A blog that shares Full Life's perspective so closely, by colleague Laura Bowley of Mindset Centre for Living with Dementia in Canada:
A story in the New York Times' Live Well:
An editorial in the New York Times:
From The New Old Age: Paula Span's Columns from the NYT Health
The New York Times is not running The New Old Age any longer, and you can follow her on the Paula.Span Facebook page.
Full Life Programs leads discussion groups where elders meet and share responses to prompts from all the arts. Within a context of safety, deep listening, and mutual respect, groups establish trust and intimacy that access a rich level of self expression and exchange that may have faded along with their former independence. Discussions celebrate elders' wisdom, perspectives, and choices.
As a partner with Eden Alternative Care, Full Life provides consultations that transform elder support into a win-win-win world where individuals, families, caregivers, and organizations all benefit from deep understanding across care partners.
We also engage with individuals, families, and organizations to plan for a peaceful, comfortable passage from the mortal frame.
Full Life seeks Assisted Living communities for our weekly discussion groups. Participants share individually without back-and-forth, on a weekly topic presented on an easy to read handout. Experience with these groups is exemplary -- in all senses of the word. Beginning two groups in the Corvallis-Albany-Philomath area is our current focus. Please contact Anna to learn more.
Full Life began an affiliation with Eden Alternative Care early in 2015, including week long Eden Educator and Eden At Home Associate trainings. Finding Eden, and Green Houses, and Al Powers was a 'coming home' to others who share the vision of paradigm shift, plus their assets of established team, process, and structure.
Repeated training with the Zen Hospice Center in San Francisco has been a rich source of inspiration. In the more recent extended training, their leader BJ Miller engaged with us with a presentation, questions and answers, and one-to-one exchanges. His inspiring TED talk is on the Full Life Programs Facebook page.
Consultations with individuals and families facilitate transformation and adjustment to new challenges. Usually one to four meetings is sufficient to bring about the desired transformation of individual lifestyle or care partner dynamics.
In a ministerial role, Full Life also offers consultation to explore, design and create an end of life passage that avoids trauma and embraces intention.
And always we provide in person consultations locally in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, as well as online.
We encourage you to visit Anna Sontag on LinkedIn and Full Life Programs on Facebook.
As President of Full Life, my first outreach was as a demonstration of what works:
First I held weekly discussion groups with people living in long term care -- groups that discussed what mattered to them, their wisdom, experience, inspirations, and interpretations, depending on the stimulus in my weekly presentation. In this context, participants grew as individuals and as a group. They proceeded from tentative community to dedicated listeners and sharers, and with time and experience moved into increasing trust, strong mutual respect and listening, and into confident self-realization and even eventually transcendence.* Interpersonal skills and communication reached levels not seen in business and interpersonal adult groups.
A next demonstration was with Companion Care and Full Life Coaching. There I developed the value of listening, communicating, and be-ing, one-to-one with individuals in elder wisdom as well as with their loved ones and families. Walking, eating, sitting and conversing, all continue to be avenues for developing mutual understanding and communication where what holds meaning for the individuals can be passed back and forth. In this context the elders express their inspiration and wisdom: they bring a piece of what we continue to experience as their mystical relation to life, be-ing, reality ... to the table of the relationship, to add their contribution of brilliance and wisdom. This sheds light every time it is given attention. It comes in looks, words, expressions, body language: short, extended, always profound.
These are examples of how relationship - here, now, in the 21st century - creates the space for elders to take back their place as the wise people to whom the community can turn ... where the connection that elders have with their history and experience, with the world beyond, or with the very moment can shine that light here with those in their lives with less experience.
Like governance models that are moving from hierarchy to holocracy, these models of long term care gain efficiency and health as they shift the focus from top-down, to bottom up. The residents are fully known to their care partners, and they contribute.
Those relationships are the soil from which a real community can grows. Here regulations are met naturally, through consistent staffing and the ability for an employee to be able to tell when something is 'off' with a resident, and systems protect well being because they are based in teams working in ease and mutuality to support those in their care.
Full Life is reaching out to long term care organizations to work with Full Life in a pilot study to demonstrate how this will serve their care community.
*Mazlow showed wisdom with his perspectives on personal development, which have been revised and continue to be used in different forms.
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Once persons are diagnosed with dementia or they experience a shift in abilities, expectations and opportunities in their environments may change, making rich communication less accessible. Full Life is here to strengthen relationships and organizations, to maximize the well being of all.
With individuals and groups, Full Life stimulates the reactivation of participants' personal and collective evolutionary process.
We believe that new perspectives toward the capacities that remain will increase opportunity for the wisdom of elders to shine and stimulate the development of integrative opportunities that add to all communities. For an example of the personal and interpersonal development we've experienced in our groups, visit our Case Study Research / Maslow Hierarchy page.
Our services page explains ways Full Life can make a difference for you and your loved ones.
Quality of life, richness of interaction, health of living communities and relationships all are essential in Full Life's vision. Such standards should be available to persons of all levels of income and support need. Therefore, Full Life Programs is a 501c3 organization.
Please phone 541-221-6962 and leave your contact information so we can provide you with more details. Your donation will make a meaningful contribution to carrying this work forward.