The Eden Alternative philosophy has been a national movement to create home-like atmospheres within long-term care facilities. The philosophy or aspects of the philosophy have been adopted by the Fargo Elim Care campus. The Eden Alternative addresses some of the key needs of elders in long-term care with a fresh, family-like philosophy.

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Eden Alternative Provides a Home

The Eden philosophy sees the long-term care environment as “habitats for human beings” rather than just facilities for the frail or elderly. Much of the distress seen in the typical nursing facility is the result of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. The Eden Alternative helps create homes where life revolves around close and continuing contact with companion animals, plants and children, as well as concerned care-givers. Young and old alike benefit from these healthy, spontaneous relationships.

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Residents Make Their Own Decisions

Another key component of the Eden Alternative is to honor all residents by allowing them to make decisions about their care whenever possible, and by giving decision-making authority into the hands of the caregivers closest to them. Elim’s management structure seeks to support those who provide direct care, giving them the tools and resources to meet the needs of the residents.

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 Eden Alternative Provides Results

The results? Nationally, those facilities who have adopted Eden Alternative philosophies have fewer patients with prolonged depression, decreased medication usage, less turnover among staff and greater elder and caregiver satisfaction.

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Empowering Employees

Empowering employees to make good choices that benefit the elders and providing an environment where residents can once again participate in lively daily activities with children and companion pets, offers a healthy, robust environment for the person needing rehabilitation or long-term care.

If you’d like more information about the Eden Alternative, click here.

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 Meet Donna

But perhaps the best response on why the Eden Alternative works can be found in the residents’ responses: Donna grew up in a family with dogs, and had several throughout her adult life. When she came to Elim, she immediately “adopted” Siri, one of the two sociable black labs that also live at Elim. She would take Siri for walks, check to make sure she was fed, and often give her a few pieces of popcorn for an afternoon snack. She is proud of “her” friendly, obedient dog, who enriches her life and gives her added purpose.