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Eden Principles 6-8 - The Practice Principles

Humanizing Institutional Care

Principles Six, Seven and Eight - the Practice Principles - speak to how the institutional practices can diminish the life experience for the Elders and how we need to bring the practices back into balance if we are to create a life worth living.

Principle Six - Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit.

The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health.

This Principle challenges us all to think beyond the typical approach to filling life with an endless barrage of entertainment. We need to really learn the Elder's stories, identify their simple pleasure and those things that bring meaning to their life. Elders at NTL are encouraged to become involved with activities that interest them: helping at Sunday Service, folding laundry, gardening, caring for the pets, art and craft projects, helping school children learn to read and garden, etc.

Principle Seven - Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.

In the Eden Alternative care is defined as helping another to grow. Treatment is defined as something we provide to those who are ill. What happens when we get care and treatment confused? Principle Seven does not state that medical treatment is bad; that would be ridiculous. Medical treatment can be life saving. But when we create environments where all of daily life is centered around treatment, where does that leave the rest of life? Treatment alone cannot fill a human life. Treatment is important but it must be the servant of genuine human caring. That is what fills our life and our soul. At NTL prescriptions are the last course of action- not the first. Our multi-disciplinary care approach considers all factors in the course of care.

Principle Eight - An Elder-centered community honors its Elders by de-emphasizing top-down bureaucratic authority, seeking instead to place the maximum possible decision-making authority into the hands of the Elders or into the hands of those closest to them.

This is a tough one. It means that the Elders are the decision makers in their home, not the hierarchy of the organization. It means we really have to put the Elder in the center of life and rethink how we support them every day in meeting their preferences, desires and routines. Principle Eight does not happen overnight. It takes time and it takes empowering leaders who are willing to give people what they need to be the decision-makers in the home. At NTL Elders choose when they get up in the morning, have choices around food and activities, are active members of learning circles and the Pet Committee.

Eden Gardens
1917 Northfield Road, Nanaimo, BC V9S 3B6
Eden Gardens
(250) 758-4676