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The Framework

We aren’t just physical bodies that need fixing.


We need connection, a sense of purpose, to have our voices heard and our choices honoured, and to keep learning and growing, no matter our age or our changing abilities.

Our framework

The Eden Alternative approach is encapsulated in ten principles that form part of a rigorous learning, implementation and registration process supported by the international, not-for-profit Eden Alternative organisation based in Australia.

The 10 Principles of the Eden Alternative harmonises all components of a person directed approach aiming to eliminate loneliness, helplessness and boredom.  Combined with the Eden Domains of Wellbeing, this framework enables employers to transform their organisation across three key areas – personal, physical / environmental and operational.

The Ten Principles are:


The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our Elders.


An Elder-centred community commits to creating a human habitat where life revolves around close and continuing contact with people of all ages and abilities, as well as plants and animals. It is these relationships that provide the young and old alike with a pathway to a life worth living.


Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship.


An Elder-centred community creates opportunity to give as well as receive care. This is the antidote to helplessness.


An Elder-centred 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.


Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health


Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.


An Elder-centred community honours its Elders by de-emphasising 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.


Creating an Elder-centred community is a never-ending process. Human growth must never be separated from human life.


Wise leadership is the lifeblood of any struggle against the three plagues. For it, there can be no substitute.

Eden Domains of Wellbeing

The Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being®️ are 7 fundamental aspects of personhood that underpin the core of our Framework. They are the outcomes care partners achieve when they put the Ten Principles of the Eden Alternative into action.

“Well-being is a much larger idea than either quality of life or customer satisfaction. It is based on a holistic understanding of human needs and capacities. Well-being is elusive, highly subjective, and the most valuable of all human possessions.”

Dr Bill Thomas, from A life Worth Living.

The seven Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being® were created in 2005.  Together, they serve as a simple framework for asking thoughtful questions that help identify the unmet needs of those we support or care for:

  • IDENTITY—being well-known; having personhood; individuality; having a history
  • GROWTH—development; enrichment; expanding; evolving
  • AUTONOMY—liberty; self-determination; choice; freedom
  • SECURITY—freedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear; safety; privacy; dignity; respect
  • CONNECTEDNESS—belonging; engaged; involved; connected to time, place, and nature
  • MEANING—significance; heart; hope; value; purpose; sacredness
  • JOY—happiness; pleasure; delight; contentment; enjoyment

Each of these wellbeing domains enhance and strengthen the Eden Principles which underpin an alternative approach to meaningful relationships and care, or support, in residential and community settings. Well-being is the path to a life worth living. It is the ultimate outcome of a life well lived.