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Elders lead the way with Enliven

At Enliven’s Reevedon Home and sister-site, Levin Home for War Veterans, residents are encouraged to take the lead in decisions which affect them. Pictured: Reevedon Home resident Molly Batten.


Jenny Hodgen may manage two Enliven homes in Levin, but she’s adamant she’s not the one in charge.

“At both Reevedon Home and Levin Home for War Veterans, we’re very proud of the fact that whenever possible, we let the residents take the lead – they’re the ones who decide which flowers to plant in the garden, or which activities stay on the social and recreation calendar.

“At the end of the day, this is the residents’ home and we want them to feel like they can really thrive and enjoy life here,” she says.

Jenny’s words strongly echo Enliven’s elder-centred philosophy, which both homes actively follow. It’s based on the internationally-recognised principles of the Eden Alternative, which has received praise for its empowering approach to care.

“The Enliven philosophy is about putting elders and their families at the heart of things by listening to them and actively tailoring our approaches to fit their needs and goals.

“Perhaps a resident is keen to get back to gardening, or wants support to regain lost mobility – whatever they’re passionate about, we’ll do our best to support them to achieve that,” Jenny says.

In recent years, a rapidly-expanding body of research has linked person-centred approaches with improved outcomes for elders, as well as those living with dementia.

Among the benefits for elders which researchers have identified are a greater sense of mental and physical wellbeing, reduced dependence, and better relationships with staff.

“We know that what we do makes a difference because we see first-hand the way the residents feel at home, and we enjoy strong relationships with families of residents as a result of our efforts to make their loved ones happy,” says Jenny.

To learn more about the Enliven philosophy, visit www.enlivencentral.org.nz. You can also call directly on 06 366 0444 (Reevedon Home) or 06 366 0052 (Levin Home for War Veterans).