Following our training in the Eden Alternative, Gold Coast staff were inspired and passionate to embrace a change of culture and to create an environment that revolves around the 10 principles of Eden.
To create this change of culture Rosemary House was renovated to encompass a home environment that promotes client directed care and to eliminate the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.
To do this staff had to surrender an institutional point of view, and encourage and create opportunities that would develop maximum decision making, spontaneity and empowerment to our clients.
The Eden Philosophy is about creating a Human Habitat that is a place that nurtures and grows, just like a garden. With this knowledge we involved all our clients in the design and artwork to create a tree of life.
This tree was chosen to be positioned on a door that was a direct entry/exit to the main front door. Clients spent a lot of time coming to the front door and trying to leave the centre. Once the tree was painted the door handle became part the trunk of the tree. The desire to get out was eliminated as clients depicted the tree as outside.
Our male clients at Rosemary house made a bird box to cover unsightly light switches and others gave ideas of what else to place in the tree like a family of owls and two love birds.
The tree really came to life when butterflies were included in the art work. Our clients all participated in the construction of this project and are all so proud of their tree.
The tree has had a powerful impact on staff and clients and this is reflected by the calm and lovely interaction amongst our clients.
Feedback from carers and clients have been extremely positive and clients often comment that they want the door closed at all times so they can see the whole tree.
For a painting of a tree it has a powerful impact on everyone that sees it and this is reflected by the calm and lovely interaction amongst our clients.
Staff have definitely seen a massive turnaround by promoting and encouraging clients to do for themselves and not to rely on having it done for them.
The removal of Institutional barriers has created a warm friendly and supportive environment that values social interaction, meaningfulness, spontaneity, and companionship.