Eden Alternative

  1. Does anyone work in a facility that is currently under going the Eden transformation and if so-what do you think? Our facility has embraced the concept-we are in the very beginning stages...so far the only info I can gather(fron there own web site) is vague-and seems very touchy- feely and new wave-Kind of L Ron Hubbard....
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   nursejanedough
    Yes, the Eden thing sounds really good. More plants and pets in LTC, etc. I like it. We had a meeting for 6 months on getting birds (in cages) on our facility. But it came down to - no one had time to really take care of the birds - or wanted to commit to caring for birds. Most of us in the meetings were behind on taking care of humans and way behind on the paperwork. I always thought the activity director should find someone to really get the Eden thing going, but it didn't happen where I worked. Anyone with a positive experience?
  4. by   Kizomo
    The facility where I've worked for the last 3 years has whole heartedly embraced the Eden concept with minimal problems. We are an 84 bed facility with dementia unit on the top floor, and lower maintenance residents on the ground floor.

    We have numerous plants throughout the building, as well as a green house for those residents who are cognitively able, to play around in. The plants are first verified to be non toxic in case they get eaten. We have a house cat who wanders the building looking for love. We have singing canaries on each floor. We also have a couple of guinea pigs and an aquarium. If staff wish, they are welcome to bring their 'well behaved' dogs to work for the residents to enjoy. Care of the facility animals is done mostly by the residents. In fact, they argue over doing the care because they all want to do it. There is always a staff member ready to pitch in and help when needed... for instance, a visit to the vets. This is paid for from the residents comfort funds.

    We have used this concept for many years now, and have never had a major problem. The residents love the animals and plants, and it makes them feel useful to be able to care for them. Allergies have not been an issue thus far. Even those residents who don't like cats, seem to like our house cat, who has brought comfort to many. Feel free to email me with any further questions.

    Tracy.
  5. by   oramar
    the LTC facility at which I work does something along those lines but it is really hard getting all those people to lunch room and serving all those food choices when you do not have enough help. I think the owners like to tell prospective clients that they do this stuff but they do not want to put enough help in to carry it out.
  6. by   nursejanedough
    I still think it is a wonderful concept. The residents do love plants, animals. And they love children and babies, etc. Everyone has been working to the "bare bones" syndrome for so long. I have considered going from RN to activity director just to see if I could make a difference. We have had some great activity directors but they also seem bogged down by paperwork.
  7. by   panda_181
    Originally posted by ktwlpn:
    Does anyone work in a facility that is currently under going the Eden transformation and if so-what do you think? Our facility has embraced the concept-we are in the very beginning stages...so far the only info I can gather(fron there own web site) is vague-and seems very touchy- feely and new wave-Kind of L Ron Hubbard....
    What exactly is the Eden transformation? I'm assuming that it includes more plants, animals, etc., but I would like to know more details about it!

    Amanda

  8. by   Tim-GNP
    I for one, am against the Eden alternative. The original research findings [i.e., the alleged benefits] were really not all that statistically significant. It's a HUGE price to be 'Edenized.' I have a problem with it's developer 'selling' the program, since it was researched and developed using New York state grant monies. I think that anything that is developed and can be beneficial, that comes from grant monies, belongs to the people, and thus, should be given free of charge [with the exception of mailing and photocopy fees, etc.].

    There was recently a whole article in Provider magazine that discussed the development of the Eden alternative. I knew some of it-- but not as much as the article in Provider magazine knew!!! VERY INTERESTING STUFF.

    Also, in terms of the 'mechanics' of it, I know a few facilities in New York that are on their way 'back' from Eden. In theory the residents are the ones who should care for the plants/animals, etc. However, it usually turns out that activity staff get stuck maintaining the menagerie. This is unfortunate when those staff members could be better utilized providing one to one visits to residents who NEED such interventions.

    A properly constructed pet therapy program [which could be coordinated by a good C.T.R.S.] is usually a better alternative.

    In my humble opinion, if your facility has the money to spend 'edenizing'- spend it instead on increasing staffing, and hiring additional activity professionals to provide more individualized care to the residents.



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    Tis with our judgements as our watches, none go just alike, yet, each believes his own.
    -Alexander Pope
  9. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by Tim-GNP:
    I for one, am against the Eden alternative. The original research findings [i.e., the alleged benefits] were really not all that statistically significant. It's a HUGE price to be 'Edenized.' I have a problem with it's developer 'selling' the program, since it was researched and developed using New York state grant monies. I think that anything that is developed and can be beneficial, that comes from grant monies, belongs to the people, and thus, should be given free of charge [with the exception of mailing and photocopy fees, etc.].

    There was recently a whole article in Provider magazine that discussed the development of the Eden alternative. I knew some of it-- but not as much as the article in Provider magazine knew!!! VERY INTERESTING STUFF.

    Also, in terms of the 'mechanics' of it, I know a few facilities in New York that are on their way 'back' from Eden. In theory the residents are the ones who should care for the plants/animals, etc. However, it usually turns out that activity staff get stuck maintaining the menagerie. This is unfortunate when those staff members could be better utilized providing one to one visits to residents who NEED such interventions.

    A properly constructed pet therapy program [which could be coordinated by a good C.T.R.S.] is usually a better alternative.

    In my humble opinion, if your facility has the money to spend 'edenizing'- spend it instead on increasing staffing, and hiring additional activity professionals to provide more individualized care to the residents.



    Thanks for all the input...I too would like to know where the money will come from-our benefits have been cut-corporate offices were downsized and several depts. took major budget cuts recently(dietary?hello-now the residents eat brocoli stems instead of the florets...housekeeping?staff hours cut back-less staff in house on the weekends.Now I have my very own mop,bucket and supply of cleaning solutions in my med room)These actions were taken in order to give the rank and file a significant raise...But recruitment and retention is a big problem in this area for every facility....We do have a wonderfully trained black lab,birds and a big fat rabbit...and the activity aides do care for them all....It's a never ending problem--we will spend big bucks on bells and whistles in every health care setting but put the well being of the direct caregivers on the back burner....
  10. by   JLBLPN
    Tim..........I could not agree with you more. I was an employee at Chase Memorial Nuring Home in New Berlin, NY in 1991 when Dr. William Thomas the medical director and I have come to realize that the Eden Alternative, as you said, was funded and started with grant money. Therefore, who has the rights to sell something that everyone that was an employee at Chase participated in. I researched the home page at EdenAlternative.com and found out some information that is very disturbing to me.
    Here is a quote from their home page.
    "Dr. Thomas transformed Chase Memorial, beginning in 1991, from a sterile long term care facility that was on the verge of being closed due to serious deficiencies to a human habitat with plant, animals, children, and life."

    I believe what Dr. Thomas did for Chase was a good thing but on the other hand the facility was in no way on the verge of being shut down. In the years that I have worked there they always had good surveys. Anyone who has any doubt should contact the DOH and check into it for themselves.

    To me it seem like "someone" has to smell like the Rose.

  11. by   JenBun75
    I think it it to each his own and it may work at one facility and not another. Personally I have worked a a few LTC facilities who have taken the Eden approach and it was a wonderful experience. The residents and the staff took care of the animals together. There were residents who were able to bring their life long companions with them. Now for me that is wonderful they have to give up so much that to keep something that gives so much love and asks only to be loved back well if it makes the residents happy and they are safe then I am all for it. I don't mind to stop and feed a cat food bowl or cover a bird cage. At the last facility they had birds, cats, dogs, fish, rabbits and on certain days of the months staff was able to bring in their animals if they had the proper shots and etc. Really who are we here for? Oh and the animals that the facility got were donated from families, shelters, vets, and some staff members. Like I said to each his own but I have seen nothing but good things from this. Ijope things work out for the residents it should be up to them not us, after all they are our employers and it is their home not ours. Let the resident council decide.
  12. by   Tim-GNP
    I would mind stopping to feed a cat, especially when I could be using that time to stop and feed a resident.
  13. by   JenBun75
    I'm not saying that I would take care time from a resident but tell me that you couldn't take one moment from a break or passing in a hall that you couldn't please someone who likes the cat or has brought a loved animal in? Well I would. I've worked all three shifts and pick up at least 30 hours O.T. every two weeks. I generally work 10-11 days straight and see alot of people standing around talking and not about the residents. I also see people taking a lot more smoke breaks than they should. As much as I hate to admit it things seem to flow better when we are short staffed then when we have adequate staff because less seems to get done when more is around. Now I don't smoke and rarely even taken my luxury 15 minute breaks because those are a luxury they aren't state mandated so one minute of my time is not that much to ask. For instance when I was in clinicals at a hospital I had to take care of a blind gentleman and his seeing eye dog even had to walk the dog. If I was to good to do that what was the blind man to do? Tonight my 80 year old resident celebrated his birthday would you like to know what his family brought in for him? His dog from home!!! Would you like to know that the whole 3-4 hours they were there the man held the dog and smiled something he hasn't done since they brought him in. See those small things that we do are better than the largest we could do. I still had time to chart and take my residents to the BR and feed and pass trays in the Main DR. Not to mention treatments and 2 med pass and a new admit now that was just one shift I was there for 2. I'm no saint and I have just as much time in one day as Mother Theresa, Helen Keller and anyone else who walks this earth its how you spend that time and touch someones life that matters. Even if that means doing things you don't like.
  14. by   NurseJane
    1 Corinthians 13: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    It sounds as if Tim has lost faith and hope that mankinds intentions as a whole are toward the good of all. Maybe a renewal in the form of a retreat or workshop might help to take some of the cynisism from your sharp words and negative views?!!

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