Anne Reeves, Owner of Elder Care Resources (www.youreldercareresources.com) and Lake George Assisted Living (www.lifeatlakegeorge.com)
The first article, titled “Improving Dementia Care with the Eden Alternative” bit.ly/ 2njRNqV is written by June Burgess, an Eden Alternative regional coordinator for the UK and Ireland, (www.linkedin.com/in/june-burgess-28876327/) and published by Nursing Times (www.nursingtimes.net). This article highlights 5 key points that illustrate the importance and benefits of Eden Alternative in elder care facilities. It also provides the 10 Eden Alternative Principles that define what is at the core of the approach. Lastly, the article provides 3 unique and compelling case studies, which show how implementing the philosophy improves the quality of life of residents and provides staff members of elder living facilities with greater job satisfaction.
The second paper is titled “Promoting Thriving in Nursing Homes: The Eden Alternative” bit.ly/2njNQ5t and it is written by Beth E. Barba, PhD, RNC (www.linkedin.com/in/beth-barba-b3656224/); Anita S. Tesh, EDD, MSN, RNC, CEAA-II (www.linkedin.com/in/anita-star-tesh-b2130212b/); and Nancy F. Courts, PhD, RN, NCC. The paper is published in “Journal of Gerontological Nursing” [28(3), 7-13] and made available by Slack Inc. (www.slackinc.com). This paper provides overall information about the elements of the Eden Alternative (i.e. Staff Empowerment, Resident Animals, Plants and Gardens, Children, and The Community). It also outlines risks, impediments and implications to Edenizing. Finally, it gives clear & supported research for the numerous benefits of implementing the Eden Alternative (i.e. decreases in monthly prescriptions, infections, behavioral incidents, deaths; decreases in loneliness and depression; and increases in sociability and communication abilities of residents and more). It’s important to note that in many instances the Eden Alternative benefits are striking. The lead author (B.E.B.) of the paper even overheard a resident at an Eden Alternative facility say to herself, “Lord, I feel like a human being again.”
Drawing on these 2 articles and my professional experience spanning two decades, I have listed 3 tips I would highly recommend to older adults who are interested in learning more about Eden Alternative living facilities:
- Determine if an Eden Alternative Environment is Important to You – By familiarizing yourself with the principles of Eden Alternative and knowing what an Eden Alternative facility offers you will be better able to decide if those environmental and lifestyle options are important to you.
- Find Out Which Facilities Offer an Eden Alternative Environment – Once you know which facilities support an Eden Alternative environment it will be easier to focus on the senior living community that will most deliver on your environmental expectations.
- Plan a Visit to the Facility You’re Considering – It’s very important to make a planned visit to the facility you’re interested in – ideally when you can observe or participate in an activity when Eden Alternative events are the focus. For example, a planned time when children or volunteers are expected to participate in activities with the residents. Be sure to plan adequate time for your visit – so you will have plenty of time to tour the facility and participate in the event without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
Eden Alternative living offers numerous benefits, but there are always considerations before making a move to any new environment. It’s important to know what type of environment you’re looking for in a senior living facility so you can determine if the residence will meet your needs. Researching Eden Alternative and visiting facilities you’ve selected will help you know what’s available so you are more empowered to make a healthy life choice.
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My name is Anne Reeves. I’m the owner of Elder Care Resources and Lake George Assisted Living in Columbia, Missouri. I have 25 years helping older adults and their families choosing what care services and living options are best for their needs. I believe in being an advocate for my clients and helping ensure they are living their best lives. Feel free to reach out or connect with me at email@example.com