Providence Health Care has adopted the Eden Alternative™ as a guiding philosophy in our residential care homes.
Providence Health Care has adopted the Eden Alternative as the guiding philosophy of care. The Eden philosophy is based on 10 principles that, when followed, provide guidance on how we can help elders continue living meaningful lives when they become too frail to live independently. It creates an environment that reduces feelings of loneliness, helplessness and boredom experienced by many elders living in care homes.
Eden provides elders with opportunities to be respected and honoured for their wisdom. It provides them with opportunities to give back to their community and to be engaged in activities they find meaningful every day. It fosters an environment where elders want to live, where families want to visit, and where staff want to work.
Please view our Eden video online to learn more about our care philosophy.
The ten Eden philosophies of care include:
1. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our elders.
2. An elder-centred community commits to creating a human habitat where life revolves around close and continuing contact with plants, animals, and children. It is these relationships that provide the young and old alike with a pathway to a life worth living.
3. Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship.
4. An elder-centred community creates opportunity to give as well as receive care. This is the antidote to helplessness.
5. An elder-centred community imbues daily life with variety and spontaneity by creating an environment in which unexpected and unpredictable interactions and happenings can take place. This is the antidote to boredom.
6. Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health.
7. Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.
8. An elder-centred community honours its 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 into the hands of those closest to them.
9. Creating an elder-centred community is a never-ending process. Human growth must never be separated from human life.
10. Wise leadership is the lifeblood of any struggle against the three plagues. For it, there can be no substitute.
If you have questions or would like more information, please consult any staff member wearing an Eden pin. To help families and friends make their visits more meaningful in an Eden setting, we have provided some tips in the form of a Visiting Handbook, which is available in English and Chinese.
Angela White, St. Paul's Hospital Volunteer