Vital Role of Eden Principles at Dayspring Villa

Community Life
DSV senior ladies drinking tea

Posted: May 1, 2023

In accordance with the Eden Alternative, residents at the Dayspring Villa Assisted Living Community in Denver, CO, are cared for not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Quality of life, and the human spirit are unified to eliminate the three plagues of helplessness, loneliness and boredom. Eden Alternative founder Jude Thomas’s observations led him to conclude that these three plagues “decay the human spirit” and that alleviating them was integral to the well-being of older adults.

DSV eden principles senior paintingThe management, staff and volunteers at Dayspring Villa strives to work in unison and harmony to help create a living environment that cherishes spontaneity, enjoyment, sense of belonging, and choice. Residents are given a variety of meaningful activities filled with the opportunity to discover new friendships and hobbies, join in group settings like planting and caring for a garden, and much more.

To age with dignity, respect, self-worth, and compassion – are the paramount principles Dayspring Villa strives to abide by everyday. 


What are the Eden Alternative Principles? 

At a time when rates of depression and loneliness among older adults are at an all-time high, the Eden Alternative addresses some of the core needs of older adults. Like how assisted living communities can rethink their organizational culture to promote wellness through person-directed care. In communities with person-directed care, the care and services that residents receive are shaped by their own preferences and choice. Despite expecting them to fit into a one-size-fits-all institutional model of care.


The Problem and the Solution 

The first Principle underscores the central problem: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom are painful and destructive to our health and well-being. The second Principle is the solution. A caring, inclusive and vibrant community enables all of us, regardless of age or ability, to experience well-being.


The Three Antidotes 

DSV eden senior woman prayingFirst, old adults thrive when they have easy access to the companionship we desire.  Second, they thrive when they have purpose and the opportunity to give, as well as receive.  And third, they thrive when they have variety, spontaneity, and unexpected happenings in our lives.

At Dayspring Villa, residents are empowered to use their strengths and skills to help their neighbors. From feeding the fish, caring for the garden, organizing books, leading prayer groups, and even helping in the dining room, residents build community daily through their volunteer efforts. 


The Three Practice Principles 

Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit; meaning is unique to each of us and is essential to health and well-being. We are more than our medical diagnoses; medical treatment should support and empower us to experience a life worth living. Decision-making must involve those most impacted by the decision; empowerment activates choice, autonomy, and influence.

At Dayspring, residents help decide what life will look like at the community – from giving input on the menu to planning holidays and the monthly Life Enrichment calendar. This ensures that our Life Enrichment programs are things that residents find meaningful and that promote joy and connection. Older adults thrive when they can decide for themselves the rhythms of their daily lives. 


The Transformative Principles 

Building a collaborative and resilient culture is a never-ending process. We need to keep learning, developing, and adapting. Wise leadership is the key to meaningful and lasting change; there can be no substitute for it.

Dayspring Villa is on a journey towards transforming the way we do things to a person-directed model of care. Most of our leadership team (and a few of our residents!) are Certified Eden Alternative Associates, having completed a three-day training program in the Eden Alternative’s person-directed care process. We continue to work on getting more team members trained, thanks to the kindness and generosity of supporters who have given to provide this transformative training. 


Fundamental Aspects of Personhood 

Domains of Well-Being 

The seven Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being are the core fundamentals that we all need in our lives. Each of these plays an indispensable role in contributing to the overall wellness. Each domain is nourished and nurtured to the fullest for the ultimate health well-being of the resident. 

  • Identity: having personhood; individuality; having a history
  • Growth: enrichment; development
  • Autonomy: self-determination; choice
  • Security: freedom from doubt, or fear; safety 
  • Connectedness: belonging; engaged; connected to time
  • Meaning: significance; value and hope
  • Joy: contentment; delight; happiness

DSV eden senior man lifting weights


Our experience of each domain is unique to us as individuals and our own particular personality and life history. To maximize each domain, residents need to be well-known. At Dayspring Villa, every new resident sits down with a team member to complete a “Rhythms of my Life” questionnaire about their background, likes and dislikes, simple pleasures, hobbies, and interests. This helps our team get to know each resident and guide their experience of life in our community.



A Brief History of Eden 

Founded in 1991 by American physician and geriatrician William H. Thomas and his partner Jude Thomas. Eden Principles were born in an effort to revolutionize nursing home care, and focus on the core belief that aging should be a period of growth rather than decline.

The Eden Alternative began as a grant-funded project in a single nursing home. Now it is spread over 250 homes in the US, Canada and Australia.

“Well-being is a much larger idea than either quality of life or customer satisfaction. It is based on a holistic understanding of human needs and capacities. Well-being is elusive, highly subjective, and the most valuable of all human possessions.” Dr. William Thomas, What Are Old People For?

Dayspring Villa Senior Living Community is owned and managed by Christian Living Communities and offers person-centered Assisted Living. Give your loved ones the care and comfort they need on every level, in complete harmony with the Eden Principles.


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Dayspring Villa Senior Living Community is owned and managed by Christian Living Communities offering person centered Assisted Living. Dayspring Villa Senior Living Community is located in Denver, Colorado and services the areas in and around Greenwood Village, Englewood, Columbine, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Heritage Hills, Meridian, Dove Valley, Stonegate, Parker, Aurora, Lakewood, and Centennial. We also are an ideal senior community for those in the zip codes 80211, 80216, 80212, 80221, 80030, 80003, 80002, 80214, 80202, 80203, and 80204.

A Neighborhood of Christian Living Communities

Dayspring Villa adheres to all regulations as written in the Americans with Disabilities Act and The Fair Housing Act and accordingly prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, familial status, disability (whether it be mental or physical), or sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation).