A Small Act of Kindness Can Make a Big Difference

A Small Act of Kindness Can Make a Big Difference

Have you ever discover you are in the presence of the most amazing person? You find yourself laughing, amazed and stunned as you listen to their stories of what they have overcome and accomplished. This is what happened to me when I meet Sister Lucia in South Africa.

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TED Talk Monday: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

TED Talk Monday: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

Leadership is crucial to any aspect of culture change. Building a relationship of trust between leaders and the group is one of the most powerful ways of creating a powerful and sustainable team. Leadership expert Simon Sinek discusses why great

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Time to Get Serious

Time to Get Serious

I didn’t make it to the Gerontological Society of America conference this week, but McKnight’s reports that a study was presented highlighting the frequent episodes of “resident-on-resident mistreatment” in nursing homes, affecting as many as 20 percent of those residents every month. The “acute urgency” of the problem was stressed in the talk.

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The Magic of Mitzvahs...

The Magic of Mitzvahs…

Kindness is powerful. Small acts of kindness, or Mitzvahs, can actually change the world.

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Douglas' Story Continues: The First 24 hours

Douglas’ Story Continues: The First 24 hours

“To aide feelings when you are near crying is the secret of dignity.” Dejan Stojanovic Douglas awoke in the night to two young aides chattering next to him. The sounds of voice echoed in his head and sounded muffled at

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Engaging the Whole Team

Engaging the Whole Team

If you don’t have your team together your not going to get anywhere. Don’t miss this crucial step to building person centered quality improvement.

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Dementia Awareness

Dementia Awareness

I’ve always found the term “awareness” as in “cancer awareness” to be interesting. It is one of those catch-all phrases that gets used whenever we are talking about some problem or another. What does it really mean?

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Power of Story Telling

Power of Story Telling

Read this excellent article by Martin Bayne first appearing on Changingaging.org.

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Leadership In The 21st Century

Leadership In The 21st Century

Roselinde Torres discusses how the old models of growing leaders are outdated. Great leadership is essential to thriving in the 21st century, which is depressing when you consider her argument that we are by and large doing it wrong.

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Confessions from an SLP

Confessions from an SLP

I have been teaching a 3-week class locally for family members who have a loved one with dementia. The class has been great. I am getting excellent feedback, and we are have wonderful conversations. But this post is not about

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The Journey...

The Journey…

The journey has taken us around the world and we have seen that well-being is a global force that brings us together.

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High Engagement = Powerful Improvement Outcomes

High Engagement = Powerful Improvement Outcomes

A couple of weeks ago, you had the chance to take in the power of high engagement in “Community Meetings Deepen Connectedness and Stimulate Growth.”

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Institutional Nursing Home, Douglas’s Story

Institutional Nursing Home, Douglas’s Story

The woman continued to push Douglas down the long hallway towards his room. On the left Douglas noticed a man strapped into his wheelchair, his head lolled from side-to-side. A dribble of drool fell from his chin. The woman continued past the old man, without a second glance.

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Reimagining Five Stars

Reimagining Five Stars

How would you change the nursing home five-star rating system? Last week you may have heard of the new Medicare revisions; The New York Times provided some great coverage.

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Mentorship: Empowering The Next Generation

Mentorship: Empowering The Next Generation

One advantage we have now more than ever is the ability to connect, communicate, and share ideas easily and instantly with people all around the world. The use of social media is one such tool.

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“Big, Hairy Audacious Goals” and Why They Matter

“Big, Hairy Audacious Goals” and Why They Matter

In the book, Built to Last, author James C. Collins says, “… a true BHAG (big, hairy audacious goal) is clear and compelling and serves as a unifying, focal point of effort – often creating immense team spirit.”

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From The Road: Words Do Matter

From The Road: Words Do Matter

It is the simple things that always stand out to me on the many travels I have been so fortunate to make.  Here in South Africa my current favorite simple pleasure is hearing the words “It is my pleasure.” When

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Mentors Matter….Pay it Forward

Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope were Mentors to Tony Bennett.  Mr. Sinatra told Life Magazine, “For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business, the best exponent of a song. He excites me when I watch him

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Daily Aging: Let’s Tour a Typical Nursing Home

Daily Aging: Let’s Tour a Typical Nursing Home

Today I would like to give a tour of a typical nursing home through the eyes of my friend Douglas.

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Signature Healthcare of Fentress County Joins the Registry

This small country home is doing great things to create home and a positive sense of well-being for everyone that lives and works there. Things like creating a spa like bathing experience, family style dining and consistent care partner employee assignments just to name a few.

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From The Road

From The Road

Left the cold, high latitude of Alaska this morning to head to South Africa to take part in a conference that celebrates aging. I can only imagine all the magic that will take place as people gather to share stories

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Why?

Why?

Some of you may know by this point that I love to share TED talks from time to time and today I’m sharing another one to kick off the week. Anyone who knows The Eden Alternative is most likely acquainted with

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Community Meetings Deepen Connectedness and Stimulate Growth

Community Meetings Deepen Connectedness and Stimulate Growth

Park Place Elder Living in Mt. Pleasant, IA has been holding community meetings with all care partners (Elders, employees, and family members) for six years now. For them, it has remained a vibrant and important gathering time for the community which helps them to grow closer and improve life throughout the home.

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Person-Directed Care Means Quality Improvement:  CMS Releases New Standards

Person-Directed Care Means Quality Improvement: CMS Releases New Standards

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released data on its National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care campaign to reduce the unnecessary use of antipsychotic medication by people living with dementia. CMS’s goals are laudable and their progress is heartening. Between

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Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: Open Mouth, Insert Foot

A doctor noted for his role as a key architect of President Obama’s healthcare reform reminded us just how narrow the lens of the medical model is when it comes to aging.  In an article posted this morning in the

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An Artist Colony Where You Never Have To Go Home

An Artist Colony Where You Never Have To Go Home

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.

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Creating Inclusivity in Aging Services

Creating Inclusivity in Aging Services

In 2014, the LeadingAge Leadership Academy curriculum for the first time included a small group learning project to identify and study a gap or issue in aging services.

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Is Growth Required or Optional?

Is Growth Required or Optional?

There are other times when I’ve made personal growth an option only to realize that my life has stagnated and it is time to challenge myself to grow further.

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Living with Dementia:  "We Shall Overcome..."

Living with Dementia: “We Shall Overcome…”

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.

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The Choices We Make

The Choices We Make

Life is full of choices, and making choices can be really hard at times. For me, going to Cheesecake Factory to eat is always a challenge….so many great choices on the menu! But in the big scheme of things, choosing a menu item doesn’t mean a lot and really only affects me.

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In Pursuit of the Tipping Point

In Pursuit of the Tipping Point

Last week, someone asked me to clarify some things about our Dementia Beyond Drugs training that made me realize that there are still some misconceptions floating around out there regarding the vision behind it. I’d like to share some of my thoughts on this, while noting that Dr. Al Power, the award-winning author of the book by the same name, may have a few of his own.

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Dementia communication tip: Say yes.

Dementia communication tip: Say yes.

In my role as an SLP and family educator, I often explain the importance of meeting people with dementia where they are. This usually leads to a conversation about lying to loved ones, which makes everyone uncomfortable at first. Even

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Mississippi Fights the Good Fight

Mississippi Fights the Good Fight

A year ago, I posted a blog about the efforts of the State of Kentucky to help decrease antipsychotic use.  Like the State of Tennessee before them, Kentucky change agents had chosen education as a key feature of their reduction

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New Infographic: Identity

New Infographic: Identity

In an effort to help raise awareness of the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being we are launching the first installment of our infographic series. Please like and share with a friend.

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Mindfulness and Person Directed Care

Mindfulness and Person Directed Care

Recently the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias published a study showing the effects of mindfulness on care partnerships. CBS News wrote up the findings in an interesting article. Alzheimer’s disease takes a psychological and physical toll not only on

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Welcome Dugan Home!

Welcome Dugan Home!

Dugan Home in West Point, MS joined the Eden Registry on August 28, 2014.  Located on Main Street in the historic district of West Point Mississippi, they are home to 60 Elders. This Christian-based community is cultivating a bountiful Human

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Liberty Care and Rehabilitation Joins the Eden Registry!

Liberty Care and Rehabilitation in Liberty, KY joined the Eden Registry on August 26, 2014.  It is obvious you are somewhere special from the moment you pull into the driveway and see gorgeous flowers, friends gathering on the front porch

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Where Does The Future Lie?

Where Does The Future Lie?

The past several years have led me farther and farther away from the pulse of activity relating to culture change in LTC. Although there is a part of me that misses being deeply involved, watching from the sidelines has given me a unique perspective on what is happening in the movement.

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The Eden Alternative Is On Pinterest

The Eden Alternative Is On Pinterest

The Eden Alternative® invites you to join us on Pinterest.

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Friday Motivation

Friday Motivation

Just a thought going into the weekend. We are all aging. Embrace it.

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Celebrating Madiba Day in South Africa

Celebrating Madiba Day in South Africa

The legacy of Mr. Nelson Mandela is possible one of the best-known stories around the globe. His passion (and spirit of forgiveness) echoes The Eden Alternative philosophy – that we are called to make the world a better place. (Tikkun Olam – we need to repair this world.)

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Daily Aging: What do you like best about nursing homes?

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?

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Giving and Receiving in Aged Care

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.

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A Salute to Ohio Veteran's Home

A Salute to Ohio Veteran’s Home

Ohio Veteran’s Home in Sandusky Ohio joined the Eden Alternative registry on August 15, 2014. Located on 100 acres near the beautiful Lake Erie, they opened in 1888 to care for veterans of the Civil War and is still in

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Can you fail an MBSS or x-ray swallow study?

Can you fail an MBSS or x-ray swallow study?

When someone has an x-ray of their leg or gets lab work to test cholesterol, we never say they failed the x-ray or lab work. We may report it was negative for this or positive for that, but the procedure

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Local Nursing Home Resident Makes Journey to See the Ocean for the First Time

Local Nursing Home Resident Makes Journey to See the Ocean for the First Time

It all started with a conversation over a cup of coffee.

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Daily Aging: What freedom is most important to you?

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” Williams Jennings Bryan

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Happy Friday

Happy Friday

Care is helping another to grow.

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Chicago Wards Sustaining Deep System Changes

Chicago Wards Sustaining Deep System Changes

Listening to the news I learned a ward in Chicago gave their budgetary power to the community instead of to a small group of government officials.

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Slow It Down

Slow It Down

I am slowly forgetting how to do nothing. By that I don’t mean “unproductive” or “effortless” activity like scrolling through a Facebook news feed; that activity still requires mental processing. I mean just letting my mind go. No thinking, no scrolling, no clicking, nothing.

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Welcome, Lexington Manor

Welcome, Lexington Manor

As you walk into each of the three neighborhoods you will get the feeling that you are in a home filled with genuine loving relationships.

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Pioneer Photo Gallery

Pioneer Photo Gallery

Team work session at the Pioneer Conference.

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The Nine Principles of Dynamic Kindness

The Nine Principles of Dynamic Kindness

1. With gratitude, both “good” and “bad” become capable teachers.

2. With generosity, even small stones can create great ripples.

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Surrey Place Joins The Registry

Located on the outskirts of the city limits tucked away under the magnificent oak trees you will find a wonderful place where 60 Elders call home.

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Pioneer Network Live Streaming Now

Pioneer Network Live Streaming Now

The first select session of the Pioneer Network Conference is now streaming live. Check in here regularly to get in on the action:

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Tune Into the Pioneer Network's 14th Annual Conference

Tune Into the Pioneer Network’s 14th Annual Conference

This week hundreds of people journey to the Kansas City, MO to attend the Pioneer Network’s 14th Annual Conference.  This three day event will explore culture change in its many forms and functions. However, while The Eden Alternative, along with

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My Schools Of Leadership

My Schools Of Leadership

I graduated from RN school forty-seven years ago next month.  Unfortunately, at the age of twenty-four when I obtained my first “management” job, I was not prepared to lead people. I spent a small fortune on leadership books, and I

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Relive The 7th Eden Alternative International Conference

We are excited to share our video archive of the 2014 Eden Alternative International Conference. Did you miss a session? Did you want to watch one you liked again? If so, here is the link to our youtube playlist with all 15 recorded sessions.

Enjoy and share away.

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Must Read Article

Must Read Article

Check out this wonderful article by our friends at Masonic Village.

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Like A Penny Waiting For Change

Like A Penny Waiting For Change

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.

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Leading Edge of Eldercare

Check out this fantastic video and article from Meg LaPorte at Provider featuring Judah Ronch of the Erickson School and Dr. Bill Thomas.

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Embrace Change or Fade Away

New research cited by McKnight’s shows what we have been teaching for years… relationships matter, especially healthy working relationships between care partners. We define care partners as everyone involved in providing care for an elder including professional staff, family, friends, and the elder herself.

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Ode to The Eden Alternative

Ode to The Eden Alternative

Read this beautiful poem sent to us by St. Luke’s Home in Tucson, AZ.

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DailyBeast Op-Ed: Treat Dementia With Music, Not Drugs

DailyBeast Op-Ed: Treat Dementia With Music, Not Drugs

Yesterday The Daily Beast published an op-ed I wrote about the extraordinary power of music to transform the lives of people living with dementia.

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Mobile Phones - Care Partner's Friend Or Foe?

Mobile Phones – Care Partner’s Friend Or Foe?

It’s Monday and I thought I’d share a story on a lesson to be learned about the potential impact of mobile phones for staff and resident relationship development.

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The Work We Do

The Work We Do

We thought we would end the week by sharing a short story that reminded us all of how important our work is.

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A Rude Awakening

A Rude Awakening

Leaders in the field of aging services face an interesting quandary. The happiness and well-being of hundreds of residents and staff depend on our leadership and our dedication. It’s a blood, sweat and tears kind of job. When the buck stops with you, and you are responsible for keeping a department, or a community, or an organization moving in the right direction, it can become all-consuming.

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Should you use dysphagia waivers?

Should you use dysphagia waivers?

Somewhere in my career my thoughts about dysphagia (or diet) waivers changed gradually. Although I was told they don’t hold up in court, I was also reminded over and over that dysphagia waivers must be completed. As I completed waiver

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Leadership: The Many Forms And Functions

Leadership: The Many Forms And Functions

Wise Leadership can have no substitute. Much of what The Eden Alternative teaches is meaningless without it. Changing the culture of an institution is challenging and strenuous and is never achieved without some form of struggle.

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Daily Aging: Talk about a time you were truly helpless

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.

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