Changing Long-Term Care: A Culture Change

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Sep 22, 2010

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Utah - Utah

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For the past several years professionals in the senior healthcare field across the Nation have been focused on improving quality of life in long term care settings. This movement to de-institutionalize the way this care is delivered and instead focus on individualized, patient-centered called is called Culture Change.
The Eden Alternative, one of the leading Culture Change authorities, shows how companionship, the opportunity to give meaningful care to other living things, and the variety and spontaneity that mark an enlivened environment, can succeed where pills and therapies often fail. Places that have adopted the Eden Alternative typically are filled with plants, animals, and are regularly visited by children. Culture Change focuses on all aspects of meaningful life, not just the medical or clinical components.

The Eden Alternative promotes changing the culture of long-term care organizations through education and advocacy, and through hands-on implementation. The departmentalized, task-orientation of the current institutional model has created a culture that is characterized by pessimism, cynicism and stinginess. By moving away from the top-down bureaucratic approach to management and moving decision making closer to the Elders, where it has truly always belonged.
The Mission:
To improve the well-being of Elders and those who care for them by transforming the communities in which they live and work.
The Vision:
To eliminate loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.
In addition, Eden Alternative is now poised to bring the principles and practices that are transforming long-term care to the larger community of Elders and their care partners living outside of institutions. For even a home can feel like an institution when an Elder requires assistance with daily living and the entire focus is placed upon the needs of the human body, and not the human spirit. With this in mind, the Eden Alternative now has a new initiative called Eden At Home, designed to touch the lives of Elders living at home and their care partners. Eden at Home aspires to transform the culture of care in our larger communities.
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Diedra Kearny, Director of Community Education at Dignity Home Health & Hospice, and President of the Utah Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition. To learn more about Culture Change and The Eden Alternative, please contact Diedra at dkearney@dignityhlth.com or call 801-860-3801.

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The Importance of Socialization for Seniors: Exploring Florida Senior Activities and Clubs

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And, seniors who felt lonely had more than double the risk of developing Alzheimers disease. The cognitive benefits of socialization are clear, and they are powerful. Social Activities for Seniors in Southwest FloridaThere are plenty of activities, groups, clubs, and organizations available for Florida seniors who wish to stay social and active. And with over 4.5 million people over the age of 65 in the state of Florida, there are plenty of seniors to meet. Factor in the nice weather year-round, and there are countless opportunities for seniors to meet others and get involved in a wide variety of activities.Below are some socialization opportunities for seniors in Southwest Florida.Senior Friendship Centers(Charlotte County, DeSoto County, Lee County, Sarasota, Venice)Photo credit: Senior Friendship CentersThis organizations mission is to build vibrant communities through advancing wellness, connection, and enrichment for seniors. 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Some of the programs they offer include billiards, Tai Chi, jewelry making, karaoke, yoga, Zumba, Mahjong, cribbage, various day trips and many more.Town Square(Sarasota, Florida)Photo credit: Town SquareTown Square is a 1950s-themed adult day care center in Sarasota, Florida. They offer a wide variety of immersive, nostalgic activities and spaces for seniors to enjoy with peers, including classic films, vintage garages, diners, salons, and art studios. They also offer Reminiscence Therapy, which is designed to help those with dementia or Alzheimers reconnect with their past memories. Adult day care centers such as this one are a good option for seniors who do not live in residential senior living communities but do require some personal care. The Sunshine Senior Center(St. Petersburg, Florida)Photo credit: Sunshine CenterThis senior center in Tampa Bay is a great option for older adults to gather for support, socialization, fitness and other services. 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