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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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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Martin Pistorius: How my mind came back to life — and no one knew

Martin Pistorius tells his story about how his brain came back to life, and how he struggled to regain his connection to the outside world. Imagine being unable to say, “I am hungry,” “I am in pain,” “thank you,” or

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Making It Count with The Passions Project

Making It Count with The Passions Project

My neighbor Sara once told me, “If there’s anything you feel passionately about doing, do it now.” Her words gave me pause. Was I living my passion, I wondered? Was I being true to myself? In her 70’s, Sara had a love for travel and would journey each winter to someplace new… the more remote and challenging the destination, the better.

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Standing Stone Care Joins The Registry

Standing Stone Care and Rehabilitation in Monterey, TN, joined the Eden Alternative Registry on September 24, 2015. When you pull into the drive of this quaint home situated at the end of a cul-de-sac in a small neighborhood you will

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The Delicate Dance

The Delicate Dance

Sometimes, the most extraordinary feats come in subtle, yet profound, packages. As human beings, I find that our greatest displays of strength and courage are often those that are deeply rooted in our vulnerability.

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Pine Ridge Care and Rehabilitation Joins The Registry

Pine Ridge Care and Rehabilitation Joins The Registry

Pine Ridge Care and Rehabilitation in Elizabethton, TN, joined the Eden Alternative Registry on 9/25/2015.

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Seeking Belle Davenport

Seeking Belle Davenport

I come from a long line of head-strong women. On my mother’s side, these iron-willed souls settled corners of the Central Texas Hill Country, where, to this day, I can still bump into cousins I’ve never had the pleasure to meet. It was no surprise, then, when this same determination spurred my 28-year old niece to unravel some enduring family mysteries.

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Serving Our Veterans At Prairie View Village

Serving Our Veterans At Prairie View Village

Congratulations to our friends at Prairie View Village of Bent County Health Care for being awarded $1,000 from the Colorado State Department of Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary (DAVA). Each year, the DAVA State Hospital Chairman selects five state veteran’s homes and one non-state run home to receive the funds. This is the fifth consecutive year that Prairie View Valley has been awarded.

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Harbourview Lodge Joins The Registry

Harbourview Lodge Joins The Registry

Harbourview Lodge Continuing Care Center in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia joined the Eden Alternative Registry on September 14, 2015. This home is beautifully designed with sunlight, gardens, fresh air and nature views in mind.  They are divided into three distinct

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Signature Home Reaches Milestone 2 . . . And They Are Happy

Signature Home Reaches Milestone 2 . . . And They Are Happy

  Happy Friday (sorry for the pun). Liberty Care and Rehabilitation Center has just reached Milestone 2. It is great to see a home take on the journey with so much joy and enthusiasm. 

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McKnight's Shares 7 Powerful Ways to Deliver Family Centered Care

McKnight’s Shares 7 Powerful Ways to Deliver Family Centered Care

Person-directed care is important in any caring environment. But McKnight’s has a new article about the importance of developing and delivering “Family Centered Care.” Most of the time the Elder may be your focus of attention but in many cases to deliver the best care we need to show the family a little love.

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Why Are We Still Dropping The F-Bomb?

Why Are We Still Dropping The F-Bomb?

I recently reviewed the proposed CMS regulations and what struck me right away is that while the proposed changes were created to “reflect the substantial advances that have been made over the past several years in the theory and practice of service delivery and safety,” one thing hasn’t changed a bit.

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Where Life Resides …

Where Life Resides …

Often I sit in the evening and peruse garden magazines, dreaming of a lush oasis where I sneak off to enjoy a moment of quiet time with a cup of coffee and nature within reach. Presently, the TV in the

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Thank You From Mississippi

Thank You From Mississippi

Everyone remembers the world changing event that happened 10 years ago. Hurricane Katrina came ashore in Hancock County, Mississippi during the darkness of the early morning on Monday, August 29, 2005, along with unbelievable devastation and destruction.

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Colorado Grant Project Says Optimizing Medication Usage Packs a Punch

The conversation about rethinking medication use is getting more interesting. While important strides are being made to reduce antipsychotic use, the issue is actually only one piece in a puzzle that has even larger impact.

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When the Tail Wags the Dog

When the Tail Wags the Dog

Last week, I met a woman and her dog walking along a nature trail. As dog lovers do, we started to talk. She said she and her dog walk the two-mile nature trail daily. Recently, she had tried to adopt a second senior dog, to keep her 8-year-old dog company.

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Kennebec Manor Joins The Registry

Kennebec Manor Joins The Registry

Love, Love, Love is what it is all about in this small town Canadian home. Each and every person in this home is a part of a community that embraces deep long lasting relationships and activities that are meaningful to each individual.

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Connecting Students And Elders Creates A Caring Environment

Connecting Students And Elders Creates A Caring Environment

As an academic partner of the Arizona Health Sciences Center and the Arizona Center on Aging, St. Luke’s Home provides an innovative Assisted Living setting, providing Elder-directed wellness and health promotion opportunities for students.

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Oklahoma Sees Results from Dementia Training... and More is On the Way

Oklahoma Sees Results from Dementia Training… and More is On the Way

In 2014, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) awarded The Eden Alternative grant dollars to support Oklahoma’s reduction of antipsychotic drug use through the delivery of Dementia Beyond Drugs training.

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Story Telling

Story Telling

Is story telling a thing of the past? As a child, I recall times when our family would gather together and celebrate. In the evenings, the elders of my family would share stories of the “old days”. Adults were sitting in chairs, sofas, and rockers and the children were sitting on the floor at their feet. Sometimes we would laugh, and sometimes we would cry.

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Walk In The Shoes Of A CNA

Walk In The Shoes Of A CNA

Here is a fun and inspirational piece produced by Signature Healthcare. In an effort to strengthen the organization they took their 150 Corporate “Home Office” team and had them become certified as CNAs. They then took the group out to

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What Is Wisdom?

What Is Wisdom?

Barry Schwartz is a psychologist who has spent a great deal of his career trying to unpack and understand wisdom. Wisdom is probably our most precious natural resource.

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New National Data On Anti-Psychotic Use

New National Data On Anti-Psychotic Use

We know people these days are totally into reading statistical abstracts, so we decided to share it. You can read the full 2015 Q1 report here.

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A Manifesto For Radical Inclusion

A Manifesto For Radical Inclusion

I have decided to coin a new philosophy around the support of people who live with changing cognitive abilities. I’ll publish my first draft right here, but it’s really not an entirely new invention—merely my own synthesis of many threads of thought.

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The Giving Group

The Giving Group

As I am walking by the Hearth Room, I peak my head in, there I see 6 or 7 ladies, sitting in wheel chairs, up to the table, busying themselves with something…Maybe a craft, perhaps some program…

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Hello, Richard

Hello, Richard

“Hello. My name is Richard, and I have dementia, probably of the Alzheimer’s type.”

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A Community Approach To Dementia

A Community Approach To Dementia

Tempe, Arizona is pioneering the concept of the Dementia-friendly city as a possible community based solution to Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

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7 Points On How To Create And Sustain Change

7 Points On How To Create And Sustain Change

Change can be very tricky to affect. So many road blocks exist in the world of of eldercare; from institutional norms, to policies and regulations, to the existing culture of a home, to simple human inertia (an object at rest tends to stay at rest).

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Mallard Bay Joins The Registry

When visitors come to visit this vibrant home they often comment of how warm it feels when they walk through the doors. They notice the friendly faces of the care partner’s employees that greet them and the Elders that are happy and end engaged.

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Friday Motivation

Friday Motivation

We came across this quote recently from Dwight D. Eisenhower. Accomplishment will prove to be a journey, not a destination. It is often good to take some time and remind ourselves that success may never have an endpoint. Though the

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Aging Superpower Number One

Aging Superpower Number One

This post initially ran on ChangingAging.org on July 8, 2015.  The most powerful voices and communications channels within American culture are primed to deliver a small number of messages about aging and youth. They go like this… Aging equals Decline

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Welcome Harrodsburg Health and Rehab To The Registry

Welcome Harrodsburg Health and Rehab To The Registry

Harrodsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center in Harrodsburg, KY, joined the Eden Alternative Registry on June 25, 2015. They are nestled in the charming little town of Harrodsburg where many of the 86 Elders that live there grew up and raised

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Real Change Is Possible

Real Change Is Possible

Person-directed care, I believe, is fundamental to making lasting change to this country’s long-term care system.

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Oakview Nursing and Rehab Joins The Registry

Tucked away in the quiet community of Calvert City, they are home to 56 Elders, some of which come in for a short time to receive rehabilitation services. Many visitors often comment as they walk in the door that it “feels” very different here. What they are experiencing is Elders, care partner employees and family members creating home by spending quality time together and enjoying life.

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Innovation Is Thriving In Upstate New York

Innovation Is Thriving In Upstate New York

Call it a hot bed of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit; Upstate New York senior care providers are establishing new standards and models of care well ahead of many other communities. Care providers are ensuring all New Yorkers a very bright future as the industry comes to terms with an antiquated system of institutional care.

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Sins of Commission, Sins of Omission

Sins of Commission, Sins of Omission

Last week, I had the opportunity to fire off two critical emails. The first was a rather pointed response to an article in the Australia Financial News. Thanks to my Australian friend Mick Carmody, I was able to see a copy and to help ensure that it would get out to the world.

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Creating Home At The Bridge at Monteagle

The Bridge at Monteagle in Monteagle, TN joined the Eden Alternative on May 28, 2015.   Home to 142 Elders, The care partner employees at The Bridge at Monteagle prides themselves on providing home and care tailored to each unique

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The Menu Is Not The Meal

The Menu Is Not The Meal

There is a transformative power to language, to the words we choose, to the verbal expression of our thoughts and ideas. Word choices make such a deep impact on both the speaker and the listener. I see this every day. I bet you do too.

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Welcome Bracken County Nursing Home To The Registry

Bracken County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Augusta, KY joined the Eden Alternative Registry on May 27, 2014. Located on 50 acres just 45 miles outside of greater Cincinnati in the rural community of Chatham, Kentucky, they are home to

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QAPI Is as Easy as Doing-It-Yourself

QAPI Is as Easy as Doing-It-Yourself

Why are DIY shows on HGTV and the Discovery Channel so popular? Who doesn’t want to invite the Property Brothers to come help them find a fixer upper? How many of you have sought out YouTube how-to videos to tackle a challenge in your life? People are attracted to these shows, and videos, because they want great value for their investment of time and money.

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The Cure is Not My Top Priority

The Cure is Not My Top Priority

While attending Alzheimer’s Disease International in Perth, Australia last April, I was invited by Executive Director Marc Wortmann to attend a meeting to share opinions about what our top priorities should be regarding Alzheimer’s.

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The Bridge at Highland Joins the Registry

The Bridge at Highland Joins the Registry

To foster deeper relationships and sense of belonging this vibrant community has divided themselves into six neighborhoods, each named after trees indigenous to the area.

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Support The Eden Alternative With Amazon Smile

Support The Eden Alternative With Amazon Smile

Introducing a great new way to support The Eden Alternative as you shop on Amazon.

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Culture Change... Why NOW?

Culture Change… Why NOW?

‘It’s About Time!’ can be interpreted in different ways: first, picture someone standing with their arms folded across their chest. It may be an authority figure, admonishing someone who is late….’It’s About Time!’ It could be the world admonishing us for taking so long to change the culture of eldercare.

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Re-inventing Nursing Homes

Re-inventing Nursing Homes

As I write this, committees made up of state employees and civic leaders are working out the details of a plan to “Re-invent Medicaid” here in Rhode Island.

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To All Of My Beautiful Friends

To All Of My Beautiful Friends

As I sit here this morning looking out the window of our new home, I am so overcome with gratitude for all the loving, beautiful people in our lives.

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I Am An Elder!

I Am An Elder!

Many of you reading this have likely realized some time ago that you are an Elder. Silly as it sounds, this just occurred to me recently. In all of my teaching and advocating I continued to think of Elders as those I must serve and protect, those who may lack a voice to speak out against the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom.

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Dementia Beyond Drugs In Oklahoma City

Dementia Beyond Drugs In Oklahoma City

We are very excited to share some photos from Oklahoma City, where a fantastic group of thoughtful and passionate care partners are learning all about Dementia Beyond Drugs.

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Analog Aging in a Digital World

Analog Aging in a Digital World

There was a time not too long ago when, if you stopped a stranger on the street to ask for the time, that person might reach into a pocket or purse, pull out a smart phone, and give you the answer. Unless he or she was wearing an old-fashioned wristwatch. In that case, it required only a glance at the wrist to come up with the answer.

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Are You a Caregiver or a Care Partner?

Are You a Caregiver or a Care Partner?

Words matter. The words we choose to use each day can affect the feelings of those around us as well as our ability to successfully communicate with one another in all manner of relationships.

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Take That Road

Take That Road

Driving through the hills of Tennessee, there were times when I was headed uphill and could not see the other side, having to trust that there was still a road as I drove blindly forward. I sometimes found, on the other side of that hill, that there was a quick curve that had to be maneuvered, or another hill to climb, but I kept moving forward.

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Meaning And Purpose

Meaning And Purpose

The thing that continues to amaze me is that time and again I hear the refrain “I’m really not much of a writer.” I will hear this after just having read an amazing draft and it often reminds me of the Marianne Williamson quote “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

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