and Eden at Home's Embracing Elderhood, an Eden Alternative initiative, have formed a collaborative relationship that brings the gift of legacy to long-term care communities nationwide. By their definition, a legacy is part life story and part gift to the world -- anything an Elder desires to share with younger generations.

"As our understanding of Elderhood and its rightful place in our society grows," says Dr. Bill Thomas, Eden Alternative Co-Founder, "the creation and sharing of legacy will come to be seen as an essential part of late life. Our society needs these legacies and, day by day, grows less and less able to gain access to them."

Eden at Home's Embracing Elderhood relies on legacy creation to build supportive, intergenerational communities by nurturing meaningful connections between Elders and other local citizens. A primary goal of Eden at Home (EAH) is to weave Elders back into the social fabric of their communities -- no matter where they live. EAH maintains that nursing home residents are also members of their larger community, each with something valuable to contribute.

LifeBio's mission involves empowering people of all ages and backgrounds to tell and share their life stories and preserving relationships via a thoughtfully crafted proprietary platform. LifeBio simplifies the publishing of personal and collaborative content to build autobiographies, biographies, and other memory and reminiscence products and services.

Both organizations have come together to combine Embracing Elderhood's emphasis on growing trust, companionship and a sensitive aging consciousness with LifeBio's thoughtful, user-friendly legacy creation system.

"Embracing Elderhood and its use of the LifeBio system builds a bridge between the long-term care community and the larger local area," says Laura Beck, Program Director for Eden at Home, "Our dream is to inspire program participants -- our Elder Storytellers included -- to see Elderhood in a new light, and transform the general public's perspective about aging one relationship at a time."

"This program has completely changed the way I think about Elderhood," shares Meredith, a twelfth-grader at Charlottesville's Miller School who participated in the program, "It helped me to understand that Elders don't just live in the past. They still have the desire to learn, great senses of humor, and important lives to live."

Beth Sanders, Founder and CEO of notes that stories are powerful tools for improving quality of life and building meaningful relationships. "We must know people deeply in order to love and appreciate them. Embracing Elderhood's mission and LifeBio's tools are a perfect combination for long-term care settings or any community hoping to celebrate the lives of the individuals who reside there."

The program revolves around Recording Partners, either volunteers or students, collaborating with Elders, called Storytellers, in the creation of the Elder's legacy. Primarily about building relationships, Embracing Elderhood asserts that by nurturing the connection between members of the recording team first, all of the program's benefits are born. As the legacies unfold, they may also play a vital new role in care planning by becoming required reading for an Elder's care team.

LifeBio brings a template for legacy creation to the program that is just prescriptive enough for Recording Partners to focus their attention where it belongs -- on the relationship -- while leaving room for creative license. Using the computer or hard-copy resources provided by LifeBio, Recording Partners ask a series of carefully crafted questions to gather the life stories. The process leads to the documentation and sharing of each Elder's legacy with the Recording Partner, family members, staff and the community-at-large.

The Embracing Elderhood curriculum covers the power of story, the impact of ageism, appropriate communication and companionship building skills, and breakthrough ideas for intergenerational programming specifically for capturing legacies -- with easy ways to get started. The two-day intensive training session also leads to a clear implementation plan that is designed for each specific community's needs.

"What's unique about this program is how legacy creation is explored through the filter of the Eden Alternative's ten principles. The two work together as though they were made for each other. It is a marriage made in heaven," says Margaret Mooney a Recording Partner at Westminster-Thurber, an Eden-registered home in Columbus, Ohio -- the site of the 2008 Eden Alternative International Conference.

The Eden Alternative is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, with over 10,000 trained Eden associates, committed to improving quality of life for Elders and their care partners in both institutional and community settings. For more information, visit
LifeBio has created a LifeBio serves both consumers and community settings. The company has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and AP stories.

For more information, visit

Beth Sanders, Founder and CEO of 614-580-0333

Laura Beck, Eden at Home Program Director, 607-351-3082