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The Heart and Hands of Home Care

A private, non-profit home health agency

Certified & Licensed Home Health Care

Care nurtures the human spirit as well as the human body…


Eden at Home

In 1991, Dr. William Thomas and his wife Jude Thomas founded The Eden Alternative®, an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to "transforming care environments into habitats for human beings that promote quality of life for all involved." As a person-directed approach to care, The Eden Alternative is a powerful tool for inspiring well-being for elders and those who collaborate with them as Care Partners. Eden at Home™ is an Eden Alternative initiative that focuses on improving quality of life for elders living at home and their care partner teams.

Visiting Nurse Service has chosen to apply the Eden at Home philosophy and made a commitment to have all staff trained by three in-house Eden at Home Certified Trainers, who also provide trainings to community members and partner agencies. We invite you to learn more about The Eden Alternative by visiting their website at, and if you are interested in being trained and helping us change the culture of care please click here.

Eden at Home maintains that "even a home can feel like an institution," when an Elder requires assistance with daily living and the entire focus is placed upon the needs of the human body, and not the human spirit. "As a person-directed model of care, Eden at Home advocates for the creation of empowered care partner teams committed to ensuring the independence, dignity, and continued growth and development of our elder care partners. This is achieved by eliminating loneliness, helplessness, and boredom for everyone on the team, as well as modeling these key ideas:

  • Elders have a legacy or gift to share with their loved ones and their communities;
  • Meaningful care nurtures the human spirit as well as the human body;
  • Meaningful care also recognizes and nurtures each person's unique capacity for growth;
  • The Elder is actively involved as a care partner in her/his own care; and
  • Elderhood is honored as a valued phase of human development, not just decline of life."

Eden at Home offers a major cultural shift in how we think about care. It's a message that resonated with Visiting Nurse Service staff that believe all people; elders and the young of age whose life has been interrupted and radically changed by injury or illness, deserve the chance to live a meaningful life, regardless of their cognitive and physical abilities or challenges.

The Ten Principles of The Eden Alternative® are:

  1. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our Elders.
  2. An Elder-centered community commits to creating a human habitat where life revolves around close and continuing contact with plants, animals, and children. It is these relationships that provide the young and old alike with a pathway to a life worth living.
  3. Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship.
  4. An Elder-centered community creates opportunity to give as well as receive care. This is the antidote to helplessness.
  5. An Elder-centered community imbues daily life with variety and spontaneity by creating an environment in which unexpected and unpredictable interactions and happenings can take place. This is the antidote to boredom.
  6. Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health.
  7. Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.
  8. 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.
  9. Creating an Elder-centered community is a never-ending process. Human growth must never be separated from human life.
  10. Wise leadership is the lifeblood of any struggle against the three plagues. For it, there can be no substitute.

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