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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Don't Fall For the Chandelier Effect

Don’t Fall For the Chandelier Effect

Perhaps you saw the New York Times article this month In Race for Medicare Dollars, Nursing Homes May Lag. If you haven’t I would recommend taking the time to read it. The article touches on many distinct issues including how

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Philly Inquires About The Eden Alternative: A Disruptive New Vision Of Old Age

Philly Inquires About The Eden Alternative: A Disruptive New Vision Of Old Age

As a young geriatrician, Bill Thomas questioned the quality of life of his elderly nursing home patients. It seemed boring and overly regimented to him.

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Reflections on Making a Difference in Oklahoma

Reflections on Making a Difference in Oklahoma

  Hank Hartsell is the Deputy Commissioner of Protective Health Services for the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). OSDH has granted funds to help representatives of Oklahoma nursing homes learn more about reducing antipsychotics for those who live with

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It's About Time!

It’s About Time!

The time has come… the moment for change is now! Believe it or not, it’s been 28 years since OBRA ’87 introduced new regulatory language with the intent of making person-centered care the law of the land.

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What’s In Your Box?

What’s In Your Box?

The whole thing started with a battered cardboard box. It was the mid 1990’s and my wife, Jude Meyers Thomas, and I had stumbled on to something that seemed very much like magic.

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Monday Jumpstart: 50 Quotes on Leadership

Monday Jumpstart: 50 Quotes on Leadership

  Find your motivation Monday with 50 quotes on leadership from Entrepreneur.com. 1. “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn

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Preaching to the Choir

Preaching to the Choir

Like many of you, I spend a good deal of time reading our Eden blogs along with the blogs on Changing Aging and other platforms. Generally I am inspired and sometimes find a point or two that strikes me in

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Harriman Care And Rehab Joins The Registry

Harriman Care And Rehab Joins The Registry

Harriman Care and Rehabilitation in Harriman, TN joined the Eden Registry on March 26, 2015. When you pull up in the driveway you will get that overwhelming feeling that you have arrived home.

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Finding Dignity In An Institutional World

Finding Dignity In An Institutional World

This short documentary by Dick Weinman, The Thin Edge of Dignity, offers us another look at the institutional model of care from the perspective of an observant Elder. This video delves into the struggle to maintain identity and dignity in a world that has given up on those ideals.

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Washing Machines Arrive At St. Antonine's

Washing Machines Arrive At St. Antonine’s

To all of those who participated in our fundraiser a while back to bring washing machines to a rural care home in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa the day has finally come.

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Driving From Houston to Anchorage

Driving From Houston to Anchorage

Have you been more aware in your later years of the value of those deep and personal relationships with friends, family members, and fellow congregants? I find more and more value in these connections, in volunteering, in social activism than I have in the past. I desperately want others to share my journey, and I want to share theirs.

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Dave Isay: Everyone Around You Has A Story The World Needs To Hear

Dave Isay: Everyone Around You Has A Story The World Needs To Hear

Been thinking a lot about stories this week. Please enjoy.

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What Hannah Taught Me...

What Hannah Taught Me…

Hannah O’Hara Thomas passed away today. She lived 17-and-a-half years longer than anyone predicted. While it is so painful, tragic, and downright unfair that she left us after only 18 years, I believe that in that time she lived more

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The Age of Disruption is Here

The Age of Disruption is Here

Most people are familiar with Einstein’s equation of insanity with “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

That quote is actually my second favorite of Einstein’s invocations of “insanity.” My favorite goes like this: “For an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope.” It has been my experience that these two ideas form the bookends of every successful innovation.

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Social Connect

Social Connect

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The Power Of Language

The Power Of Language

Changing the disrespectful and disempowering language often used to refer to people with dementia will help remove discrimination, stigma and isolation, writes Kate Swaffer.

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The Effect Of Still Alice On The Care Revolution

The Effect Of Still Alice On The Care Revolution

“In the darkest of times, you can always find incredible oases of connection, of care and of love,” said Still Alice director Wash Westmorelandto an intimate gathering of some of Hollywood’s most inspiring artists and creative leaders at Soho House in West Hollywood last Monday.

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Central Haven Special Care Home Joins The Registry

Central Haven Special Care Home Joins The Registry

Central Haven is home to 60 Elders and have sub-divided into two neighborhoods where relationships are consistent and strong. The home is located on a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood. There is a very welcoming feel when you come to visit. That is because relationships, family, love and kindness are central to the way the care partners support the Elders daily lives.

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Family Outreach And Education

Family Outreach And Education

How does your organization engage family members? So often our energy, enthusiasm, and focus are drawn towards creating caring partnerships between Elders and employees. I am not saying that the bulk of our efforts shouldn’t be devoted to that end, but what about the families? We know, however, that we need to build warm, compassionate teams that engage ALL care partners in the process of culture change.

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Are Your Stars Fading?

Are Your Stars Fading?

USA Today reports that about 61% of all nursing homes got lower quality-of-care scores as a result of the new CMS 5-Star changes. About 28% of nursing homes dropped one star in their overall ratings, including more than 1,200 that lost coveted five-star status. The biggest changes are the usage rate of antipsychotics is now a factor in the rating along with more difficult quality and staffing level measures.

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Movement Is Life

Movement Is Life

Jerry Seinfeld, a man that most of us associate with humor, was recently quoted as saying “Movement is life”. That gave me pause because it might imply that those who are largely stationary; those whose movements have become smaller and

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Pigeon Forge Joins the Registry

Tucked away in the cozy country town of Pigeon Forge, they are home to 85 Elders that live in four neighborhoods. The views here are breathtaking as they are located at the foot of the gateway to the magnificent Great Smoky Mountain National Park and are just around the corner from the famous Dollywood theme park.

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Travels Through AmericanGeriatricLand

Travels Through AmericanGeriatricLand

We don’t receive a lot of guest post submissions from elders on this blog, not nearly as many as we would like. However, this first hand account of the “AmericanGeriatricLand” by Elder Emily Hodges is the must read article of the week.

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Emotional First Aid

Emotional First Aid

There has always been a disconnect between maladies of the mind and of the body. A broken leg is obvious, debilitating, and has a pretty straightforward cure. Emotional trauma is not so apparent, but it is debilitating, and it too can have a cure. In his talk Dr. Guy Winch exclaims that when referring to problems like depression people hear phrases like “it’s all in your head, shake it off” but you would never say to someone with a broken leg “it’s all in your leg, walk it off.”

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#DisruptAging Designing Tech For Elders

#DisruptAging Designing Tech For Elders

Human instinct is to look for a tech solution to most of our problems. Traveling to slow? Let’s build a car. Want to see pictures of cats? Let’s build the internet. Although, when it comes to aging technological innovation can

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St. George Village Joins the Registry

St. George Village Joins the Registry

Located in downtown Roswell, GA, the 20 acre campus feels like an oasis with streams, wandering walking paths and a gorgeous lake. The employee care partners are committed to transforming the meaning of aging in community regardless of the assistance an individual needs. All care partners (Elders, employees and families) come together to make sure that deep meaningful relationships are cultivated and nurtured.

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Which Principle Drives You

Which Principle Drives You

I know that when I went through my Certified Eden Associate Training, Principle 2 stood out among all the rest. I grew up in nursing homes, and I could relate so well to the joy children brought into a home. A real human habitat.

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So Starts Another Journey

So Starts Another Journey

Living in this community encourages the cultivation of long lasting relationships by providing meaningful and engaging activities each day. Meal time is central to the rhythm of daily life here where Elders enjoy made to order breakfasts and delicious home cooked meals.

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Oklahoma Takes on Dementia Beyond Drugs

Oklahoma Takes on Dementia Beyond Drugs

Since 2011, three states have provided funded registration for this training to hundreds of nursing home employees through the support of CMP funds. This year, Oklahoma is stepping up to the plate by welcoming geriatrician and award-winning author Dr. Al Power to facilitate three Dementia Beyond Drugs events in May 2015.

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