Lois’s Legacy has moved Full Circle with Culture Change Movement
It started with a gift from my sister, Lois. She gave me Bill Thomas’s book with a strange title, What are Old People For? Pub. Vanderwyk & Burnham, 2004. I left it unread for many months until she urged me to read something by a medical doctor that was really different. Turns out this was about embracing aging and how elders will save the world!
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Thomas, founder of Eden Alternative, has shown ways to make nursing homes more like “home.”. The Green House Project is a revolutionary idea to design smaller bungalow style residences where people of all income levels needing skilled care can have private rooms and baths; companionship and home cooked meals. Nurses and therapists ring a doorbell. For a quick review of the scope of this project, see www.aplaceforMom.com/about
Fast forward to the present. Despite the efforts of Eden Alternative and many other dynamic leaders, thousands of care facilities are perfectly happy with the status quo of dedicated, overworked staff, long halls, shower rooms, noisy dining rooms and regimented care. Change will come only when and if the public demands it. Lois’s Legacy will continue to advocate resident directed, home like care.
In the meantime, those of us in the decades of life faced with needing help are looking for less expensive ways to “age in place” in our own homes. Village to Village national network is one way of organizing access to services like transportation, meals, home repair, caregivers etc. www.vtvnetwork.org ECHHO, in Port Townsend, WA offers similar services. www.echhojc.org
Lois’s Legacy is looking at existing resources in Sequim and how to link people to those services. Our mission is still the same but the focus has shifted from changing management styles to providing options for people to choose where and how to live with a little help from their community. Is Sequim ready for a village network?