The Silverado experience is such that each resident, (not patient), is treated with respect, dignity, and love. There are things beyond just being safe and living longer that are important. Every person my husband encountered was so caring and kind. There was support not only for my husband, but also for our entire family. We were still in his life, not just visitors to his life. When it came time for him to leave this earth, the entire staff surrounded us with support and love. He never had to go to a hospital, and died peacefully surrounded by the ones he loved. Who could ask for more?
There is often a "story behind the story". There are usually people whose lives create the story. But for the story to be worthwhile, there is always a burning passion inside those people whose dream is to make the world a better place. Loren Shook is that man. His vision, dream, and passion for helping those affected by memory impairment and his desire to care for them, their families and loved ones is evident in everything he does. Like Pastor Rick Warren who is mentioned in "The Silverado Story", Loren is a man who understands purpose and the power it unleashes. Loren has instilled a unique culture throughout the Silverado organization that is grounded in and supportive of their core operating philosophy of Love is greater than fear. The results are undeniable and the lives touched and improved speak for themselves. The Silverado story is not fully written yet…
In their book, Loren Shook and Steve Winner make the compelling argument that providing meaningful care to those with Alzheimer’s and other memory-impairing diseases should rank alongside research into prevention and cure of the conditions as a top public priority. This is an important book and recommended reading for all who are concerned about the issue.
In 1993 when my stepfather developed Parkinson’s, we were unable to find a home that understood the needs of individuals with dementia. We settled on a community that was clean and safe but had no dementia experience. Three years later Loren Shook, Steve Winner and Jim Smith approached us about an entirely new concept – an assisted living that focused on improving quality of life for individuals with dementia. They had developed a care model that was focused on social interaction and participation, enabling the reduction of resident medication levels. Twenty years later, Silverado has brought life to tens of thousands of early- and late-stage dementia patients. Eventually, my mother developed Alzheimer’s and spent the last two years of her life at Silverado where she was able to enjoy life again as she visited museums, music performances, and even a USC football practice. Even with an advanced illness, she was able to participate in life – all while her family knew she was safe and loved by the Silverado team.
Loren Shook and Stephen Winner show us that memory impairment doesn’t have to mean the end of life. At Silverado, it means a new stage of life based on love not fear. By replacing restraints, drugs and sterile surroundings with a cozy home, clubs, animals, and children, the "Silverado Way" makes it possible for people with cognitive impairments to live full, engaged lives again, with dignity and purpose. This story is an inspiration – simple but revolutionary. Millions will benefit if this incredibly humane vision becomes the norm.
Loren Shook and Stephen Winner describe the philosophy and heart of the Silverado approach. The organization has developed a model for the care of the cognitively impaired that is being copied worldwide. It balances the needs for safety and independence in a way that is difficult to understand unless you see it yourself. The concept of community at Silverado is well described in this book and so are the motivations and approaches utilized by its leadership in the entire organization. This book is very useful reading for families of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and for everyone caring for them.
I read ‘The Silverado Story’ with more than just casual interest. I have lived The Silverado Story. My beloved mother spent the last five years of her life at a Silverado community. I visited my mother nearly every day and saw the way in which Silverado took care of not just my mother, but all residents of her community. A different kind of care is provided – care a person will not find anywhere else. The stimulation residents receive; the respect they are shown by the staff; the love that is evident makes each visit to Silverado a special one. I loved my mother and I would not wish this disease on anyone. However, Silverado provided her, and just as importantly, our family, an environment during her final years that was worthy of her. It could not have been better.
Silverado is a story of innovation. More than five million people suffer from Alzheimer’s and we must do everything possible to care for those who battle this terrible disease. Loren Shook and Steve Winner have demonstrated how a cutting-edge care model has the power to make a real difference in real lives. Not only has Silverado elevated the standard for memory care across the senior living industry, but they are also making an impact on health care overall with programs that improve cognitive and physical health and wellness. I am very proud of the partnership Welltower has built with Silverado to bring their innovative memory care program to more communities around the country, and build connectivity with health care systems to evolve the quality, efficiency and delivery of care for people as they age.
This is a story of creating extraordinary results. Silverado is about living to our fullest, knowing "and" is more powerful than "or" – just as love is more powerful than fear. Any leader exploring how his or her organization can achieve more will find this easy-to-read story of innovation, courage and conviction to be inspiring and useful.