Avante Care & Support has adopted the Eden Alternative as its philosophy of care.
The philosophy provides a framework for all staff to understand
and practice person centred care.
The Eden Alternative is not a project, as there is no beginning and no end; rather it is an ongoing philosophy. The aim of the Eden Alternative is to change the task based model of care to one where care is provided on a person centred basis.
The goal is to improve the wellbeing of residents and service users, and those who care for them, by transforming the communities in which they live and work. Our aim is to eliminate loneliness, helplessness and boredom, which are the three prevalent states of mind most observed in older people and those living with dementia.
This philosophy underpins Avante’s commitment to a care experience that is positive, one which values the individual for what they are or wish to be and helps them to maintain the aspects of life that are important to them.
Through training and support, staff apply their learning through their delivery of care. Staff become more aware of how their communication and actions are portrayed by someone living with dementia. Also, staff look at how they can enrich the lives of the people they care for by ensuring they are helped to engage in useful activities, to always be cared for in a sensitive and respectful manner and to feel safe in their surroundings.
It is essential that all staff working for the organisation have a working knowledge of this philosophy. Therefore, we have added an introduction to the Eden Alternative to our induction programme for new staff. In addition, for a service to be on the registry, over 10% of staff must be Eden Associates.
All of our care homes are Eden Accredited.
Avante Care & Support is proud to be the first care provider to have all of its care homes on the Eden registry.
Some wonderful examples of our philosophy of care in action
Dancing on Ice and shared passions at Amherst Court
Forward and dynamic thinking Home Manager, Ashley Haydon arranged a spontaneous trip to the local ice rink, following a comment made from resident Doris who shared with Ashley she had never ice skated before. And so, Ashley made this happen for Doris, and also for Kevin, another resident from the home who asked to be included in the visit to the ice rink in Gillingham. Since the ice skating Doris and Kevin would often talk together about their trip to the ice rink and how much they enjoyed it, even watching the popular sport on television at the home. It really did spark a new interest with Doris and Kevin and their fellow residents.
Due to the regular discussion of Ice skating it was clear the new interest needed to be supported, so when Amherst Court residents were gifted tickets to go and watch the semi-finals of Dancing on Ice, they couldn’t believe their luck! Kevin was sadly unable to attend but offered his ticket to fellow resident Nora who had also taken a keen interest in the sport and quickly accepted the offer to accompany Doris to the live show.
“We all had an amazing day, the show was fantastic and Nora and Doris were fixated on the dance moves that took place on the ice. Nora became the star guest during the show and with thanks to the shows compare she received an autographed photo of the judges, which she was delighted with.”
Marie Taylor, Activity Coordinator
The sensory gardens at
Adam, the Maintenance Technician at Puddingstone Grange has worked for Avante since 2003 and is fully aware of the Eden philosophy. He decided he would like to enhance the residents’ lives by creating an interesting area in the grounds, where they could become connected with nature and relax.
The Garden of Tranquility suitably named by resident Dianne, allows residents and families to take in the beautiful plants around the seated areas with a water fountain to admire. It is all surrounded by a sensory area with ornamental displays full of colour and different textures.
“When I was planning the sensory area, I wanted it to be accessible for all to see, either viewed from in or outside the home, I had an area and vision in mind I just needed to create it! I had previously asked residents what they would like to see in the sensory garden and I’ve tried to make sure I’ve captured everyone’s thoughts through colour and senses. Not only is the area a place for residents to enjoy it is also a relaxing and tranquil setting for families to use when visiting loved ones.”
Adam, Maintenance Technician
Reborn dolls bring a positive impact to Parkview
Residents at Parkview have recently been enjoying visits from Denise Russell and her reborn doll collection. Denise visits the home with the dolls for residents to hold. It has been observed by staff on a number of occasions the positive impacts the dolls have on people living with dementia and the calmness it can bring just by holding a reborn doll.
A reborn doll is a manufactured doll that has been transformed by an artist to resemble a human infant with as much realism as possible. Reborn dolls are also known as lifelike dolls or reborn baby dolls.
Denise and Annette Kelly, Activities Coordinator, plan regular visits with the dolls as they have proved a popular activity with some of the residents at the home.
“Since the very first visit some residents have taken a shine towards them and look forward to holding the dolls and pushing the prams. We always explain the dolls are not real but as soon as we hand the dolls over, residents cradle the doll in their arms as if it’s real. One lady called Mary will often sing to the dolls whilst another lady enjoys pushing a doll in a pram around the grounds of the home.”
Annette Kelly, Activity Coordinator
Peter scores a hat trick
at Riverdale Court
The team at Riverdale Court are passionate about providing good care and follow the Avante Philosophy of Care, the Eden Alternative. This has been adopted by all staff, is at the heart of their care delivery and is evident on a daily basis.
Resident Peter is a perfect example.
Peter is a keen Charlton Athletic fan and has been since he was 15 years old. He would go regularly to the Valley to watch his beloved team and would follow their every game each season. Peter has continued to follow ‘The Addicks’ with pride while living at Riverdale Court and care staff have actively encouraged this interest.
The start of the pandemic lockdown in March sadly meant all football matches were suspended, with millions of football fans left not knowing when they would see their favourite teams take to the stadiums again. Peter, of course, included.
To help try and fill this void, care staff at Riverdale Court thought it would be a nice idea to for Peter to connect with a pen pal who shared his love of Charlton Athletic.
The request was put out on social media and there was a huge response. Peter has since been inundated with kind letters, cards and signed memorabilia all from his beloved football team. Peter didn’t think it could get much better than this until last week Charlton Athletic footballer Jason Pearce, posted a video message thanking all staff at Riverdale Court for their hard work and dedication followed by a hello to all residents!
Friendships and outings out build confidences at Court Regis
Joan Gregory has been a resident at Court Regis care home in Sittingbourne, for almost a year. When she first arrived she was a very quiet and withdrawn lady. Although Joan would sometimes join in with activities at the home she usually kept herself to herself. Activity Coordinator Emma Ansley noticed the more Joan joined in with the activities, the more she came out of her shell and showed her wonderful sense of humour as well as her kind and compassionate personality.
During the first few months of living at Court Regis Joan began to form a friendship with Marie, another resident from the home. Marie was the opposite of Joan and would be first in line to go out on day trips. Marie encouraged Joan to join her and they went out on their first trip to an afternoon tea at the Oasis Academy in Sheerness.
When Marie and Joan arrived back to Court Regis, Joan told everyone about her afternoon out, the lovely cakes she enjoyed, the endless cups of tea and the fantastic dancing and singing from the children.
Since then Joan has been one of the first to join in with everything! As well as taking part Joan encourages others to join in with activities in the home as well as the outings. Joan has befriended so many residents since taking part in activities and day trips out.
“Joan is a different lady when it comes to going out for the day and taking part in activities. There has been a significant change in her which we are thrilled to see and so are her family members. Joan has found an inner confidence and what is really nice is she is sharing this confidence with others. She has taken one lady at Court Regis under her wing, and Joan has encouraged her to join in the garden activities. It has made such a difference to this lady.”
Emma Ansley, Activity Coordinator
Weybourne included on the Eden Registry
The Eden Alternative is a philosophy of care based on the core belief that ageing should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline.
The evaluation went well with staff demonstrating how they are working to the principles of Eden Alternative through their care delivery. The assessor commented on what she was impressed with and spoke with staff, residents and visitors during her visit to fully assess everyone’s views on embedding the Eden Philosophy within the home. Staff were positive about starting their Eden journey and were fully aware of the need to put residents at the centre of their day to day decisions about their care. Residents also gave positive feedback, as did all the visitors.
The accreditation is recognition that residents live a vibrant and fulfilling life in residential care, with staff providing meaningful activities, engagement with the community and promoting companionship.
Studies show that implementation of The Eden Alternative is a powerful tool for improving quality of life and quality of care for those living in care homes. Also, homes that have adopted Eden as an organisational-wide philosophy have found that there is improved staff satisfaction and retention and significant decreases in use of medication.
Keeping faith at Northbourne Court
Staff at Northbourne Court Care home have been coordinating visits from the local church for residents that reside at the home. Many residents living in the community prior to moving into Northbourne Court were regular attendees at church, and our philosophy of care is based on continuing and promoting all interests and hobbies, whenever we can.
Each service is attended by Reverend Craig along with a pianist and members of the church to perform and chat with residents. At the end of the service residents are asked what hymns they would like to sing at the next service so the Reverend and his team can prepare hymn sheets in various different font sizes for the residents and staff, allowing everyone to be able to take part.
One family relative said, ‘This has been warmly welcomed by the residents and carers alike. The service allows everyone to pray, listen and sing. Something I know my mother enjoys being able to do without having to leave the home’.
“I have been asked on a number of occasions if we could arrange for residents from Northbourne Court to go to church or, bring the church to the home. I had discussions with a local church about having a church service at Northbourne Court and how this might provide an opportunity for engagement with the community. The Reverend Craig from Albany Park Baptist church thought this was a good idea and arranged for him and his team to hold a church service every fortnight at the home”.
Hayley Anderson, Activity Coordinator
“We all had a wonderful day ‘on the beach. It was obvious the residents really enjoyed themselves, and many have since talked about their beach visit with loved ones during video calls. Others have asked for pictures of the day to be framed and displayed in their bedroom to remind them of their beach trip. We will certainly be doing this again during the summer months, as long as the sun continues to shine!”
Claire Saxby, Deputy Manager
Bringing the seaside
to Pilgrims View
Staff across all of our Avante homes have worked tirelessly to help protect residents from Covid-19 and continue to keep everyone entertained whilst they are unable to have visits from their loved ones. Residents at Pilgrims View were treated to a beach day last summer, but not as you know it!
For older people and those more vulnerable to contracting Covid-19, visiting a crowded beach during these uncertain times is strictly off limits – but not for residents at Pilgrims View! Staff brought the beach to the residents with sun, sand and sea. ‘Well, actually paddling pools but they did the trick’, said Deputy Manager Claire Saxby.
The garden was decked out to reflect a beach like scene with sandcastles, windbreakers, shells and beach games. There were also quieter areas for those just wanting to relax and soak up the sun safely within the grounds of the home. The beach set up allowed residents the opportunity to take part in the day as much or as little as they wanted. There were ice-creams aplenty and everyone enjoyed a fish and chip lunch to help support that beach day vibe.
Avante screen latest movies
across 10 sites
With care homes across the UK being closed during COVID-19, Avante’s care homes have kept residents entertained with numerous extra events complementing the already busy daily schedule of activities.
Recently, residents across all 10 of Avante’s care homes sat down and enjoyed the same rib-tickling movie, Stan and Ollie, for bags of laughter and popcorn!
The recent film release about the much loved comedy double-act entertained residents, and the portrayal of their off screen friendship put a smile on everyone’s faces! Many of the homes hosted the movie in their very own cinema room whilst others aired the movie on screen projectors in a darkened lounge creating the perfect cinema effect. One home even had their very own usher! Phyllis who lives at Court Regis previously worked as an usher in a cinema. She shared with staff that she didn’t do it for the money as she genuinely loved being an usher and watching all the latest films. Phyllis was delighted when staff asked if she wanted to show them how it was done.