The Eden Blog

Next Open Eden Associate course – 6/ 7th Jan 2020, Exeter.

2019 has been a record year for the training of new UK Eden Associates. The UK Register of Eden organisations and Homes is set to double in 2020, to continue expanding the global partnership of Homes implementing the philosophy. We continue to learn more and more from each other and share amazing initiatives that ignite the passion of those we serve, their families and friends and those we depend upon, our extraordinary and selfless teams.

Read More

How to become an Eden Alternative UK Registered Home

1. The Eden Alternative UK Register of Homes is for progressive homes and services which have adopted the Eden Alternative philosophy of care, developed by Dr Bill Thomas in the U.S. and which is expanding globally. They all have a number of key staff who have completed training in order to support a continuing progression in the continuous journey of culture change from the historical task oriented, medical model of care. 2. There are five conditions to be met to gain a place on the Register. 1) The manager and some key members of the team have completed the Eden Associate course. 10% of the staff being ‘Associates’ is the recommended norm. 2) The Associates are actively engaged introducing Eden, the philosophy it promotes and wellbeing. 3) There is a programme of education that includes all staff upon the Eden philosophy. 4) Information about the Eden Alternative is readily available for all staff, residents and relatives. 5) ‘The Eden Alternative UK Culture Change’ ‘journey’ matrix is completed. 3. The three-day Eden Associate training gives participants a great opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day routine in order to learn about the Eden philosophy, share ideas and develop practice further. The course gives participants on the one hand an insight of what it can feel like to a resident to be lonely, and / or helpless and / or bored, but participants leave with an abundance of ideas to help residents improve wellbeing and tools to help pass on helpful information to their colleagues. 4. The Eden Alternative UK Guide to Culture progression is a framework which can help to plan and track the implementation of a progressive wellbeing strategy. 5. When a home considers it is ready, a copy of the matrix updated to that point is sent…

Read More

Update on the Eden Alternative UK, December 2019.

The Eden Alternative UK group (Eden UK) provides support to existing and new Eden Alternative registry members through its executive team, Geoffrey Cox, as chair of the UK Board, Trainer and acting CEO, Margot Whittaker as an Executive Director and Trainer, June Burgess, Director, Trainer and Regional Co-ordinator, having been the Regional co-ordinator for some 15 years and specifically providing ongoing support to the many long standing Eden Registry members, Helen Cain, Registration Manager (part time) and Kelly Boweren, admin (part time). Training – Eden UK provides regular open Eden Associate training courses, in house Eden Associate training courses, Trainer Intensive courses, One-day introduction to Eden courses, and is developing a range of new and additional services to Eden members. Together with its executive team, its current group of Regional and in house Trainers, Eden UK trained a record number of new Eden Associates in 2019, ran a growing number of Eden courses, recently trained more Eden Educators, and has 2 more courses planned to commence over the next 3 months, based upon current demand and enquiries. Validation – Eden UK is steadily increasing the number of ‘validated’ homes upon the Eden UK Register and is anticipating steady expansion 2020 based upon the number of new Homes having recently undertaken Eden Associate training (together with those for whom training is currently being scheduled over the coming months and throughout 2020 across 5 different regions). Over the last 15 years a significant amount of the Eden UK training and administration was provided by June with considerable support from her late husband, Paul, both as passionate Eden ambassadors. The executive team has been growing so as to be able to expand Eden UK and comprises Geoffrey Cox, Margot Whittaker, June Burgess, Helen Cain, part time Registry Manager and Validator (all of whom…

Read More

The ‘Eden Alternative’ Care Home Philosophy

The Eden Alternative is a global ‘care philosophy’ developed by Dr Bill Thomas of the US in the 90’s, who, as a consulting New York Geriatrician, became determined to address Care Home Residents’ feelings of loneliness, helplessness and boredom as he saw them. With a team of experts, he developed strategies to innovate the culture of care to make care what ‘it ought to be’. It now operates in 20 countries, and has been running 30 years. Here, with something like 3% of UK Homes rated as Outstanding, but recent Inspections showing Homes rated Good still only in the high 50’s, Requiring Improvement in the low 30’s, and those rated Inadequate between 2% – 8% it seems this ‘philosophy’ is very current / relevant. The philosophy is no more than common sense, but it is a common sense that needs real clarity, leadership to implement successfully, needs effective strategies on the ground and determination to develop ‘wellbeing’ and empower our care teams, our residents and our wider stakeholders. It also seeks to fundamentally challenge ‘ageism’, the limitations of our ‘medical model of care’, and our overly negative focus on disease, disability and deficit. The Eden Alternative has 10 principles that are its focus– 1. That in any setting, a risk is that people can feel lonely, helpless and / or bored. 2. That ‘Edenising’ homes have an abundance of different things going on, a vibrant environment, full of varied activities, connected with nature, building strong community links, expanding life histories to enrich the lived experience. 3. That an antidote to loneliness is loving companionship. 4. That an antidote to helplessness is the fostering of care partnership. 5. That an antidote to boredom is meaningful, and spontaneous activity. 6. That meaningless activity (and boredom) can be corrosive to the human spirit.…

Read More