Eden Philosophy of Care - Principles 1 & 2The Eden Alternative Philosophy of Care is guided by a set of ten principles. Principle One defines the problem and sets the basic terms used in the Eden language. The second principle offers a solution.
1. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our Elders.
2. An Elder-centered 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.
An Elder is defined as someone who is here to teach us by virtue of their life experience. Loneliness is the pain we feel when we want companionship but cannot find it; the feeling of being completely alone even when surrounded by people. Helplessness is defined as the pain we feel when we only receive care, but never give it. These imbalances between care giving and receiving is the result of believing that those living in nursing homes only need our help and have nothing left to give. Boredom is the pain we feel when our lives lack variety and spontaneity. When we live in a world where there are no surprises left. Imagine living the rest of your life in a world like that.
These three plagues can kill the human spirit as surely as disease processes can destroy the body. These plagues are 100% preventable and 100% curable.
Principle two shows us how to solve the problems of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. The Eden Alternative calls for us to become gardeners, creating a diverse Human Habitat, rich in the antidotes for the three plagues. It is an environment where many varied species come together to thrive and interact. A Human Habitat is home that promotes:
- Empowered care partners
- Consistant care partnerships
- Meaningful relationships
- Measurable results
- Well being for all
The Eden Alternative likes to use the language of gardening as well. We will talk about needing warm soil for these ideas to grow. The warmth refers to the levels of trust, optimism and generosity that exist among the people who live and work in the home.
When people trust, their hearts are open and their minds are ready to receive new ideas.