Eden








Manilla Manor Board and staff administration has chosen a philosophy that treats our elder residents with much warmth, respect and humanity. This philosophy, Eden Alternative, was designed by Dr. Thomas of upper New York state in the early 1990’s.

As a medical director of a nursing home, he saw a need to eliminate the causes of loneliness, helplessness and boredom which through research he had discovered were the results of nursing home routines, policies and practices. He then set out to find ways to counteract these three distasteful results by developing the Eden Alternative Philosophy.

We at Manilla Manor are dedicated to providing only the highest quality nursing care and rehabilitation therapies and have created an atmosphere and environment that combine to enhance our elders’ emotional and psychosocial well-being.

We have multiple trained Eden Alternative Associates on staff to lead, teach, and assist new and other staff members. The emphasis is that an elder care facility should be a “habitat for humans” instead of an institutional setting where old, sick people come to stay and die. The foundation of the philosophy is that all decisions made at the facility, from the Board of Directors on down to the direct caregivers, are made with our resident elders’ best interests in mind. Along with these decisions, our residents are empowered according to their abilities to make decisions and choices about their every day cares and activities. Our center strives to provide many choices in their individual care, routine, and food preferences, activities, and outings.


The heart of the philosophy is the warmth spread by our employees among themselves and among the residents. Very special relationships are developed by our consistent staffing. Each of our neighborhoods, Shady Lane and Pleasant View, have employees that work consistently in one of the neighborhoods. This allows for relationships to grow and gives residents a feeling of familiarity with their caregivers.

Plants, animals and children are all found in everyday lives therefore we see that they are also a part of our elders’ lives. We have Lucky, a sweet, little, black kitty, a cockatiel, fish aquarium and a bird aviary round out our menagerie. Pets are always ready to create some spontaneity and fun. Some of our elders choose to help feed and care for the pets, which gives them a sense of purpose and is an anecdote for helplessness.

Children of all ages come to visit at the Manor that bring companionship and liveliness to the care center with their energy and fun. Spontaneity and fun are promoted to provide an enlivened atmosphere for our resident elders and our employees. Fun and flexibility allow for spontaneity as well and are an anecdote for any boredom.


“It’s better to live in a garden than an institution” is a quote from Dr. Bill Thomas. At Manilla Manor we provide this garden-like environment with live plants of all types and sizes found throughout the center. Raised gardens for vegetables and flowers are just outside of our recreation room door. The plants and gardens provide “work therapy” tasks that some elders may choose to prevent helplessness and provide purpose in their lives. We have gone to great lengths to eliminate institutional-looking objects such as the nursing station, and camouflaged any necessary objects.

For more information please visit: edenalt.org