Green House Blog

Dr. Bill Thomas hosts a virtual launch party for his new book ‘Tribes of Eden’!

Dr. William Thomas, founder of the Eden Alternative and Green House Project, is hosting a virtual launch party for his new book, Tribes of Eden.  “I can’t tell you how excited I am for the official paperback release of my newest novel Tribes of Eden on April 2, 2012,” he writes on his Changing Aging blog. “Nearly eight years in the making, this book is inspired by and dedicated to the REAL tribes of Eden — thousands and thousands of people around the globe who make up The Eden Alternative and broader culture change community.”

If you are a Green House adopter or a member of The Eden Alternative, join Dr. Thomas via webinar for a reading from Tribes of Eden. This is a rare opportunity to get an insider’s look at the real people and places integral to the history and vision of The Eden Alternative.  A Q&A session with the author will follow.  Furthermore, every organization that hosts a book launch party will get an autographed copy to give away.

Changing Aging offers the following synopsis:

“On the run after America’s sudden and utter collapse, a family finds sanctuary in the heart of a community thriving “off the grid.” But when the lure of a virtual new world order divides the family, the elders of the community recognize that humanity’s fate rests with a chosen girl and a surprising alliance between the least powerful — the young and old.”

First Read: The Tribes of Eden from Kavan Peterson on Vimeo.

Green House Model and the Eden Alternative: Setting the stage for people to grow

By Judith Meyers-Thomas

When I gave birth to my first child I had no idea that it would be a lesson in empowerment. Haleigh Jane, who is just about to turn 18, was born with Otahara Syndrome. In the simplest terms, her brain will never develop past that of an infant. We were told she would never live to six months. Two and a half years later, my second daughter was born with the same condition. The doctors who had initially told us it was not a genetic condition, apologetically informed us they were wrong.

For years I accepted the opinions of the almost constant parade of doctors, therapists and counselors as they attempted to tell me what was best for my daughters. It is difficult for me to admit that I went along with many of those suggestions because I did not trust that I might actually understand more about my precious girls than they did. After all, they were the “professionals”. When I finally found the courage to stand up and say “no”, the sense of empowerment that I experienced was life altering.

Websters dictionary would have you believe that empowerment is something that is bestowed upon us. I think they are wrong. Empowerment comes from within. When you accept who you are at this moment in your life; when you can be true to yourself, you will find that the power you are looking for is right there inside of you. Look, for example, at Mother Theresa. She lived and worked within the confines of a male dominated bureaucracy that is certainly not known for empowering women and yet she followed her heart and found strength and comfort in helping those most in need. She made a difference.

In the Eden Alternative and Green House models we set the stage for people to grow. We encourage the many women (and men) who live and work there to be engaged; to be empowered. Principle 8 states:

“An Elder-centered community honors it’s Elders by de-emphasizing top-down bureaucratic authority, seeking instead to place the maximum possible decision-making authority into the hands of the Elders or the hands closest to them.”

The message is clear. The table is set. Accept where you are in life. Find joy in the people who surround you and you will find the strength to do what needs to be done. The power you are looking for is right there inside you!

“Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself and wait for the answer in silence.” – Byron Katie –

Alternatives to Long Term Care Focus on the Elder

AARP‘s Caregiving Resource Center posted an article to address the, “90 percent of Americans prefer to stay home as they age”. There are alternatives  to traditional long term care that focus on the growth of the elder in their later years, and their well being rather than their decline:

Much like the Eden Alternative, The Green House Project caters to the life of the older adult rather than to their health needs only. The idea behind this project is to provide our loved ones with an excellent quality of life enriched by relationships with qualified staff who choose to work in an environment focused on enriching the life of the older adult. Taking the sterility out of long-term care, the Green House Project provides a warm environment with a focus on community, relationships, well-being and happiness — where there is a true “heart” to the home.


The opportunity to age in community with the needed resources, including skilled nursing care, allows the elder to remain connected to the place and people that they have loved throughout their lives, and changes the paradigm of long term care. The AARP article highlights, The Eden Alternative, The Green House Project, and The Village models as alternatives to Long Term Care that are changing the landscape of what it means to grow old.

To read the full article, and gather additional resources, click here.