Stories, tips, & inspiring ideas about implementing

The Eden Alternative®


April/May 2019



Our Mission: To improve the well-being of Elders and their care partners

by transforming the communities in which they live and work.



Don't Miss this Rare Opportunity to See a Milestone 4 Community in Action!



Seize your chance to experience the legendary Sherbrooke Community Centre, the first Milestone 4 Eden Registry Member in the world, and the community featured during Certified Eden Associate Training.


This is an exclusive and extraordinary opportunity to spend 3 days, side-by-side, with CEO Suellen Beatty and her powerhouse team through a deep dive into Sherbrooke’s innovative culture and community life.


Click here to find out more and register now!

Ongoing Education Creates Sustainability
Every Eden Registry Member that we have talked to, that has invested in ongoing growth of Certified Eden Associate capacity, comments on how the enthusiasm and excitement they bring back re-energizes the organization. It keeps everyone going and growing; it creates a sustainable journey. As new formal leaders come on board, they need to experience Certified Eden Associate Training within the first 6 months, otherwise, frost can happen and the journey slows down.
Throughout the Path to Mastery, Registry Members continue to grow their change agent capacity through Certified Eden Associate Training (or Certified Eden at Home Associate Training). It starts in Milestone 1 with 2-4 key leaders who are responsible for driving the mission and vision of the organization. By Milestone 2, all formal leaders and at least one informal leader per neighborhood/household are Certified Eden Associates. By Milestone 3, 20% of employees plus an Elder and family member are now Eden Associates. There are also steps in Milestone 1 and 2 about creating a plan to be able to continue the growth of new changes agents. Successful Eden Registry Members plan to grow a few new Certified Eden Associates each year by adding a line item to the annual budget.
It takes a different mindset and skill set to guide an organization from institutional practices to person-directed care practices. By Milestone 3, Eden Registry Members can ensure your leaders are prepared by hosting or attending one or all of these trainings:
Facilitative Leadership, a Five-Part Online Training (starts in July 2019)
The next step is to ensure everyone has the tools and resources needed to bring about change and make it stick. Here are other educational offerings to bring to your organization (available in the US only):
Empowered Teams: A Roadmap to Engagement, Innovation, and Quality  (formerly known as Neighborhood Guide Training)
To get more information about how to host a training and/or ideas on how to apply for grant funding to cover the cost of training, please reach out to Meredith Martin at Consider growing your own internal Certified Eden Educator, which will reduce the cost/person to attend any offering the Educator is authorized to teach.

Ideas Worth Sharing


The residents at North Star Rehabilitation and Care Community, Denver, CO, are getting ready for the annual Art with a Heart Fundraiser that benefits the MS Society. In case you did not know, the residents are expert fundraisers and often win awards for the efforts! They recently visited Ceramics in the City to make glass and ceramic projects. They have also been working on painting with alcohol ink, wood projects, button art and more. It looks like some great artwork. If you’d like to be a part of the Fundraiser, mark your calendar for May 29th from 4-6pm. We hope the event is a great success!


Several different organizations have asked if we have heard about a dementia village near Amsterdam. A small handful of Registry Members have actually visited the village and shared their experience with us. We just found a video about the village and thought others might enjoy learning about it. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the village, please send them along to Denise Hyde,  

The team at Christie Gardens, Toronto, ON, has a great new approach to education. An Elder that lived there, and loved educating the employee care partners, passed away. His wife has chosen to honor him by providing funds to support the hands-on care partners to keep growing through one-hour education sessions that happen every other month. She works with the education team at the community to come up with topics that would have appealed to her husband’s interests. The topics they have come up with include things on personal transformation, social health, inclusion, diversity, communication, teamwork, physical health, conflict resolution, spiritual health, mental health, peer mentorship, and team accountability. We want everything to be transferable. Employees are excited to take the classes and get a certificate after attending. They are looking at providing special recognition for those employees who attend all six classes during the year. The team at Christie Gardens is intentional on training everyone for life, not just their job. They want everything they teach to be transferable. What a great approach to ongoing education!


The team at Holly Nursing Care Center, Holly, CO, did some paint refreshing this past year. The Elders picked out the colors that appealed to them. They chose a pretty beige color with a pale green for accent walls. There was one spot that they didn’t want painted over, and that is a tree painted by a local artist. The have affixed plastic hooks on the branches so they can change out the decorations throughout the year. What a fun idea … check it out.


The team at Grancare Nursing Center, Green Bay, WI, has set an organization-wide expectation that everyone slows down and spends time with Elders. Usually, I hear that this is impossible in the busyness of daily life, but this team says “no,” it is very doable. How do they do it? They slow down. They all take time to visit, participate in activities, joke and laugh. It matters not what your role is, you are expected to engage with the Elders. The formal leaders do it, they encourage others to do it, and they talk about how to do it at team meetings. It feels different there because they treat people as family that they enjoy being around. It seems they have found an important ingredient that turns a building into a home!



2019 Eden Registry Networking Groups


The 2019 Eden Registry Networking Calls have started. The first three months were spent focused on recruitment and retention of employees. We meet next on May 2, 2019 at 2pm ET. The topic will be Why is improving communication always on the to-do list? You can find the full 2019 networking call topic list, registration link and recordings on the “Webinar, Networking and Conference Call Schedule” page of the Registry Member section of the website. Mark your calendars and come join the monthly conversation!


Become an Eden Registry Member!  Click here for more information...


Annual Data Collection for Registry Members

All Eden Registry Members are expected (per the agreement) to submit data annually to the Eden Alternative. A work group has gone over the data collection worksheet and made some changes; hopefully making the process easier. Click here to download the new version. It is also posted on the “Tools” page of the Registry Member section of the website.


Data is due by July 31, 2019. Aggregated results are posted on the Research and Data page of the website in a report. The benchmarks have more meaning when everyone shares their data. Thank you!

Celebrating Milestone Mastery: 
The team at Wesley Meadows Retirement Community in Hernando, MS celebrated Milestone 2 mastery recently. They had a huge party where everyone got dressed up. The theme was “Welcome to the Oscars” and we hear that Audrey Hepburn made an appearance. Congratulations and thanks for sharing you celebration with us all!


Here are two incredible stories we heard about through the newsletter from St. Luke’s Home, Tuscon, AZ:

Chocolate Tiramisu Bites and Orange Zesty Bark won the day at the Rincon Rotary Club's 11th Annual Taste of Chocolate held April 7 at the Doubletree Hotel.  St. Luke's Executive Chef Melissa Hernandez (left) and Sous Chef Selina Miramonte created the winning chocolates and walked away with the first-place Public's Choice Award for Catering. "We were the only assisted-living community in the competition," said Hernandez, "and competing against caterers from all over Tucson. More than 400 people attended and they chose us!" The candies were original creations. Melissa's was the Chocolate Tiramisu Bite and Selina came up with Orange Zesty Bark, which featured layers of saltines, chocolate, toffee, pecans and oranges that Selina herself candied. "I love how this shows the community that nonprofit caterers have as much passion and creativity as any of them. And I think this shows the world that there is nothing bland or unoriginal about assisted-living food for our Elders," Melissa said. This was St. Luke's first try at competing in the annual event, but, there is no question, according to Melissa, that St. Luke's will be back there again next year. 


On April 6th, the team at St. Luke’s celebrated the 100th Baile de las Flores (celebration of flowers and oldest fundraising event in Tuscon) which marked 100 years of service for St. Luke’s Home in Tuscon. The home started out treating people living with TB. Then it was home to native American children (a sadder part of their history), and for the last 60 years they have served older people. They are funded by apartment rent and donations. So the celebration honored the donors and volunteers whose generosity makes possible the services they provide. Some of the families donating and volunteering today are descendants of the people who were a part of serving those living with TB 100 years ago. That is the strength of community building! In the 1940’s, a TB patient prayed for healing and promised God that he would build a church if he was healed. He recovered and he built the church across the street and it is still standing today! 

Thank you for sharing your stories with us!  Learn more about St. Luke’s Home on their Facebook page.


The Eden Alternative

P.O. Box 18369

Rochester, NY 14618