← Back to Blog

A Guide to the Eden Alternative® Approach to Senior Care

Seniors playing bingo

More and more senior living communities are becoming Eden Alternative® certified. This approach to senior living affects the whole way a community functions, including “the physical environment, organizational structure, and psycho-social interactions,” and it is a commitment to an elevated level of care.

The Eden Alternative® approach is something we strive to achieve at Oaks Senior Living, with senior care communities throughout Georgia and South Carolina, and we want to share what it means to be an Eden Alternative® certified community.

The History of the Eden Alternative®

The Eden Alternative® idea was developed in the early 1990s. Dr. Bill Thomas had a vision that would “breathe new life” into care communities and received a grant to fund the philosophy that he and Jude Thomas would work together to co-found and develop. Their efforts laid the foundation of a philosophy that now impacts all care settings, including senior living communities, all over the world.

“The Eden Alternative is the beginning, not the end, of an epic journey. It shows us what is possible and encourages us to continue exploring – to continue asking how we can improve the well-being of our Elders and, in doing so, bring a new Elderhood into being.” – Dr. Bill Thomas, Co-founder of The Eden Alternative®

What the Phrase Eden Alternative® Means

The Eden Alternative® is an international, non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating quality of life for Elders and their care partners, wherever they may live.”

Our society often views aging as a “period of decline.” It is a common idea that growing older means that there is nothing more to learn or look forward to. The Eden Alternative® believes that “no matter how old we are or what challenges we live with, life is about continuing to grow.” Because of this, caregivers and care receivers alike are referred to as “care partners.” We all have something to offer the world, and by creating a balance between both roles, we can learn from each other.

“An Elder is someone who, by virtue of life experience, is here to teach us how to live.” – The Eden Alternative® definition of an Elder

The Eden Alternative® Mission, Vision, and Values

The Eden Alternative® philosophy is about caring for the “whole person,” not just providing medical care. It is about enhancing the quality of life of each Elder in every community. Visit their website to view the Ten Principles of the Eden Alternative.

Why Become Eden Alternative® Certified?

Besides the comfort in knowing that they are providing care that enhances and enriches the lives of the elders in their communities, there are many other benefits of becoming an Eden Alternative® certified community.

The benefits of registry membership include:

  • Standing out through exclusive use of the Eden Alternative’s trademarked brand and logo.
  • Receiving individualized support and care from the Eden Registry Team.
  • Empowering the organization through exclusive access to the Path to Mastery™.
  • Excelling as a leader in the culture change movement.
  • Exceeding federal and state guidelines and regulations that favor person-directed care.
  • Growing with an array of exclusive, cutting-edge educational offerings, practical tools, and resources.
  • Inspiring teams via online conversations with Eden Alternative Co-founder, Dr. Bill Thomas.
  • Sharing expertise and continuing to grow as part of an active, international peer support network.


Why This Certification Matters to Oaks Senior Living

At Oaks Senior Living, we believe in providing care that improves the lives of those we serve. Our values of a person-centered lifestyle align with the goals of the Eden Alternative®. Oaks Senior Living culture centers around knowing, understanding, and honoring an individual’s life-history and preferences while building relationships. Each day is an opportunity for growth, to enjoy what has always brought happiness, and an allowance of new life experiences.

With family-operated communities, Oaks Senior Living is passionate about caring for older adults. Our mission is to honor personal choice, provide a sense of purpose, celebrate uniqueness and strengths, and enable meaningful relationships.

We invite you to visit our website to learn more about Oaks Senior Living and our focus on person-centered lifestyles.

Sign up for our newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.