Inspired Words Make Worlds

May 13, 2016
Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative

NNHW2016PG_CoverIn honor of National Nursing Home Week, we have a treat for you.  We, at The Eden Alternative, recently had the distinct honor of receiving three different poems from 3 inspired change agents.  Not only do they touch the heart upon reading them, but there are also deeper threads of meaning here.

It seems that each of these poems was inspired by aspects of the Eden Alternative Philosophy.  Take Mike Larkin’s piece, Through My Eyes.  Mike graced us with his presence last week in Little Rock at the 2016 Eden Alternative International Conference.  He took the stage at Eden’s Got Talent and blew us away with his impassioned reading of his poem In his intro, Mike shared that his conference experience inspired him to write it. Click here to read Through My Eyes.

Sonny Gonzalez and Jennifer Daniels of Oceanview Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Texas City, Texas have been participating in a national grant project of ours called Creating a Culture of Person-Directed Dementia Care.  Both Sonny and Jennifer have each shared poems they’ve penned in response to what they’ve learned.  Sonny’s poem, Alone, echoes the message behind Eden Alternative Principle Three, which acknowledges that companionship is the antidote to the plague of loneliness. Click here to read Alone. Jennifer shares Night and Day with us.  Her poem reflects the essence of Eden Alternative Principle 5, which names spontaneity and variety as the antidote to the plague of boredom.  Read Night and Day.

Person-directed care is a creative expression of what it means to be human.  So, it is no surprise to me that these three individuals have been moved to capture their experiences so eloquently.  Genuine care requires the engagement of our hearts… Mike, Sonny, and Jennifer, thank you for sharing yours.

How have you used creativity to share the messages behind person-directed care?  Do tell… we’d love to hear about it.

2 Comments. Leave new

Chris Perna
May 13, 2016 1:50 pm

These poems are the perfect way to honor our Elders and their care partners as we celebrate National Nursing Home Week. Thank you!

Susan E Post
May 13, 2016 1:54 pm

As I shared the poems with other staff members here, I am wiping away a few tears… for the elders who don’t have an advocate or a staff knowledgeable in allowing them to direct their own life. Thank you for sharing and making such a difference!


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