The Society has adopted an approach to care called the Eden Alternative and was the first care home provider in Kent to introduce the principles into its homes.
The concept, originally developed by an American doctor called Bill Thomas, is focused on eliminating loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Thomas theorised that despite being surrounded by lots of people you can still be at risk of feeling lonely and bored. He injected creativity and novelty into homes through contact with pets, plants, family and friends.
The Society has embraced and evolved these principles, the homes all promote residents' individualism and choice. For example, a resident decides the structure and routine of their day, if they want to get up at 10am and go to bed at 12.00pm they can, it's up to them. Likewise when it comes to food, residents have a variety of options at meal times and cultural differences can be accommodated.
Variety and spontaneity are key to well being and the homes regularly organise activities and events chosen or influenced by residents. All of the homes have incorporated wish trees which gives residents the opportunity to express wishes and decide what they would like to do.
Staff no longer wear uniforms, but instead display a clear name badge with their first name. This initiative is designed to empower residents and staff and help break down boundaries which can exist in a care environment.
The homes provide a 'human habitat' and many have a resident pet or in some cases people can bring their own pet with them. Residents can choose how they would like their room decorated and can bring items of furniture with them; this all helps create a homely environment.