Stories, tips, & inspiring ideas about implementing

The Eden Alternative®


August/September 2017



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

by transforming the communities in which they live and work.




What matters Most to you?

An Important Mayo Clinic Study 


By Meryl Comer, A-List Team Member & 20-year Alzheimer’s care partner                                   


Only twice in my twenty plus years as an Alzheimer’s caregiver has a doctor ever asked whether I was doing okay. Yet my husband would have never made the clinic appointment on time if I had not gotten up extra early to bathe, dress, feed, manage his resistance and drive him there. Now here’s a chance to be heard! 
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic want to learn what matters most to you when you go to the doctor with your loved one. They need volunteers for an online focus group who are current or former caregivers for a loved one with dementia. 
Click here and scroll down to "What Matters Most" to take the survey and learn more about this important Mayo Clinic caregiver study, asking what matters to you when you go to the doctor with a loved one. 
Study participants will be asked to join an online focus group and answer several questions over a week and a half posted by the moderator. Participants can choose to remain anonymous. Their goal is to help healthcare providers better support and communicate with caregivers by learning: 
  • How health care providers can best help caregivers provide optimal care to loved ones while maintaining their own health.
  • How involved caregivers want to be in theirloved ones’ healthcare.
  • What the ideal “care team” looks like.
Your opinions are critical to improving the experience for all caregivers when they accompany loved ones to doctor’s appointments. Let’s not miss this opportunity to make doctors tune into what matters to us. 

Well-Being: The Core of Daily Life

The Eden Alternative Academy


Well-being is the path to a life worth living. It is the ultimate outcome of a human life. Semester 3 of the Eden Alternative Academy will explore the topic of well-being, providing structure

Eden Alternative Academy

and practical application in the lives of Elders and their care partners using the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being™ as the framework. The Domains of Well-Being include: Identity, Growth, Autonomy, Security, Connectedness, Meaning and Joy. The Eden Alternative recognizes the importance of strengthening well-being for all members of the care partner team. In a true community, we can only experience well-being, if those surrounding us are also.


The semester starts on August 23, 2017 and runs for 8 weeks (one-hour per week), ending on October 11, 2017. Mark your calendar and get yourself, or your team registered today!



Register Now


Growing Certified Eden Associates


Training and travel budgets are tight and yet, you need to continue to grow Certified Eden Associates to keep your journey strong and vibrant.  We have a solution for you...




Sign your team up for the 11-week, online Certified Eden Associate Training TODAY! The class starts September 7, 2017. Each week is a 90-minute webinar session with growth work that happens in between webinars. The growth work is a way to get the whole organization engaged in the learning. This class is also a great way to refresh current Eden Associates. Click here to register your team to attend.

Speaking of growing new Certified Eden Associates, why not grow your own Eden Educator instead of sending team members elsewhere? The next Train the Educator Intensive is happening in Centennial, CO and runs from October 23-27, 2017. Internal Eden Educators make it possible to train new Certified Eden Associates more easily, and at a lower cost. Click here to learn more about this class.



2017 Registry Networking Calls


The 2017 Registry networking calls have been scheduled for the year and the topics are focused on the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being. You can register and download a copy of this year’s schedule on the “Webinar, Networking and Conference Call Schedule” page of the Registry Member only section of the website.
The calls happen monthly on the first Thursday of the month at 2pm ET (1pm CT, noon MT, 11am PT). It will be fun to explore each Domain of Well-Being separately as well as talk about how to use all seven domains in identifying unmet needs. It will be a great way to get your team familiar with the Domains of Well-Being so you can be strategic about how to integrate them into systems and processes. It will also be an opportunity to teach others what you are doing and celebrate successes! 
September 7, 2017: Domain of Joy
October 5, 2017: Measuring Well-Being
November 2, 2017: Integrating the Domains of Well-Being
December 7, 2017: Sharing the Domains of Well-Being with Others

Ideas Worth Sharing


The Elders at Holly Nursing Care Center, Holly, CO, decided they wanted new curtains in the dining room. They chose to have holiday-themed valences. They pick out the fabrics they want. The breakfast cook is also a seamstress and she sews the curtains out of the fabric. It changes the atmosphere and provides variety and spontaneity. Great idea!


The team at McCandless Colorado State Veterans Community Living Center, Florence, CO have found a great way to grow Certified Eden Associates among the Elders that live there. There is a step in Milestone 3 of the Path to Mastery that requires organizations to grow Elders and family members to become Certified Eden Associates. With embedded Eden Educators, that process becomes much more achievable. Having this depth of knowledge about the Eden Alternative provides an opportunity for the Elder or family member to understand the language and know how best to be engaged in the change process. It also raises the ‘bar of expectations’ and makes the journey more sustainable. Check out the story from the team at McCandless Colorado State Veterans Community Living Center and be inspired!  


The team at Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center in Brush, CO has a very active junior volunteer program. It is amazing the relationship building and growth that happens with the youth and Elders spend time together. Click here to get ideas on how to make similar connections with the Elders you serve.

Check out this TED Talk from Ashton Applewhite entitled “Let’s End Ageism.” A topic we are all in favor of! Ashton is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. Share her TED Talk widely. It would make for a great Learning Circle topic. It would be fun to have Elders chime in on what she has to say. Enjoy!



Celebrating Milestone mastery: 

Holly Nursing Care Center, Holly, CO – Milestone 3 mastery!
Dunbar Village, Bay St. Louis, MS – Milestone 2 mastery!
Congratulations to the team at Calhoun County Medical Care Facility in Battle Creek, MI for holding their 4th annual rock-a-thon to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. The care partners (Elders, family members, employees, community visitors) rock for 27 hours to represent the 27 towns in their county. They have a great time.
Signature Healthcare of Portland, Portland, TN opened Ralph’s Country Store in May this year. We want to share the story because of the namesake for the store. Ralph, or Dr. Ralph Ruckle, is a well-respected leader in his community, who has served Elders in this home for over 40 years, and is very engaged in their culture change journey. This kind of relationship with a local doctor is the kind of story we love to hear from Registry Members. Click here to read their story.

Gardening Tools from Registry Members for August/September 2017


Upcoming Registry Joining and Milestone 1 calls:
Phone number: 605-475-2090
Access code: 331465

Signature Healthcare of Monroe, Tompkinsville, KY – August 15, 2017 at 11am ET  


Newest Eden Registry Member:


Signature Healthcare at Colonial, Bardstown, KY



Signature Healthcare at Colonial in Bardstown, Kentucky joined the Eden Registry on June 29, 2017. Located in the historic and beautiful town of Bardstown, there are 55 Elders who call this amazing place home.


Bardstown is so quaint that according to USA Today and Rand McNally it is “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America. The wonderful care partner employees and Elders that live and work here further reflect that beauty. Visitors often say that they feel like they are at home, when they walk through the front doors.


To read the entire blog, click here



The Eden Alternative

P.O. Box 18369

Rochester, NY 14618