When people first encounter The Eden Alternative they have many questions about what it is, how it works and what exactly it looks like. A new mini documentary produced by one of Canada’s largest Eden Alternative homes does an amazing job of capturing the entire scope of transforming a residential care environment into a truly person-centered home.
Providence Health Care in Vancouver, Canada, just released a short documentary film exploring in detail how The Eden Alternative approach makes it possible for elders to live meaningful lives even when they’re too frail to live independently.
The film discusses the challenges of moving away from institutional practices of care. Providence Health Care credits The Eden Alternative approach with fostering an environment in which staff are willing to try new things, be spontaneous and put elders at the center of life.
Situated in one of the most diverse cities in North America, both the elders and staff in Providence homes represent many different cultural backgrounds. This has provided great opportunity for engaging elders by identifying and honoring important days and rituals throughout the year. It’s also an example of how The Eden Alternative looks different in every home that adopts it — because it’s more of an approach than a set of specific rules.
“It’s very easy to focus on the physical needs to where the human part is lost,” said Jocelyne Wong, Operations Leader for Providence Health Care’s MSJ Residence. ”But when you have the Eden Alternative philosophy it redirects you to make sure that you’re not just addressing the physical, but you’re looking at who this person is and where they come from and how we can help them.”