Taking a step back and listening to their words gave us a different perspective. They don't want to be cared for. They want to live and want others to help them to live the fullest, most meaningful lives possible, in spite of this dread disease.
A student preparing her master's thesis in healthcare management recently asked me, "Why aren't more organizations doing The Eden Alternative or something like it?" From the tone of her voice, it was obvious that she was struggling to find an answer. Well, I've thought about this question a lot, so I had my answer ready.
Loneliness, along with helplessness and boredom, are singled out in the Eden Alternative philosophy as the "three plagues" most detrimental to the health and well-being of elders in long-term care.