This Guest Post comes to us courtesy of Bruce Stelzer of AHMS.
There is wide discrepancy between description and explanation. Many things in our lives are easily described, but when asked to explain them, we are hard pressed to respond. Gravity for example: If we drop it, it falls…..easy enough. But can we explain gravity? Google it and you will find a mishmash of non-answers.
And so it is with culture change. We all know it when we see it; liberal dining programs, the elimination of nurse’s stations, or even med carts. These are all improvements over the institutional model of nursing homes, but what lies behind these things? How do we gain a deeper understanding of why culture change is so vital and explain to others how to effect real change? How indeed? The Eden Alternative.
The Eden Alternative offers the tools to truly understand the who, how, what, when and why of making things different. The Ten Principles describe the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. They give us the antidotes of loving companionship as the cure for loneliness; the opportunity to give as well as receive as the cure for helplessness; and a daily life filled with variety, spontaneity and happiness to combat boredom. Finally, we find the action principles which guide us in our efforts to change the very culture of our nursing communities.
Two of our AHA Post Acute Network communities have taken the first steps in this journey. As Eden Registry homes, Heritage Manor Enrichment Community and Riverside Enrichment Community North have demonstrated a commitment to Milestone One and are well on their way to making things different.
Focus on our mission statement: “Provide lives of enrichment through extraordinary service and care partnership.” Begin your journey now. Use learning circles as a tool to discuss the Ten Principles. Seek guidance from your care partners who are Certified Eden Associates…..there are more than 100 working alongside you. This is the future of our organization and if executed properly, all of our lives will be enriched. Please note that our mission statement is not limited to our residents, but to us all. Thank you all so much for what you do, Bruce S.