Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
December 2, 1999
TRENTON - Gov. Christie Whitman and Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant announced today ten nursing homes have been chosen to receive grants totaling $200,000 to help them implement over the next two years a new and innovative philosophy of resident care and facility management known as The Eden AlternativeTM.
New Jersey's Eden AlternativeTM grant program, proposed by Governor Whitman last March, is designed to encourage the growth of this innovative concept and help make nursing homes in the state better places to live and work.
This philosophy, developed by Dr. William H. Thomas and implemented in a nursing home he managed in upstate New York, seeks to create a more independent, community-like setting in nursing homes by making companionship, variety, spontaneity, and the opportunity to care for other living things part of residents' daily lives.
"Eden AlternativeTM homes put the focus of care on life rather than on disease and disability," said Whitman. "This is the next great step forward in improving the quality of life and care for nursing home residents in New Jersey, a step the state is excited about supporting."
Eden homes stand out from other nursing facilities because of their lush greenery, the presence of cats, dogs, birds and other wildlife, and their inter-generational activities.
"The Eden AlternativeTM really is a cultural change for the nursing home industry," said Commissioner Grant. "It recognizes that loneliness, helplessness and boredom are major problems in nursing homes and that there are important fundamental differences between treatment of a condition and overall resident care."
Funding for the grant program will come from civil monetary penalties assessed on nursing homes in the state that violate federal Medicare and Medicaid regulations. The grants of $20,000 each will be used to help the homes offset the start-up costs for implementing The Eden AlternativeTM, costs that include staff training and development, purchase of supplies and equipment, veterinary screening, and preventive and on-going care for animals.
The ten homes awarded grants today were:
Home Town County Hamilton Continuing Care Center Hamilton Mercer Fountain View Care Center Lakewood Ocean The Elms of Cranbury Cranbury Middlesex St. Ann's Home for the Aged Jersey City Hudson Morris View Nursing Home MorrisPlains Morris Summer Hill Nursing Home Old Bridge Middlesex Sussex County Homestead Newton Sussex Hartwyck at Plainfield Plainfield Union Lincoln Park Subacute and Rehabilitation II Lincoln Park Morris Southgate Health Care Center Carney's Point Salem
Commissioner Grant said the Department of Health and Senior Services will work with the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy to develop measurements tools and methodologies for testing the response of both the nursing home industry and residents to the implementation of The Eden AlternativeTM. Data from Texas and North and South Carolina, where state-supported grant initiatives have already been implemented, will be utilized to compare results. In addition, state inspectors will visit the homes periodically throughout the 2-year grant period to collect anecdotal data and documentation about changes in lifestyle, satisfaction and quality measures.
Staff from homes receiving grants will meet to share their experiences at networking workshops and will serve as a resource for administrators from other nursing homes interested in learning about or establishing The Eden AlternativeTM in their facilities.