Educators Drive Transformative Eldercare to New Heights

February 06, 2015
Denise Hyde

CEE class Jan 2015Who would have thought a week in Denver, CO, at the end of January, would be so warm and wonderful, both inside and outside? The week of January 26th, found 15, very passionate, Eldercare specialists, exploring the Principles and concepts of The Eden Alternative as they apply to the lives of the Elder care partners they serve. The 12 individuals attending the Certified Eden Educator class represented:

  • Long-term care
  • Community support for those living with different abilities
  • Home and community based care
  • Organizational consultants

These Educators return to their peers, and the Elders they serve, this week equipped with new ideas and knowledge, prepared to facilitate learning experiences for all the care partners they support. Chad “Cheetah” Behling, with Rocky Mountain Human Services, commented,

“The Eden Alternative Certified Eden Educator Training has given me some great tools and the confidence to be able to share with others. I’ve also met some great people and learned how different styles might be used to teach different principles.”

Another amazing aspect of the week was the willingness of the whole group to play with the language used. As Debra Whitehead, from Rocky Mountain Human Services, commented, “The English language is not perfect and we are all learning a new way of talking about what we do and how we do it.” The group played with language such as, “the individual living with different abilities,” “the individual accepting support,” and “creating home regardless of where the individual lives.” It was a very rich, and transformative conversation throughout the week. As Shaire “Seal” Chavez, from Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center commented, “Small things make it possible for big things to happen!” Changing language opens the doors to larger changes in systems and processes of care.

To sum up the experience, Judy “Jaguar” Bishop, from Sunset Village, commented,

“An amazing, life changing week! Learning to become an Eden Educator was everything I dreamed of and more. It reconfirmed my belief that a career in Eldercare is worth being passionate about and mentoring and coaching others to join the journey is necessary. Elders deserve person-directed communities. We need to keep moving forward to create cultures where Elders are honored and live life with purpose.”

Ric “Reindeer” Olson, with Lessons Learned Solutions, commented,

“Thank you for your passion, vision and the multiple ways The Eden Alternative is making a wonderful difference in our country and around the world.”

Growing an Eden Educator in your organization strengthens the journey to person-directed care. We look forward to supporting and learning from this new class of Educators as they put what they have learned into action. If you are interested in hosting an Eden Educator class in your organization, please contact Meredith Burrus at You could be the next training site in 2015!

3 Comments. Leave new

That is encouraging. I would love to see all of these new educators at our Eden Educator Spring Social in April. It is being hosted by Exempla Colorado Lutheran Home. If you all are interested in meeting other educators in Colorado and learning how we can support each other in our growth please drop me a line at: I will give you the details! Congratulations to all of you!


Congratulations to all our new Educators! We are so excited for you as you go out and share what you’ve learned. Remember, you have a lot of members of the Eden Alternative family ready and willing to help you.


I was part of the training in Denver-besides learning great nwe ways to assist with training, I met wonderful people that have the passion that I do about “what is the right way to treat Elders!”


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