Enriching the Care Experience through Advocacy, Coaching and Education

a re-framed look at CARE


Care is something we do all our lives, not just when someone is in need of medical or aging support.  You care for your children, helping them to grow, you care for your garden, helping it to grow, you take care of your business, helping it to grow as well.  


So the larger picture of Care defined by The Eden Alternative as helping someone to grow, is what we are focusing on here.  When relationships are at the heart of that care, all the parties involved can grow and bloom throughout their lives.

aging. . . it's not for 


Have you flipped through a magazine lately? Or watched TV? Think about billboards and newspaper advertising.  What do you see? Youth, in all it's gorgeous beauty--strong,toned young bodies exuding energy and vitality and the promise of everything wonderful. And youth certainly is beautiful.  

But the underlying message is clear.  Anyone or anything that is not as portrayed in the media is less. These perfect images (and you know even the models don't look that good) can leave the rest of us to believe that we are less deserving of all life has to offer. It's subliminal for sure, but it's there.


What does this have to do with aging?  Well everything!

We have all, to one degree or another, bought into the subliminal message that getting older makes us less and makes us deserve less.  My own Aunt told me, "That's just the way it is, honey.  Nothing you can do about it."  


But there IS something I can do about it. And there is something YOU can do about it.  We can use our voice and fight ageism in every subtle place we see it.  Fight it loud!  Fight it Proud!  Be Age Proud!

Strike Out

the plagues of the human spirit


Dr. Bill Thomas, co-founder of The Eden Alternative, teaches us in his writings and in the principles of The Eden Alternative that certain plagues of the spirit are far more prevelant in Elders and people who experience life with different abilities.  


Loneliness is the pain we feel when we desire but cannot have close companionship.


Helplessness is the pain we feel when we only receive, but have no opportunity to give or share our gifts.


Boredom is the pain we feel when our lives lack variety and spontaneity.


These plagues can do more harm than physical decline in our Elders.


Learn about the antidotes to these plagues in one of our Certified Eden trainings.




Well-being means different things to different people, but we all agree that we need it in our lives.  The Eden Alternative came up with seven Domains of Well-Being which we use in our work:

  • Identity-being well known

  • Growth-development and enrichment

  • Autonomy-liberty/choice/freedom

  • Security-dignity/respect/feeling safe

  • Connectedness-belonging and engaged

  • Meaning-significance/purpose

  • Joy-pleasure/delight/happiness


Funny thing about well-being; it's hard to enjoy it in your life when those around you don't have it.

Meet Mel Coppola


Mel is a natural and approachable leader.  She exudes an easy-going, yet influential approach to advocacy that draws people in and inspires them to follow her example.  Mel also has a clear understanding of community systems and how to best build on existing strengths.  She is not afraid to address challenging issues, yet with tremendous respect.  Last, but not least, she makes everything she does fun and engaging. 

     Laura Beck, The Eden          Alternative




Mel is a warm, energetic, fun and compassionate woman.  She views the world many of our Elders live in today and sees the possibility of a better life.  Many people look at an issue or concern and know things could be better.  What sets Mel apart is that she takes action to make it happen.  She is brave in her belief that she can change the world around her, and the fantastic thing is that she is right. 

   Meg Mairn, Owner/Director

  Griswold Home Care Pinellas

Mel is a personable and upbeat professional.  She manages to always find the positive in each situation and is especially gifted in being observant of the “culture” in each organization, situation, and meeting.  Her observations may then lead to careful and respectful lessons about the possibility for culture change.  I have experienced first-hand her ability to suggest culture change with regard to ageism, LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) elder issues, and the Eden Movement in home/institutional care.  Mel and I have had continuous professional and positive interactions with Better Living for Seniors (BLS) where she currently serves as President as well as with my agency’s (AAAPP) LGBT Elder Initiative of Pasco and Pinellas.  Those of us who interact with Mel know that she “walks the walk and talks the talk” regarding culture change. How refreshing it is to know and work with someone so genuine, so excited and so authentic!

   Helen King, Deputy            Director, Area Agency

     on Aging of Pasco-