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The 10 Eden Principles

Through the application of the Eden Alternative Principles we aim to reduce most of the loneliness, helplessness and boredom experienced by people of all ages and abilities in residential, community and disability services.

This Principle-based approach to living a life with meaning and improved wellbeing, requires a change in culture and operational practice, moving from an institutional approach to a person directed approach in care and support.

The framework of the Eden Alternative Principles provides the practical tools and ‘how to’ make a significant difference in the lives of others living and working in institutional settings. This occurs in collaboration with those people directly impacted by the negativity of institutional practices.

Principle One is the problem statement which is all about the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. The other Nine Principles identify the challenges and the solutions to providing a person-directed or relationship directed support for all people.

The Eden Alternative harmonises and strengthens all other models of care bringing more than plants, animals and children to the table. It ensures best practice and compliance with all regulatory accreditation and certification requirements. It is the way we all want to live our lives.

The 10 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 abilities, 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 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.


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.

Contact us to create a life worth living and join the Eden Alternative® journey.