We believe everybody
deserves to enjoy life,
whatever their age
Enliven’s Coombrae Home has become the first home in Feilding to obtain two of the ten principles to become a fully certified Eden Alternative.
The Eden Alternative is a unique elder-directed model of care that follows ten principles which work against the plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom.
Coombrae manager Kelsey Smith explains loneliness, isolation and the helplessness that goes with that are major concerns for the elderly nationwide.
“Government funding only covers the basics of residential care, which includes things such as food, warmth and health care, but at Coombrae Home we want to provide much more than that, which is why we embrace the Eden Alternative,” says Kelsey.
“Eden focuses on supporting elders to continue with their hobbies, passions and interests, to keep their independence, have companionship, meaningful activity and spontaneity in their lives, which is just as important as having quality medical care.”
Coombrae Home was awarded its first two Eden principles in October for successfully creating a home where life revolves around close and continuing contact with plants, animals and children, and a home where the residents are in charge, not the staff.
“Residents have a say in everything here and they know very well that this is their home. They’re on the interviewing panel for new staff and whenever we’re looking at changing something at Coombrae they’re the first to know and have their say,” says Kelsey.
“This puts the power back in their hands. We work where they live, not the other way round. That’s why Eden is so different to other home’s models of care and we’re very proud of it.”
Coombrae Home has regular visits from children and the home has five resident hens, two cats, a bird aviary and fish, which the residents are involved with looking after.
“The reason why it’s so important to have access to children, plants and animals is because they all provide the opportunity to receive care, meaning the residents have opportunities to give back,” Kelsey explains.
“Residents take responsibility for looking after our animals and gardens if they wish, and they get great satisfaction from nurturing something.”
With two of 10 principles completed, Coombrae Home is working towards obtaining the rest, which Kelsey says is no easy feat.
“In order to achieve the principles we not only have to be doing these things some of the time, we need to show that its happening continuously and demonstrate that.”
Kelsey explains only two homes in New Zealand have been awarded all 10 Eden Alternative principles.
“It goes to show that it’s not easy to achieve, but we’re happy to have our first two principles with credit to our residents and staff who are all working towards the same goal, and we can’t wait to get the rest!”
Coombrae Home is operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central, and provides rest home, respite and dementia care from 34 North Street in Feilding.