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deserves to enjoy life,
whatever their age

Enliven rest homes embrace Eden

Elders at Enliven Central’s rest homes are leading the field when it comes to maintaining control, and feeling a sense of purpose and fun in their lives.

Enliven Central introduced an elder-directed model of care, called the Eden Alternative, in 2008. The philosophy follows ten principles, all of which help work against the plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom.

Enliven General Manager Nicola Turner explains that government funding only covers the basics of residential care for older New Zealanders, such as food, warmth and health care. “But we want to provide much more than that for our residents.”

She says Eden is changing the way people think about supporting older people in residential care. “At our rest homes we don’t focus on what people can’t do, instead we support them to continue to do the things they’ve always done. It’s important they feel as though they still have a purpose.

“After all, when someone moves into a rest home they haven’t changed, it’s just their address that’s changed so we want to make sure our place is as much like their home as possible.”

The elder-directed Eden principles touch on ideas such as variety and spontaneity, companionship, contact with children and animals, continuing hobbies and meaningful activity.

“It (Eden) really does make a real difference. We often find that after a few weeks the elders at our rest homes become more active and engaged than when they arrived. It’s all about having a purpose; a reason for being,” she says.

Nicola explains that Enliven Central is one of the only aged care organisations in the country to be actively practicing the Eden Alternative. “We’re able to do that thanks to the support we receive from our residents, their families, our donors, our passionate staff and our communities.

“It’s our supporters that really make a difference to the lives of New Zealand’s elders.”

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