What is Eden Alternative?
In a culture that typically views aging as a period of decline, the Eden Alternative philosophy states that no matter how old we are or what challenges we live with, life is about continuing to grow.
We believe that care is not a one-way street, but rather a collaborative partnership. All caregivers and care receivers are described as “care partners,” each an active participant in the balance of giving and receiving. Together, care partner teams strive to enhance well-being by eliminating the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.
Eden Alternative is a small, non-profit organization, making big changes in the world of Elders.
Studies show that the Eden Alternative is a powerful tool for improving the quality of life and quality of care for those living in care communities. In addition, organisations that have adopted Eden as an organisational-wide philosophy benefit from improved staff satisfaction and retention, and significant decreases in the overuse of medications and restraints. Most importantly, the elders, supported by their caregivers, can once again direct their own daily lives.
Eden Alternative Mauritius – Our Journey
The Eden Alternative was established in Mauritius by Charlene van Zyl, the founder and director of Living Change. After completing multiple trainings in South Africa and some practical work in culture change, was appointed as the Eden Alternative International Regional Coordinator for Mauritius by the US Eden Alternative Home Office in April 2019.
The Eden Alternative speaks a universal language of growth and nurturing, creating environments in which elders and care partners can flourish. In Mauritius, the Eden Alternative provides training and consultancy services for the long-term care sector.
Vision, Mission and Values
The Eden Alternative Principles
The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among elders
An elder-centred community commits to creating a human habitat where life revolves around close and continuing contact with people of all ages and abilities, as well as plants and animals. It is these relationships that provide the young and old alike with a pathway to a life worth living.
Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship.
An elder-centred community creates opportunity to give as well as receive care. This is the antidote to helplessness.
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.
Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health.
Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.
An elder-centred community honours its elders by de-emphasising 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.
Creating an elder-centred community is a never-ending process. Human growth must never be separated from human life.
Wise leadership is the lifeblood of any struggle against the three plagues. For it, there can be no substitute.
The Path to Mastery
An organization embarking on a culture change journey should be asking two strategic questions to guide its planning:
- What are we trying to create?
- How do we make it happen?
The Path to Mastery™: The Art of Creating a Caring Community was created specifically to answer these two questions.
This guide is based on the Eden Alternative’s Ten Principles and 20 years of best practices in the communities. Composed of four milestones, The Path to Mastery provides a common language and goals that guide organisations through the full continuum of care along their culture change journey. Organisations using the Path to Mastery as a strategic tool for change and growth strive for the same outcomes, yet how they attain them is a unique reflection of the people who live and work there.
The Path to Mastery frames an organisation’s growth and development as a member of the Eden Registry. To learn more about the Path to Mastery, contact the Eden Alternative Home Office at +230 582 77714/ firstname.lastname@example.org
- This is a call to action for leadership teams. Developing a plan for the transformation ahead involves revisiting their organizational mission and vision, determining a strategy for measuring success and defining how the process of change will unfold. Completion of Milestone 1 marks an organisation’s eligibility to apply for Eden Registry membership.
- Learn more about and order the Milestone 1 Resource Guide & Milestone 1 Toolkit.
- Reflects leadership’s commitment to spreading culture change throughout the organisation and preparing everyone to take an active role in change initiatives. As leadership’s vision moves from dream to reality, employees begin to recognize their role in developing a caring community by identifying strengths and building on what they each bring to the journey.
- Milestone 2 materials are only available to Eden Registry Members.
- Drives empowerment and growth of the entire care partner team while moving decisions into the hands of the care recipients and those working most closely with them. Decisions, once under the authority of management, are now in the hands of empowered care partner teams. The voice and choice of individuals receiving care direct the rhythm of daily life, no matter where they live, and systems and processes are redesigned to support their preferences.
- Milestone 3 materials are only available to Eden Registry Members.
- Reflects the most innovative practices currently implemented by culture change leaders today. Relationships are close and roles are blended, creating a resilient, flexible, and highly responsive team with a strong sense of ownership. Leaders grow other leaders, who, in turn, have developed the capacity to influence the success of other organisations on the culture change journey.
- Milestone 4 materials are only available to Eden Registry Members.
The Eden Registry
Joining the Registry may take as little as six months, if you have already begun your culture change journey, or as much as 12-18 months, if you are new to person-directed care. In either case, the Eden Alternative has tools and resources to help you succeed, including:
- Resource Guides and toolkits for each Path to Mastery Milestone
- Registry Support to provide individualized assistance
- Eden Path to Mastery Guides to support the growth of the leadership teams
- Ongoing educational offerings and training kits