The Eden Alternative

“We have the privilege of working in our resident’s home, they don’t live in our workplace.”

The Eden Alternative is a philosophy of care that aims to transform residential care by putting the needs of older people at the centre of everything we do. The key message of Eden is simple: that those who live here should feel as healthy, happy and fulfilled as possible, irrespective of their health and disability challenges.


HBH Senior Living is one of only a few elder care facilities in New Zealand to adopt the Eden Alternative approach. We have been awarded eight of the ten Eden Principles and are working towards the final two.

At the heart of the philosophy is the belief that the three major problems of residential care are loneliness, helplessness and boredom, and that these can be overcome by:

  • Loving Companionship – especially with animals and children.
  • Providing opportunities for residents to give as well as receive.
  • Imbuing life with variety and spontaneity by creating an environment where the unexpected and unpredictable can take place.

Read more about the philosophy and the ten principles of the Eden Alternative

What Eden has meant to the HBH community

When you visit, you’ll notice there is a spirit and warmth about living and working at HBH:

  • Volunteers and visitors of all ages, especially at the weekends.
  • A number of pets, both communal and individual, such as dogs, cats or budgies.
  • Raised gardens and other resident gardening.
  • Produce and crafts grown or created by residents for sale.
  • Play spaces and toys for young visitors.
  • Residents initiating and leading their own activities to help each other.
  • Buffet breakfast in the rest home so you can get up when you want to and enjoy your choice of breakfast.
  • Residents helping with daily tasks, such as giving out morning tea, folding washing, just as they would in their own homes.
  • Spontaneous activities, such as discos in the dining rooms after a meal.