Eden Alternative, from nursing home to Care Community ...
Realizing that loneliness, helplessness, and boredom contribute to the bulk of suffering in long-term care institutions, we have embarked on a journey known as The Eden Alternative. This journey is based on the philosophy of care that transforms traditional "nursing homes" into living, growing, ever-changing environments for our Elders.
The Eden Alternative philosophy of care was developed by Dr. William Thomas, after accepting the position of medical director at a nursing home in Sherburne, NY.
Dr. Thomas came to the realization that life in nursing homes was not what it should, nor could be, and we were treating our Elders for their illness and frailty.
Our Elders were suffering from the 3 plagues of the human spirit: Loneliness, Helplessness, and Boredom. He knew of no drug or ointment to prescribe for this.
Dr. Thomas recognized the only way to combat these plagues was to change our medical model nursing homes. We needed to transform our institutions into vibrant human habitats filled with variety, spontaneity, companionship, and opportunities to give as well as receive care.
The Eden culture change focuses on giving care in a vibrant habitat full of life-enriching opportunities rather than providing "treatment" in an institutional setting. This is done by incorporating plants, animals, and children into daily life. These changes can not happen over night, nor without the support from our staff, families, and community. Community education and support are key factors that will enable us to make the Eden journey successful.
We believe the future of our Elders belongs to forward-thinking, progressive people who are ready and able to accept the challenge of reshaping society's approach to long-term care. With the support of our families and the community, it is our hope that we can inspire other long-term care facilities to follow our path, proving that life in nursing homes can be different! The Eden Alternative offers opportunities that are endless and benefits that are immense.