Category Archive for "Eden Alternative Philosophy"

Boomers Face Cultural Conundrum

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

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Stage Three of Tribal Leadership: “I’m Great!”

As we count down to the conference, we’ve been talking to best-selling author John King about his book, Tribal Leadership.  Labeled an “unusually nuanced view of high-performance cultures,” Tribal Leadership frames leadership in terms of five distinct stages, each involving

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What’s plaguing the NHA?

This Guest Blog comes to us courtesy of Jill Vitale-Aussem. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom cause the bulk of suffering among Elders.  They kill the human spirit.  The Eden Alternative shows us the antidotes to these plagues

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Stage Two of Tribal Leadership: "My Life Sucks"

“People in Stage Two have pretty much taken themselves out of the game. They find themselves cynical or in despair, so they’ve disconnected from others in the workspace,” says John King, Tribal Leadership.

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An Elder Speaks: John

An Elder Speaks: John

You can meet ordinary, extraordinary people everywhere you go. Today, meet John.

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Loneliness Vs. Obesity

Loneliness Vs. Obesity

Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the US. But According to the Guardian people over 50 face an even greater danger. Loneliness. Loneliness can be twice as unhealthy as obesity, according to researchers who found that

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Long Term Care, South Africa

Long-term care in South Africa is a complex remnant of the Apartheid era. The Long-term care “industry” has accommodation for approximately 2% of the over 65 population in the country, of which 98% are white (European) South Africans. Historically funded

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Guest Blog: The Eden Alternative and The Flood

Guest Blog: The Eden Alternative and The Flood

Rachel Wynn, MS CCC-SLP is speech-language pathologist specializing in geriatric care. She blogs at Gray Matter Therapy, which strives to provide information about geriatric care including functional treatment ideas, recent research, and ethical care. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, or hiking with her dog

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Retirement And Security

As a young, healthy man I imagine my sense of security is much different my parents’, and theirs is that much different than their parents’. As long as I keep my job, can pay my rent, and put food in

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Exploring Tribal Leadership: Stage One

Several weeks back I posted a blog featuring an interview with John King, author of the best-selling book Tribal Leadership:  Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization and a keynote speaker at the 2014 Eden Alternative International Conference. During

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A Home Where Love Matters

One mantra that Dr. Thomas has consistently put forth is “when the Eden Alternative is embraced, you create a home where love matters.” We are reminded of this every time a new organization joins the Eden Registry. When leaders understand

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The Language Of Care Is Universal

The Eden Alternative first crossed the border to Canada over 16 years ago. Bill Thomas recognized early on that no matter where you are in the world, if care is based on the medical, institutional model you will find loneliness,

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Culture Change is for Everyone – Talkin' Bout a Revolution

The first time I met Bill Thomas was in 1996 in San Marcos, Texas.  My father was living with Alzheimer’s disease and had found home in a long-term care community new to the Eden Alternative journey.  In town for an

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Family Ties Through Story

This story comes to us from Heather Reynolds of Mission Health Services in Utah, and her blog Marvin on a Mission “A child who knows where her grandmother went to school may be more resilient than a child who doesn’t.”

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Remembering the Why’s

The recent Neighborhood Guide Training with the team from Sunset Retirement Communities was a good reminder of why this training, and growing empowered teams of employee care partners, is so important for our 2014 New Year’s growth plans. Throughout the

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Nashville's High Notes

As a native Tennessean, you can imagine my excitement when we named Nashville the host city for the 7th Eden Alternative International Conference. There’s something captivating about Nashville, bursting with culture, history and Southern charm. You’ll find artisans here rooted

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Where’s the Passion?

What feeds your passion in caring for Elders? Is it the state and federal regulations? Is it the quality measures you are tracking? Is it the new guidelines coming out with the Affordable Care Act? Is it QAPI? Is it

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Rhythm for Unity: Drumming and Person-Directed Care

I hold dear a particular moment during the 2010 Eden Alternative International Conference in Denver. During the evening welcoming ceremony, residents from the North Star Community in Denver gathered in a circle at the center of the space and began

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It’s not a Program. It’s a Philosophy!

A friend of mine just shared a very cool article published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing about a recent study of person-centered care. I’ve read a lot of studies about person-centered care, but what really caught my eye here

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Mind The Gap

Twelve amazing people from the USA and Canada gathered for one week in Battle Creek, MI to explore how the Neighborhood Guide offering could transform the lives of care partners in the organization. Family continued to come up in our

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“Building Bridges” Between Youth and Elders

Over the last couple of months, Virgil Thomas and I have blogged quite a bit about the impacts of ageism on both Elders and youth.  In these blogs, we encouraged readers to embrace fully what ageism actually means:  “prejudice against

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Elders Raise Over $18,000 For Addie’s Army

“This made us see we can accomplish anything we want to”, said Lisa Shaheen, an Elder living at Signature HealthCare At Sunrise Manor, located in Hodgenville, Ky. Lisa was speaking excitedly about the latest endeavor of herself and friends residing in

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Jill Vitale-Aussem Guest Blogs: Surplus Safety

“Nursing Home Denies Elder the Right to Stand Up:   Administrator cites safety concerns” Ok, I just made that up.    Let’s all be honest though –this headline could describe what goes on in many nursing homes. Have you seen the recent

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Ageism And Millennials Part II

Leapfrogging off my thought earlier this week about younger generations becoming resentful of older generations. The New York Time has an interesting piece about how people really aren’t very good at predicting how much (if at all) they will change as

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“Is It Safe?”

“Is it safe?” For those of a certain age, this line will forever be associated with a particularly harrowing scene from John Schlesinger’s 1976 film Marathon Man. In that scene, Sir Laurence Olivier (playing a Nazi war criminal), tortures Dustin

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Introducing Sky: A Lesson In Elderhood

  I’m going to go off topic, if you would permit me. We’re not talking about aging today (well maybe, but not directly). Instead I would like to introduce Sky. This feisty Belgian Malinois has trained in the hyper physical

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“Who Am I? Why Am I Here?”

The above questions were posed by James Stockdale, a retired admiral and highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, to open his introductory remarks in the 1992 Vice-Presidential debates. They were meant as a segue to a brief bio, for a TV

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Identity

The Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being™ are an integral piece of creating a life worth living.  This week, we are taking a look at the Domain of Identity. Here are some thoughts from Revolutionizing the Experience of Home by Bringing

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It Begins with the Conversation …

Advance care planning involves communicating about anticipated medical choices throughout the adult lifespan (including Elderhood), focused on the individual’s goals and values. Have you had this conversation yet? If not, you are not alone. Studies show that less than 50%

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Effective Decision-Making in Moments of Crisis Requires Support

When is it right for an Elder to go to the Hospital? In a person-directed care organization, deciding if an Elder should go to the hospital is driven by the individual’s life goals and preferences first, and treatment second. Eden

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Arkansas Culture Change Blog Reminds Us That Perspective is Everything

The culture change movement is doing incredible things in elder care and telling our stories, thanks to the power of blogs and social media, and believe it or not, The Eden Alternative is not the only one out there writing

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Communicating During Transitions; Strangers or Friends?

Communicating with Elders during transitions in care is crucial. Strangers cannot communicate well with strangers, or about strangers. If the use of healthcare resources, especially hospital care, is to be optimized to the individual, then relationships have to be built

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Journey Through The Ten Principles

We are excited to share with you a new look at the Ten Principles of The Eden Alternative. Explore the principles, and go deeper for a more thorough understanding. The presentation is interactive. Click through using the arrow keys, but

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Before You Know It

Complacency is sneaky. I’ll give you an example. Many of you have probably read about my dog Carter. We got him six months ago from a rescue. He’s a good boy. A lover. So much so that I am in

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One Of The Plagues Makes The News

One of the Plagues in the News A recent McKnight’s article discusses the issues around learned helplessness and links to depression in Elders. The Eden Alternative identified this connection early on, designating helplessness as one of the three plagues. However,

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Be Courageous Enough to Be Influential

In case you haven’t seen it, one of our educators, Frosini Rubertino, was plugged by McKnights Long-Term Care News for doing her part in the culture change movement with her book Carmelina. “It comes from the heart, through professional and personal experiences in the long term

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#LiveWorthLiving

The Eden Alternative has been dedicated to creating a life worth living for nearly two decades. So, what exactly makes a life worth living? The answer is subjective not scientific. Only I can know that for myself. We are interested,

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NY Times Article Features Heightened Empathy in People Who Live with Dementia

A recent New York Times article quoting award-winning author Dr. Al Power reminds us that people living with dementia have much to teach us about being fully present with one another. “Empathy Without Boundaries” highlights how individuals living with dementia

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Bringing Dementia Training to Wisconsin

The Eden Alternative and LindenGrove, Inc. are partners on a grant proposal to fund Dementia Beyond Drugs training based on the award-winning book by G. Allen Power of the same name, Dementia Beyond Drugs. The 2-day training  from The Eden Alternative applies person-directed care

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Call for Presentations Open – 2014 Eden Alternative International Conference

Today, the Call for Presentations opens for the 2014 Eden Alternative International Conference. Strike a Chord, Resonate Well-Being. Scheduled from April 30 to May 2, 2014 in  Nashville, Tennessee, the conference’s theme highlights the power of the Eden Alternative Domains of

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Mission Health Services: Fighting the Negative Effects of Ageism

 “An Elder is someone who has lived the history that we can only read about in text books. Now is the time to honor their sacrifices and  record their stories.” Marvin Maxwell Melbourne III. One day recently on a Eden

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Celebrate National Nursing Home Week…..You Make a Difference!!!

  As we come upon National Nursing Home Week, the reality is that we aren’t likely to see a special section of the greeting cards aisle in the store dedicated to this theme. But who needs greeting cards anyway! I

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Facilitating Life Passions: Celebrate the Person, Grow the Team

A few days ago I was lecturing my 14 year-old about safety and his passion for snowboarding and long boarding (skateboarding with a longer board). “Mom,” he told me, “You are asking me to hold back on what I love!”

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Measuring Customer Satisfaction as a Culture Change Tool

Ever wonder if gauging customer satisfaction is really worth the time and effort? Jill Vitale-Aussem, Executive Director of Clermont Park in Denver, Colorado, had become accustomed to the same experience of satisfaction surveys in every organization she had worked for

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Connecting Person-Directed Care to the Baldrige Healthcare Criteria

Culture change with The Eden Alternative strengthens quality across the organization. The Eden Alternative is about so much more than bringing in cats, dogs and birds to a nursing home. There are tools, resources, education, experts, consultants, guides, and much

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Sherbrook Community Centre: Using Community Involvement to Reframe Aging

Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon, Canada truly values the larger community in ways that bring meaning and joy to all that become involved. Read below what Patricia Roe, Leader, Communications and Public Relations has to say about their community outreach.

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Welcome Aboard Kings Way Care Centre

Please help me welcome our newest Registry Member Kings Way Care Centre located in New Brunswick Canada. They joined the Eden Registry on April 16, 2013. They have 3 very active neighborhoods that are home to 74 Elders. When you

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The Timeless Power of the Learning Circle

“I have seen there is no more powerful way to initiate significant change than to convene a conversation… It is always like this.  Real change begins with the simple act of people talking about what they care about.”  – Margaret

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Facilitating Diversity Drives Change

Principle Two of The Eden Alternative tells us that the creation of a Human Habitat is the most effective cure for the plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.  By definition, a Human Habitat is “an environment where different species live

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Facilitating Empowerment is a Full Continuum Experience

Being an empowering facilitative leader is the single most important aspect of the culture change journey. For person-directed care to become a reality, facilitative leaders must create an environment flexible enough that teams can make decisions on the spot and

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Why Such a Big Gap?

I just saw the results of an interesting survey published in the March issue of Provider Magazine. The source is the My Innerview Skilled Nursing Employee Engagement Satisfactions Surveys collected in 2012 by National Research Corporation. The question from the

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“Who loves me will love my dog.” — Proverb

“Change means we must always be learning and problem solving rather than just doing things the way they have always been done.” Theresa Kirksey of the Arkansas Culture Change blog writes a great post about the need for creative problem solving

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Twenty Neighborhood Guides Have Their Roadmap to the Future

Twenty individuals became Neighborhood Guides at the end of a five-day training experience in Rochester, New York this past week. Sixteen attendees were from Kirkhaven Transitional & Long-Term Care in Rochester and four were from Schlegel Villages in Ontario, Canada.

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Promoting Engaged Teams

The Canterbury at Cedar Grove Care & Rehabilitation Center in Cedar Grove, NJ has started Pop Up Groups as a way of promoting engaged teams. To create each Pop Up Group, they took the employee list and every team got

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Inspiring Your Board to Get Onboard with Culture Change

    Are you looking for a new idea on how to inspire your Board of Directors to support you culture change journey? Well, Clermont Park in Denver, CO came up with an inspiring idea that they’d like to share.

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Renewing Commitment to Culture Change

Worth the Effort: Renewing Commitment to Culture Change  The Eden Steering Team at Spectrum Health Reed City Campus in Reed City, MI thought they had a good idea for 2012. Little did they know just how great an idea it

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Strong Communication Skills: Step One to Building a Participatory Culture

Successful culture change calls on leaders to create an organizational culture that actively engages everyone in change initiatives.  Leaders who just pay lip service to creating a participatory ethos find out very quickly that they are building their culture change

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Meeting Advancing Excellence Goals with The Eden Alternative®

Goal #1: Improve Staff stability Description & rationale: A stable workforce is fundamental to providing the highest quality care and life in nursing homes and sustaining performance improvement. Working on this goal will provide nursing home staff with resources and

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Care is More than Customer Service

For many years companies have pursued great customer service as a competitive strategy. Think the Disney model. Organizations in the health care arena, especially long term care providers, have more recently taken up the same charge. Think “If Disney Ran

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The Key to Sustainable Change is Facilitative Leadership

Someone asked me recently what was so special about being a facilitative leader.  There are so many ways to answer this question, but let’s zero in on why facilitative leadership is particularly significant to person-directed care across all care settings. 

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2217 Hospitals Penalized Since October 2012

These hospitals are being penalized based on their 30-day readmission rates and so far the fines have added up to about $280 million. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It is time for Eldercare organizations across the care

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It's a Process, Not a Program

As a society, we love our programs.  Move around in any professional sub-culture and you will hear the word “program” thrown about repeatedly.  We love methodically following their pre-determined steps and adding them to a list of other programs that

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Tennessee Takes on Antipsychotic Drug Reduction

Last week, the first of three multi-day events took place in Nashville, TN, focusing on the reduction of anti-psychotic drugs (see Chris Perna’s recent post for the details).  This collaboration between The Eden Alternative and the Tennessee Department of Health,

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Visit Nashville this December!

Set amid the gentle hills and farmlands of central Tennessee, sprawling Nashville attracts millions of visitors each year. The majority come to immerse themselves in music, whether at mainstream showcases like the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand

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Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being Featured at GSA Conference

The Eden Alternative will participate in a poster session featuring the development of the Well-Being Assessment Tools at the Gerontological Society of America’s 65th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego, CA. Frances Wilby, LCSW, PhD, a member of the team that

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On Gratitude and Giving Thanks: The Power of the Mitzvah

Recently, I returned home to find a bar of dark chocolate with a ribbon around it at my doorstep.  There was no card or acknowledgement – just a little bar of delight waiting there for me.  I waited a few

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QAPI and The Eden Alternative®: What Are the Connections?

A recent article in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News entitled “Ready, Set: QAPI!” got me thinking about what long-term care communities are going to need to feel prepared to deal with upcoming regulations coming out of the new Quality Assurance and

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Eden Alternative’s Presence Felt at AHCA Conference in Tampa

One of the ways we are getting exposure for The Eden Alternative these days is by exhibiting and speaking at industry events like the recent AHCA Annual Conference in Tampa, Fl. In Tampa Nancy Fox and I partnered on an educational

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Surplus Safety….More Than Meets the Eye

I had the privilege recently of attending a symposium about “surplus safety,” put together by the Erickson School at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and funded by the Maurice Rothschild Foundation. Many thanks to these organizations for convening a

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New Eden Alternative Neighborhood Guides Come Out of Sewickley, PA Training

Two new organizations are stepping up to ensure that their neighborhood teams are successful. Care partners from St. John’s Home in Rochester, NY (Joanne Panarisi-Bottone, Kristine Angevine, and Karen Natoli) and Epworth Village in Oklahoma City, OK (Linda Crawford) attended

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