We believe everybody
deserves to enjoy life,
whatever their age
When it comes to caring for our elders, medicine simply isn’t enough. We must look after their entire wellbeing, including social, emotional and cultural needs.
This is from Enliven’s Trish Shallard, who is the clinical coordinator at the popular Woburn Home in Lower Hutt.
Trish has worked at Woburn Home’s dementia care community, known as Woburn Court, for more than two years and says while her title is ‘clinical coordinator’ Enliven’s approach isn’t just focused on the clinical side of things.
“Clinical care certainly has its place, but at Woburn we focus much more on the personal side,” Trish explains.
Enliven’s homes, including Woburn Home, embrace a philosophy that is truly elder-directed. It recognises that people need to maintain control over their lives wherever they live and whatever their age.
“Our philosophy, known as the Eden Alternative, is so important because it fights the feeling of loneliness, helplessness and boredom, which can be a major problem in most rest homes.”
But Eden uses 10 principles that encourage things such as variety and spontaneity, companionship, contact with children and animals, continuing hobbies and meaningful activity.
“Meaningful activities include things like helping staff to set the tables for dinner, cooking and baking together then cleaning up, or making things that can be gifted to others. It’s about doing the little things that you’ve always done that makes life worthwhile for people.”
She says Eden truly makes a difference to the quality of life of elders.
“Eden makes a huge difference. Residents interact more, they eat better, and you can tell that they’re truly happy,” Trish explains.
Trish says at Woburn Home staff also take part in the activities and spend one-on-one time with the residents.
“The staff love their jobs here because they can really connect with the residents and see what a difference they’re making in their lives,” says Trish.
“Eden proves that activities and social interaction is just as important as the medical side of things.”
Woburn Home is operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central, and specialises in rest home and dementia care. Woburn Home also offers a popular a day programme for people living in the community. For more information call 04 569 6400 or click here.