Christopher Perna: Changing the Culture of Elder Care

ACCESS Health recently published a new interview with Christopher Perna, President and CEO of The Eden Alternative, an international organization focused on transforming care for the elderly and others facing long term cognitive, developmental, psychological, and physical challenges.

The Eden Alternative was founded by Bill Thomas, a physician in geriatrics who later became, with his wife Jude Thomas, a revolutionary in long term care – or to use the Eden Alternative phrase – long term living. “[Bill] was working as the medical director of an upstate New York nursing home,” said Mr. Perna in the interview. “He was treating a rash on the arm of one of the female residents. As he turned to leave her room, she reached up to draw him near and whispered, ‘Doctor, I am so lonely’. Bill was shaken.”

From that moment, Dr. Thomas went on to develop a philosophy that addresses the three deadly plagues of long term care: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. Find out more about the key principles that guide Mr. Perna’s work at The Eden Alternative in his interview with Jean Galiana from the ACCESS Health USA office.