The Eden Alternative philosophy of care is built on ten guiding Principles
What is it
The Eden Alternative is a way of providing care that puts the recipient at the centre of decision making about the way they want to continue to live their life. Staff who have been educated on the philosophy have had the opportunity to experience and explore what it feels like to require care and support to live a meaningful life and to discover and develop appropriate caring strategies. With this insight and knowledge they are able to support individually designed care plans for each resident or client that goes beyond everyday requirements to ensure all the elements of wellbeing are met.
How does it work
To address the first five Principles of the philosophy the first essential step is getting to know a resident or client deeply by forming a trusting relationship, then enabling them to continue to do things they are able to, whatever their abilities, and ensuring life still includes the unplanned things that brings a sparkle to their day. Providing meaningful activities to maintain the feeling of self-worth; remembering to think of the resident or client as a person before their disability or frailty and giving them the opportunity to make the decisions that affect their daily lives covers Principles six, seven and eight. Principle nine is about maintaining and sustaining this approach to care and Principle ten emphasises the importance of wise leadership for an effective implementation of the philosophy which forms the foundation of good care upon which all other good practice can be built and enhanced.
- Those being cared for and supported have control of their lives according to their abilities and are supported in a way that is determined by them.
- Relatives have peace of mind and often become involved in the home.
- Care givers are empowered to use their creativity to work with their residents giving them heightened job satisfaction
- Employers benefit from better staff retention, less spending on recruitment and reduced absenteeism.
- Organisations gain higher ratings from regulating inspections and higher occupancy.
The Eden Alternative was founded in America by a geriatrician, Dr William Thomas. Over the past twenty years since its inception, the Eden Alternative has become a world leader in culture change for elderly people. The philosophy is now practiced in many countries throughout the world and has become very successful because it is applicable wherever people require care and support whatever their particular culture or circumstances. The Eden Alternative philosophy of care has now been adapted for people being cared for and supported in the community.
June Burgess – Eden
Coordinator UK and Ireland