Sharing Our Elders' Legacies...
“We live in a time and place that allows older people to disappear from view and then leave this life without being known by others. Every human life
has or should have a legacy."
William H. Thomas, M.D.
Founder, The Eden Alternative
There is an African saying that equates the passing of an Elder to the loss of a library. With this in mind, the inspiration behind Embracing Elderhood is the notion that to truly care for someone, you must have a deeper understanding and appreciation of who they are. Through Eden at Home's Embracing Elderhood, learning and understanding each other’s stories helps forge meaningful relationships.
A legacy, as we define it, is part life story, part simple biography, and part “gift” – but as legacies they will be more than the sum of these parts. Legacy creation will be a discovery process for all of the participants --it captures the truth of a life lived and its impact as a gift to the world.
Weaving Elders Back Into the Fabric of Our Communities...
Embracing Elderhood is an intergenerational journey of discovery. Partnerships between community Elders, sponsor organizations focused on the needs of Elders, and local schools and youth service groups bring our vision to life. This initiative involves the commitment of students and/or adult volunteers, known as Recording Partners, who are interested in forging a relationship with an Elder Storyteller. Trained in Eden Alternative concepts, Recording Partners work together with Storytellers to document and ultimately each Elder’s legacy with the larger community.
Our Founder Dr. Bill Thomas says “acknowledging and embracing the idea of Elder-richness and strengthening the exchange between the generations can improve quality of life for all ages.” While the legacies themselves are the tangible outcome, Embracing Elderhood emphasizes the relationships forged during the process of legacy creation. The opportunities to understand and be understood and to both give and receive are abundant in this concept. Through Embracing Elderhood, we strive to change our culture’s perception of Elderhood one relationship at a time.
Building Bridges Between Skilled Nursing Residents & the Larger Community...
We acknowledge that residents of skilled nursing communities are also members of the larger local community. Thus, Embracing Elderhood replication can take place in both the larger community and in nursing home settings. Having more information about the passions and interests of individual nursing home residents makes it possible to explore different ways that those interests can be pursued within the residence. Creating such opportunities for individual residents may meet various needs of the long-term care community, thus creating win-win scenarios that simply enrich the layers of meaning for all involved.
Click here to learn more about how Embracing Elderhood has touched lives.
Our Partnership with LifeBio.com...
Embracing Elderhood incorporates the powerful LifeBio.com system into its process. LifeBio offers a template for legacy creation that is just prescriptive enough for Recording Partners to focus their attention where it belongs-- on the relationship -- while leaving room for creative license.
We Are Growing and Changing...
We are in the process of redesigning the Embracing Elderhood model, so that it can be accessed as easily as possible. Please stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved!