International Conference Takes Culture Change Across the Full Continuum of Care

May 15, 2012
Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative

Navigating the Way Home: Guiding Change Along the Continuum of Care, our 6th International Conference, ushers in a new and exciting period of growth for The Eden Alternative.  Scheduled for May 30-June 1, the event features The Eden Alternative’s commitment to extending its vision across all care environments.

As many of us know, “culture change” is the common name for a global initiative focused on transforming care, as we know it, for Elders and individuals living with different abilities (physical, developmental, intellectual, and psychological).  It advocates for a shift from institutional models of care to person-directed values and practices that put the individual first.

The Eden Alternative began its journey focusing on transforming the culture of care in nursing homes and other institutional settings.  Since then, however, its impact has reached across the full continuum of care.  Person-directed care doesn’t stop inside the walls of the nursing home.  It reaches beyond those walls into the neighborhood streets and communities that make up our towns and cities.  It reaches into the faith-based communities, the senior centers, the adult day centers, the assisted living and independent living communities, small group homes for those living with special needs, the hospitals, and the home care networks that support the needs of the people who live in those towns and cities.

In each of these environments, care does not live in a vacuum.  The care experienced in the nursing home is connected to the care offered in the hospital or at home or in assisted living.  Each impacts and influences the other.  This is why culture change must reach across the entire continuum of care to be truly effective. We can’t push hard for change in nursing homes and simply ignore how the institutional model impacts care in someone’s home.  When the general public is educated about culture change and person-directed care, we raise the bar of expectation.  True mastery of culture change ideals involves an appreciation of the skills and perspectives that everyone in the community possesses to create a life worth living. Each and every one of us is part of the solution.

Conference sessions will reflect this full continuum perspective by filtering through several different tracks to respond to the interests of different stakeholders across various care settings.  By broadening the conversation about culture change, we begin to enrich networks of support and create a “multiplier effect” that hastens commitment to change.  This particular notion inspired The Eden Alternative to open the Eden Registry to include a much wider variety of care organizations.  By expanding the Registry, which highlights organizations stepping up to create a life worth living through person-directed care, we continue to confirm that, together, we are stronger.

See you at the conference!

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