June 29, 2023

Connect with Us – In Person

Connectedness, one of the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being®, is all about relationships, care partnership, and collaboration; working together and knowing each other well. Being together and making connections is how we grow and thrive. 

This year, the Eden Alternative team has attended conferences and built relationships, reconnecting with long-time friends, and meeting new ones. What a difference it makes to see people in person rather than on a Zoom screen. We hope to see you soon at the Center for Innovation Conference, Ready to Impact, in Pittsburg, at the end of July, where most of our team will be attending.

As a virtual organization, Eden teammates work on Zoom every day from our home offices.  We’re located continent-wide, stretching from sea to shining sea, from California, Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, to Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, New York, and even Ontario, Canada. Some people on our team have not yet met in person! We are excited to change that at the end of July!

In March 2023, Danna Pentes and Kathy Hagen attended the American Society on Aging (ASA) Conference in Atlanta. They stepped into their first conference of the year and reveled in the crowds of people all focused on anti-agism and the health and well-being of people in long-term care. They met new people, had exciting conversations around partnering to expand our reach, and shared stories of hope and resilience. 

As a sponsor of the Art Against Ageism installation at ASA, The Eden Alternative supported the art of Meg LaPorte’s team to bring a beautiful tree sculpture about owning our age and how much we’ve learned by filling in the blanks: I am ___ years old and I have learned _____.   Dozens of responses circulated on social media before the conference and were on display as ribbons/leaves on the tree. There was a perpetual slide show with replies from people in their 20s to their 90s. This was not only fun, it was also a powerful anti-ageist statement on how people of all ages continue to learn and grow.

In the Philadelphia area, Meredith Martin, Tina Taylor, and Kathy Hagen attended the Penn Medicine and Temple Health Together We RISE: Building Resiliency in Long Term Care Conference. Partnering with the Long Term Care RISE project in Southeastern Pennsylvania, we’re bringing Eden training and consulting focused on care partner resiliency to communities in that area.

Meredith Martin and Tina Taylor partnered with Emily Connors and Matt Mayo at Masonic Village Elizabethtown to present, Creating Well-Being for All.  We are working with skilled nursing, assisted living, as well as personal care homes, and ICFs.  We are loving the creativity that this grant supports. Creating an empowered culture of care, focused on well-being for all, is the first step to attracting and retaining a strong workforce.

Then in Michigan, Kathy Hagen attended the Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council Conference (MCMCFC). She spoke to administrators and DONs to share details on a grant project that partners MCMCFC, The Eden Alternative, and The Stress Blueprint. This dementia focused grant project brings a learning collaborative derived from the Raising the Bar Practice Guide for Nursing Homes, a resource created through a partnership between The Eden Alternative and Dementia Action Alliance. The guide includes the influence, voice, and input of people living with dementia, honoring the model of “Nothing about us, without us,” which aligns seamlessly with Eden Alternative Principle 8.

Teaming up with expert Eden Educators, Vickie Burlew and Sandy Place, they met with teams who are hungry for a re-start with person-directed care education and consulting. Some communities have taken steps back due to the pandemic and they are beginning to make their way forward again. There were also Eden Members who shared that the Eden Approach gave them the skills they needed to get through the hard times of the last few years and they want to continue to learn and grow with us.

Coming up next is Ready to Impact, the Center for Innovation Conference, including the Pioneer Network and Green House Project,  now joined together to collaborate, share resources, and expand their reach. We are thrilled that most of the Eden Alternative Team will be attending. We are encouraging all our current and future Eden Members to join us there July 23 – 26. We will have a booth and be Ready to Impact your organization!

Eden team members Kris Angevine and Kristi Doan will join Nicole Brackett from Homewatch Caregivers to present Well-Being is a Human Right. Their interactive session at the conference will show how the Eden Approach supports the whole person and upholds the right to a life full of purpose, connection, empowerment, and possibility, regardless of age or changing abilities. They will cover practical ways to have conversations about well-being and weave well-being into a care plan.


We hope to see you out there at conferences in the future! If you are attending the CFI Conference and want to catch up, please reach out to us at theedenalternative@edenalt.org.  We will be happy to meet with you to share how The Eden Alternative can help your team gain the skills to create an empowered community of care and well-being.

Will The Eden Alternative have a conference of our own soon? Next year is our 30-year anniversary and we plan to celebrate big! Will it be through a conference? Stay tuned!