Why do we call our clients ‘elders’, rather than ‘old people’ or ‘pensioners’.
It stems from our adoption of The Eden Alternative, a new, inclusive philosophy of elder care, which actively subscribes to the philosophy of ‘A Life worth living’.
According to the philosophy, care facilities for the aged should be converted from sterile medical institutions to human habitats, where residents want to live and carers enjoy working. In these ‘communities of care’, interactions between plants, animals, adults and children promote a positive lifestyle, enabling elders to live happier, longer, and healthier lives.
As Tafta transforms its culture to the Eden Alternative philosophy, we must confront barriers in attitudes amongst care staff, the media, the general public and even elders themselves.
‘Elder’ is a term commonly used to refer to respected church leaders, who “shepherd and care for” the congregation. We see older members of our community in much the same light. Their wisdom and experience of life provides a leadership role for younger generations. So why refer to them in terms that conjure up images of helpless, weak, poor and dependent beings?