This study looks at the Eden Alternative's Green House, an alternative to traditional nursing homes, and the lived experience of the elders who reside there. Each Green House houses 10 individuals with private bedrooms and bathrooms that surround an open area consisting of the dining area, living area, and kitchen, all on 1 floor. Decisions such as when to get up, when to go to bed, when to eat, what to eat, and when to take a bath are made by the elders or those closest to them. These decisions are ones that the residents have been accustomed to making all their lives. A qualitative, phenomenological approach was implemented using semi-structured interviews, which allowed the participants to freely express themselves, using their own words to describe what it means to live in a Green House. The 12 participants in this study shared their thoughts, feelings, and views on the significance and impact of the Green House in their lives. Themes identified included autonomy, relationships, activities, ambiance, the physical environment, health, and staff. The study suggests the Green House setting, with its home-like environment, contributes to and fosters the well-being of the elders and encourages continued growth. Participants compared it favorably with home, using that exact word and also using the word family. A participant, who had worked as a nurse in a traditional nursing home, summed it up stating, "If you can't be at home, this is the place to be."
|Commitee:||Cameron, William, Crawford, Theresa|
|Department:||School of Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Gerontology, Aging, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Eden alternative, Elderly, Green House Project, Long-term care, Qualitative, Quality of life|
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