Category Archive for "Eden Alternative Blog"

Education, Not Segregation: Addressing the Stigma of Dementia

Education, Not Segregation: Addressing the Stigma of Dementia

As you may have seen in last week’s Washington Post article, there was a provision in a bill before the DC Council that would affect the future of assisted living communities in the Washington, DC. Area. The provision proposed that

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Gratitude Helps Us Grow - Dr. Bill & Jude Thomas' Gratitude Tour

Gratitude Helps Us Grow – Dr. Bill & Jude Thomas’ Gratitude Tour

Dr. Bill and Jude Thomas, Eden Alternative Co-Founders, hit the road along the Atlantic seaboard recently to connect with Elders and others in the spirit of gratitude.  What inspired this journey? A desire to “express gratitude for the Elders we

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Stronger Together: Deepening Employee and Family Member Relationships

Stronger Together: Deepening Employee and Family Member Relationships

A recent post in McKnight’s suggests that better employee/family member relationships might improve employee retention. This caught my eye, as I came to this work as a highly engaged family member. I can affirm that making every effort to deepen

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Ready, Set, Rewind... Conference Session Recordings Are Here

Ready, Set, Rewind… Conference Session Recordings Are Here

Whether you made it to the 2018 Eden Alternative International Conference (and just want more) or didn’t make it (and want some), you can either relive or experience for the first time several conference highlights on a special 2018 Conference

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Bumps, Bubble Gum, and Bravery

Bumps, Bubble Gum, and Bravery

Our new President & CEO shares this touching reminder that together we are stronger. I travel a lot for work. But no matter how many flights I’ve been on I still get a little squeamish, especially in small planes and

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Changing Aging with Dr. Bill Thomas

Changing Aging with Dr. Bill Thomas

It is little more than a week until we convene the 2018 Eden Alternative International Conference. What better person could we call upon to pump up hundreds of change agents than Co-founder Dr. Bill Thomas? I recently had the pleasure

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A Serpent in the Garden

A Serpent in the Garden

“Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social,

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Breaking Ground with Jude Thomas

Breaking Ground with Jude Thomas

Over 25 years ago, Bill and Jude Thomas laid the groundwork for what became The Eden Alternative.  What began as a set of principles has grown into a powerful, practical model for person-directed care. With years of experience guiding culture

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Sonya Barsness Reflects on BEING SEEN

Sonya Barsness Reflects on BEING SEEN

I really enjoyed this opportunity to hear from Sonya Barsness about her project, BEING SEEN.  Check out this interview to tap into the power of presence and how being seen is a fundamental need for those who live with dementia. 

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Retrospective:  Bill Thomas Takes on the "Tragedy Narrative"

Retrospective: Bill Thomas Takes on the “Tragedy Narrative”

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the passing of Hannah O’Hara Thomas. For all of her 18 years, Hannah helped the worldwide Eden Alternative community to grow.  A master teacher in the art of BEING, Hannah mentored us all in

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Intergenerational Opportunities Make a Difference

Intergenerational Opportunities Make a Difference

Residents and Elders at St. Paul’s in Greenville, PA, benefit throughout the year from the collaboration that St. Paul’s has with Thiel College. The Joining Generations organization has three different components: Internships, Academics and Student Service. The team at St.

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Karen Stobbe and Mondy Carter are IN THE MOMENT

Karen Stobbe and Mondy Carter are IN THE MOMENT

What a pleasure it was to chat with Karen Stobbe and Mondy Carter of In the Moment about their groundbreaking work with improv and transforming relationships with those living with dementia. Check out this interview to learn how it all

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Stealing Hope

Stealing Hope

This powerful blog written by Anne Basting, PhD, originally posted in ChangingAging.org earlier this year.  As our keynote speaker for the welcoming session of the 2018 Eden Alternative International Conference, Basting will challenge and inspire conference participants to rethink how

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A Conversation with Anne Basting, Founder & CEO of TimeSlips

A Conversation with Anne Basting, Founder & CEO of TimeSlips

I recently had the pleasure of connecting with Anne Basting, Founder of TimeSlips, about the power of creativity, how it enables us to be fully self-expressed, and its ability to revolutionize relationships.  On May 3, Anne will open our 2018

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Giving Community, Connection, and Control Back to the Elders - Welcome Prairie Eldercare to the Eden Registry

Giving Community, Connection, and Control Back to the Elders – Welcome Prairie Eldercare to the Eden Registry

Prairie Elder Homes in Overland Park, KS, joined the Eden Registry in January 30, 2018.  Prairie Elder Homes are small residential homes that are purposefully located in residential neighborhoods. The setting is intimate with only eight residents and employee care

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A City, a Story, a Movement...

A City, a Story, a Movement…

The right to determine how you are cared for, the right to live a life that truly reflects and celebrates who you are, regardless of age or ability – these are basic human rights.  Worth rising up for? We, at

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Please Welcome Signature Healthcare's 50th Home to the Eden Registry - Signature Healthcare at Jackson Manor

Please Welcome Signature Healthcare’s 50th Home to the Eden Registry – Signature Healthcare at Jackson Manor

Signature Healthcare at Jackson Manor in Annville, Kentucky, joined the Eden Registry on January 23, 2018.  This small rural community takes creating home very seriously by making sure that everyone that lives and works there has a strong sense of

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Parker of Monroe Ends 2017 Eden Strong!

Parker of Monroe Ends 2017 Eden Strong!

Parker at Monroe in Monroe, NJ, joined the Eden Registry on December 29, 2017. Home to 96 Elders, Parker at Monroe provides round-the clock, person-directed care services, including memory care for individuals living with all stages of dementia, who may

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Finding My Way with the Seven Domains of Well-Being℠

Finding My Way with the Seven Domains of Well-Being℠

I am a planner by nature and someone who really needs to think through big decisions. On more than one occasion in recent years, I have relied on the framework of The Eden Alternative’s seven Domains of Well-Being℠ to guide

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Communication, a Key Ingredient to Individualized Care

Communication, a Key Ingredient to Individualized Care

Go ahead, ask anyone working in any field today what their biggest challenge is. What do you think they will say? My experience has been that their answer is “communication” or some topic along that vein. Communication is a big

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Worldmaking... Susan Berta Style

Worldmaking… Susan Berta Style

“The late 1990’s were an especially exciting time for people with a passion for changing aging. We remember two lights that burned especially brightly at that time.  Joe and Susan Berta didn’t just teach Eden, they lived it. They used

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What would you tell people who feel anxious about meeting the new regs?

What would you tell people who feel anxious about meeting the new regs?

Regulatory expert/guest blogger, Carmen Bowman, has an answer: First of all, to answer this question, the “new” regs actually contain most of the “old” regs, so there is that. Much of these requirements should not be a surprise to any

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Person-Directed Appreciation

Person-Directed Appreciation

Those that know me, or have had me facilitate a training, know that the phrase “I read a book …” is stated often. Well, it’s true, and here is one of my new found favorites. I read a book called

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Al Power Calls for a Rebranding of Dementia Advocacy

Al Power Calls for a Rebranding of Dementia Advocacy

For whatever reason lately, I’m suddenly finding myself in hard conversations about language…. and not just with those who don’t understand the power of language as a tool for shifting paradigms, I’m also getting into it with fellow change agents!

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Signature Healthcare of Hartford Rehab and Wellness Center Joins the Eden Registry

Signature Healthcare of Hartford Rehab and Wellness Center Joins the Eden Registry

Signature Healthcare of Hartford Rehab and Wellness Center in Hartford, Kentucky, joined the Eden Registry on August 31, 2017. The 94 Elders that live here benefit from the home’s central location in the City of Hartford. They are steps away

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Welcome to the Registry - Signature Healthcare of Monroe County Rehab and Wellness

Welcome to the Registry – Signature Healthcare of Monroe County Rehab and Wellness

Signature Healthcare of Monroe County Rehab and Wellness in Tompkinsville, KY, joined the Eden Registry on August 15, 2017. When visitors come to visit this vibrant home, they often comment on how warm it feels when they walk through the

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Sunnyside Adventist Care Centre is on the Eden Registry

Sunnyside Adventist Care Centre is on the Eden Registry

Sunnyside Adventist Care Centre in Saskatchewan, Canada, joined the Eden Registry on August 9, 2017. This home is tucked away in a neighborhood surrounded by great views of the lovely Saskatchewan River. The river provides the backdrop for the dining

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Eden's Newest Registry Member - Brown Memorial Home

Eden’s Newest Registry Member – Brown Memorial Home

Brown Memorial Home in Circleville, Ohio, joined the Eden Registry on July 12, 2017.  This faith-based, historical home located in downtown Circleville is home to 54 Elders.  Created in 1894 by six valiant women that saw a need for residents

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Welcome Signature Healthcare at Colonial to the Eden Registry

Welcome Signature Healthcare at Colonial to the Eden Registry

Signature Healthcare at Colonial in Bardstown, Kentucky joined the Eden Registry on June 29, 2017. Located in the historic and beautiful town of Bardstown, there are 55 Elders who call this amazing place home. Bardstown is so quaint that according

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The Trek to Mississippi’s Grand Canyon

The Trek to Mississippi’s Grand Canyon

The Elders at Wesley Manor, located in Hattiesburg, MS, recently made a road trip to Red Bluff, nicknamed “Mississippi’s Grand Canyon.” A couple living at Wesley Manor came back from a trip to Red Bluff with pictures and stories that

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Introducing Milton Heights  - Welcome to the Eden Registry!

Introducing Milton Heights – Welcome to the Eden Registry!

Milton Heights in Regina, Saskatchewan joined the Eden Registry on May 31, 2017. Milton Heights was built in the mid-1950s and was Regina’s first high-rise apartment building.  After a major renovation, they will offer affordable housing to close to 180

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Signature HealthCARE at Heritage Hall Joins the Eden Registry

Signature HealthCARE at Heritage Hall Joins the Eden Registry

Signature HealthCARE at Heritage Hall in Lawrenceburg, KY, joined the Eden Registry on June 23, 2017. Nestled in the rolling hills of Central Kentucky, this warm, hospitable community is home to 97 Elders.  If you come for a visit, you

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The Top Ten Reasons You Should Submit a Conference Presentation Proposal

The Top Ten Reasons You Should Submit a Conference Presentation Proposal

Two weeks remain for the Call for Presentations for the 2018 Eden Alternative International Conference, and I find myself thinking about the perks of submitting a proposal.  Behold the result of my musings… the top ten reasons why you should

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Welcome The Garden's at Depugh to the Eden Registry

Welcome The Garden’s at Depugh to the Eden Registry

The Gardens at Depugh Nursing Center in Winter Park, Florida joined the Eden Alternative Registry on May 25, 2017. Home to 40 Elders they are situated on a historic 2.5-acre site in lovely downtown Winter Park. This beautiful home features

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Need Inspiration? A 2016 Conference Throwback...

Need Inspiration? A 2016 Conference Throwback…

A mere month stands between your great presentation idea for the 2018 Eden Alternative International Conference and the proposal submission deadline of July 8.  What to do?  What to write? Never fear… inspiration is here!  What better way to get

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Rise UP!  Change Starts Here.

Rise UP! Change Starts Here.

Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech left an indelible mark on the heart of millions. To this day, it remains a powerful reminder that all human beings seek to be seen, respected, honored, and empowered.  While King

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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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