The Eden Alternative

The Eden Alternative

Valley Senior Living has been a proud member of the Eden Alternative Registry since 2016.  As a registered member of the Eden Alternative, we are dedicated to embracing the aging experience by following the Eden Alternative philosophy.  First and foremost, the Eden Alternative ensures our residents remain at the center of their lives.  You will find a warm environment filled with laughter and joy, along with a sense of family and community.  We honor the voices and choices of residents and the care partners working most closely with them.

The Eden Alternative identifies seven primary domains of well-being. Together, they serve as a simple framework for asking thoughtful questions that help identify the unmet needs of those we care for.

The Eden Alternative promotes these values using a set of Ten Principles and training strategies designed to de-institutionalize and transform the culture of care wherever the Elders live.

To learn more about the Eden Alternative, please refer to the Eden Alternative brochure or visit

Ten Principles

The Ten Principles of The Eden Alternative:

  1. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our Elders.
  2. An Elder-centered 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.
  3. Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship.
  4. An Elder-centered community creates opportunity to give as well as receive care. This is the antidote to helplessness.
  5. An Elder-centered 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.
  6. Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health.
  7. Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.
  8. An Elder-centered 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.
  9. Creating an Elder-centered community is a never-ending process. Human growth must never be separated from human life.
  10. Wise leadership is the lifeblood of any struggle against the three plagues. For it, there can be no substitute.


Seven Primary Domains of Well-Being

“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, What Are Old People For

Well-being is the path to a life worth living. It is the ultimate outcome of a human life. Through a grant-funded collaborative effort, The Eden Alternative brought together a task force of culture change experts in 2004 and identified the seven Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being℠. Together, they serve as a simple framework for asking thoughtful questions that help identify the unmet needs of those we care for:

  • IDENTITYbeing well-known; having personhood; individuality; having a history
  • GROWTHdevelopment; enrichment; expanding; evolving
  • AUTONOMYliberty; self-determination; choice; freedom
  • SECURITYfreedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear; safety; privacy; dignity; respect
  • CONNECTEDNESSbelonging; engaged; involved; connected to time, place, and nature
  • MEANINGsignificance; heart; hope; value; purpose; sacredness
  • JOYhappiness; pleasure; delight; contentment; enjoyment

“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 Eldersand in doing so, bring a new Elderhood into being.”

Dr. Bill Thomas, Co-Founder
of The Eden Alternative

"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