Our Philosophy of Care is the Eden Alternative which is based on the core belief that ageing should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline. Studies show that implementation of the Eden Alternative is a powerful tool for improving quality of life and quality of care for those living in care homes.
Also, homes that have adopted Eden as an organisational-wide philosophy have found that there is improved staff satisfaction and retention and significant decreases in use of medication. Avante Care & Support is proud to be the first care provider to have all its care homes on the Eden registry. In total nine homes are accredited, with 144 staff undertaking a three day Eden
training course to become an Eden Associate for the organisation.

At the end of the first two days, staff are asked to plan or complete a project to demonstrate their understanding of what Eden is about. This can be a group initiative or a solo project, as smaller individual interactions are just as important as the larger ones. Staff share their plans and what they have done on the third day, and show how they plan to expand on it in the future.

The following activities are just some of the positive things that have been implemented at our care homes subsequent to the Eden Associate training during 2019.
A four day caravan holiday took place with four residents and staff in September. The holiday was well organised and planned entirely around the residents’ requests. Residents had day trips out took part in shopping, cooking and were involved with every element of the holiday including, meal planning, laying the table, unpacking shopping and much more. The positive outcomes were evident such as increased engagement, weight gain and sleep improvement.

A solo project was carried out by a staff member with a lady whose engagement and interaction with others at the home had appeared to decline. The staff member took the lady for a walk past her former home, which she instantly recognised. The resident then began to speak about her childhood, past memories, and neighbours who
had lived there at the time. It lifted her mood and she engaged well on the way back to the home. There has since been a noticeable improvement in engagement with others.

A knitting and crochet workshop has been introduced for some residents as it was discovered that one resident used to knit blankets for babies in a local hospital. Prototypes were developed and residents are now busy knitting and nattering away, further residents have joined in with many commenting ‘we are pleased to be making something useful for those babies in need’ .

A solo project was implemented by a staff member to complete a collage containing a residents’ life
achievements and history, as it was felt this should be celebrated. Photographs, maps and life history stories were collected ready to place in a frame. The collage has provided a topic of conversation to help others to realise how much he had achieved during his lifetime. It is planned to implement this with other residents, as an ongoing process.

A virtual beach holiday, took place at one of the homes this summer. The garden shed was painted in
different colours, Calypso-style entertainment and food was made with the help of residents and all with a beach theme. It is planned to hold further holiday themed entertainment during the summer as residents had said they missed that holiday feeling.

In order to help residents remember significant times in their life, a tree of life was designed at one care home with the help of the residents, who were asked about their most memorable events. Examples included the end of the Second World War, a wonderful holiday in Spain, the day someone met their husband and a Sunday roast. This engaged the residents and will be used to build on
memories and engagement in the future.

These are excellent examples of how care staff are supporting Avante Care & Supports vision to
provide communities where everyone has a vibrant and fulfilling life.