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
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
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
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
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
“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,
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
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.
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
Morning Star Care Center in Ft. Washakie, WY, joined the Eden Registry on February 26, 2018. Former leaders of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe knew there was a great need for a safe place for tribal Elders to live, be cared
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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
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
What if we were like trees in just one way, what if we showed our growth on the outside? What if with each passing year we grew taller and thicker? What if the oldest and wisest among us were the biggest and most majestic?
Sometimes amidst the chaos, there are moments of clarity, when we’re reminded why we do the work we do. I had one of those moments last October, during one of those speaking engagements when you’re not sure anyone really cares what you have to say.
I grew up near an artist colony in upstate New York called Yaddo in Saratoga Springs. It had a profound effect on me as a youngster and, it being in a small town, you always knew when the famous artists were there – Capote, Baldwin, Picasso, Highsmith, Puzo.
Living with dementia is about changing abilities, not necessarily growing older. You can be a younger adult and still live with dementia. It’s true that, statistically speaking, a large number of people living with dementia are older people. But to compartmentalize the experience of dementia as an aging issue alone is a very bad habit on the part of society.
Hey you out there, don’t you dare turn off the screen! Hear me out. I am going to tell you what I like about living in a nursing home. When you hear the words nursing home you often think of these words: smell, afraid, lonely, hospital, institution, senile, bad food, abuse, abandonment…..have I missed anything?
I first met Grace earlier this year, February actually, when we were reviewing an “Edenising” home for the Eden Alternative Registry. I had the great fortune to have a learning circle with a group of volunteers (age range 15 – 70+) which included Grace.
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. In our field we do not deal with physics as Newton did, yet his first law of motion is inescapable.
Have you ever truly been helpless? I am talking about a time when you truly had to rely on someone else to care for you, to do the simplest things for you. For most of us this occurs because of a long illness, injury, or surgery.
I had the opportunity to ask some of my ‘family’ members at the nursing home that I reside in “What is the best age to be and why?” Those that are considered to be truly old, 85 and older stated that 45 is the best age to be. Most would tell you that it is because they still had energy and was able to be completely active but they were wiser than when they were in their teens and twenties.
You might think that the Eden Alternative Home Office Team might not have much new to learn when it comes to understanding and living what Elderhood has to offer. After all, we are immersed in the concept all day, every
The first week of the Second Wind Tour came to a dramatic conclusion with people dancing in the aisles at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. What a journey. We opened the show at the Merkin Concert Hall in New
The April issue of Provider features an article that challenges Americans “to grow up – or just grow old.” This caught my eye, as we talk a lot about perspectives on aging at The Eden Alternative. The issue is particularly
You may think or hope I’m joking, but nope we’re talking about tree rings today. So, before you click away I encourage you to read just a few paragraphs more. For those of you who may not know these rings are how we measure a trees age.
In college I was told never to write an “alarm clock opening.” This technique, I was told, is often used in unimaginative beginnings; the protagonist waking up in the morning to start his day and the story. So why do