Over the last few weeks we have been focusing on the seven “domains of wellbeing” in older adults as proposed by the Eden Alternative. So far, we have covered the importance of identity, connectedness, security, autonomy, and meaning in providing care that promotes wellbeing in an individual. Having key members of our team trained in the Eden Alternative models of care has helped to make us among the best caregiving agency in McHenry, Cook, and Lake counties. This training has helped us to elevate our care and to ensure that our care approaches are person-oriented and prioritize fostering a life worth living for all those entrusted to our care. In this post, we will take a brief look at the concept of growth and how it fits into person-directed models of care and why it is an integral part of wellbeing.
The Eden Alternative defines the domain of growth as, “development; enrichment; unfolding; expanding; evolving.” The ability to grow is something many of us are familiar with in younger people, but sometimes can ignore when it comes older adults. However, growth, though it looks different in different stages of life, is possible for people at any age and is one of the key factors for overall wellbeing for older adults who receive in-home care. This then begs the question, what does growth look like in an in-home care setting?
The promotion of growth and wellbeing in older adults, to put it most simply, comes down to creating a care relationship. This means that the caregiver views their role not only as performing tasks for an individual but that they see their client/loved one as a person who has learned from their experiences in life and therefore have the ability to be a “growth partner” to them. The Eden Alternative reminds us that, “the opposite of growth is death – physical and spiritual. [And] [i]ndividuals living with frailty continue to grow and teach us how to be human beings in a caring community.” The reframing of care relationships from a transactional “I care for you” into a transformational care partnership is the foundational piece of what enables care to lead to growth for all people involved.
Growth is only one “domain of wellbeing”, but its effects are central to providing care that leads to wellbeing and flourishing. We at Homewatch CareGivers of Crystal Lake have made a commitment to create care partnerships that lead to growth both in our caregivers and clients. These transformational relationships are what make our care special and why if you entrust your loved ones to our care, we believe that they will be receiving the best home care possible.