Vancouver Coastal Health, which operates George Pearson Centre, officially adopted the EDEN Alternative in 2005. There was some initial activity to bring in this new humanistic philosophy of care, but efforts to implement EDEN have been largely left to residents over the years.
In 2008, the residents at George Pearson Centre engaged in a participatory action research project called Envisioning Home. The results confirmed the importance of moving the EDEN Alternative philosophy of care forward. In order to improve the quality of life at Pearson Centre the residents support the implementation of the EDEN Alternative and constantly strive to insert EDEN into discussions about services at Pearson.
What is the EDEN Alternative?
The EDEN Alternative is an innovative philosophy of long-term care. It believes that loneliness, helplessness and boredom account for most of the suffering experienced by residents living in long-term care. The EDEN Alternative seeks to eliminate these by creating a vibrant, living and working environment for its residents and staff. In addition the EDEN Alternative encourages the independence of residents and honours the relationships that exist between the resident and the caregiver. In short, the EDEN alternative sees the long-term care environment as a human habitat where people can continue to grow and learn rather than an institution for the sick and frail.