Bethesda is an Edenizing facility. The core concept of the Eden Alternative is very simple. We see the environments as habitats for human beings rather than facilities for the frail and elderly. We treat our residents like we would a friend, or family member. The Eden Alternative® is an approach that recognizes the importance of treating a person holistically – both their bodies and their hearts. Edenizing focuses first on the residents, their wants, needs and wishes. All treatment is provided through this care process.
At Bethesda we aim to address the issues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom through the practise of the following Eden Principles.
10 Eden Principles are:
- The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our Elders.
- 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.
- 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 honors 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.
- 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.
Definition of Elder: Born earlier, older person, elders are revered, honoured and cherished for their wisdom.
Through the Eden Alternative™, individuals and organizations can make a difference in the way we give and receive care to residents in Aged Care and Community Care environments. For further information about the Eden Alternative, please visit the Eden Website.