead, KY, joined the Eden Alternative Registry on November 9, 2015. They are home to 104 Elders, some of which come in only for a short time to receive rehabilitation services. In order to

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No Time Like Now - Ask the Elders Why

No Time Like Now – Ask the Elders Why

Every two years The Eden Alternative puts on an event. This is not just any event. It is an EVENT! We call it our international conference, but it is an EVENT. Note the capitalization for emphasis. For me, my very

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Welcome The Arbors of Del Rey to the Eden Registry

Welcome The Arbors of Del Rey to the Eden Registry

The Arbor’s of Del Rey in Las Cruces, New Mexico, joined the Eden Alternative Registry on October 27, 2015. When you come into this beautiful Southern New Mexico home you will find 24 Elders thriving and enjoying the natural rhythm

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Coach Each Other, Grow Together, Change Lives

Coach Each Other, Grow Together, Change Lives

Last summer, we had the pleasure of working with 20 nursing homes from California and Colorado for a grant project of ours. One of the grant activities involved connecting project participants with culture change leaders who had an exceptional track

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Building Bridges in a Virtual World

Building Bridges in a Virtual World

It’s 8:00 a.m. I pop open my laptop and begin my morning ritual of checking my email inbox. Here I am again, communing with the virtual world, instead of the real world. As I’m thinking that there’s just no heart in all of this technology, something, well, cracks open my heart. Buried amidst thirty unopened messages is a little gem, something “sweet” that the sender thinks I “will enjoy.”

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Care Partner Wellbeing Needs a Lift

Care Partner Wellbeing Needs a Lift

A new Gallup poll about the state of mind of healthcare workers tells us that there is “significant opportunity for their well-being to improve.” ”The sobering fact: More than half (51%) of all healthcare workers were found to be thriving in none or only one of the elements of well-being. The findings are bottom-heavy.

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Knocking on the Backdoor to the Soul

Knocking on the Backdoor to the Soul

It’s 1995. My father, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, sits across from me in a restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He is quiet, staring at his hands in his lap. Most of the day, he’s seemed lost in his own world… one I can’t quite seem to reach. While we sit there, picking at our food, a Flamenco guitarist sets up in the corner of the room and begins to strum a few chords.

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