AARP‘s Caregiving Resource Center posted an article to exploring the best alternatives to traditional long-term care for the “90 percent of Americans [who] prefer to stay home as they age”. The top two alternatives identified by AARP will come to no surprise to the culture community — The Eden Alternative and The Green House Project, both created by Dr. Bill Thomas.
What sets apart these movements from traditional long term care is their focus on the growth of the elder and their wellbeing in their later years, rather than their decline.
[The Eden Alternative] focus is on bringing life and wellness into institutional-like elder care settings. Often, these facilities are blooming with plants, are home to many pets and encourage children to visit, which they believe will help stave off the emotional and mental breakdown that can come along with loneliness and helplessness.
Much like the Eden Alternative, The Green House Project caters to the life of the older adult rather than to their health needs only. The idea behind this project is to provide our loved ones with an excellent quality of life enriched by relationships with qualified staff who choose to work in an environment focused on enriching the life of the older adult. Taking the sterility out of long-term care, the Green House Project provides a warm environment with a focus on community, relationships, well-being and happiness — where there is a true “heart” to the home.
The opportunity to age in community with the needed resources, including skilled nursing care, allows the elder to remain connected to the place and people that they have loved throughout their lives, and changes the paradigm of long term care. The AARP article highlights, The Eden Alternative, The Green House Project, and The Village models as alternatives to Long Term Care that are changing the landscape of what it means to grow old.
To read the full article, and gather additional resources, click here.
(Rachel Scher of The Green House Project contributed to this blog post.)