A Nursing home based on “The Eden Concept”

Name of good practice A Nursing home based on “The Eden Concept”
Name of organisation “Dagmarsminde”
Website http://dagmarsminde.dk/en/
Email Address adm@dagmarsminde.dk
City, Country Græsted, Denmark
Sector Primary health care


The nursing home “Dagmarsminde” is a private nursing home with an agreement with the municipality for people with dementia. The staff is focused really making the nursing home a HOME-  and not an institution. In a private home, the daily rhythm is not guided by medication plans or employees’ work schedules, and there are no pelvic chairs and linen carts outside the front door.

The staff firmly believe that if there is visible difference in a persons’s behavior, it may be a reaction to a sense of emptiness, lack of content in life, sorrow over people that have passed away, loss of the life you have lived before, or anger and frustration about the life you have now, and the way you are being treated. Medicine does not remove the people´s feelings or their cause. When you are being treated as a disease and not as a fellow human being, it affects your self-esteem. In principle, the staff have all the power but the staff can abstain from using that power, which in practice implies that the employee must respect the residents’ right to plan their everyday life, even when it collides with the schedule.

Dagmarsminde is an example of a place where they have done the above-mentioned

The following are quotations taken from the website (http://dagmarsminde.dk/en/)

You should look forward to moving into a nursing home. It is a big thing to change your everyday live and move to nursing homes. When we meet with you for the first time, we will plan how the relocation will take place. It is expected that the first time at the nursing home may be characterized by being a little confusing to the person in need of care. How long it takes before he/she feels at home is impossible to say. However, with Dagmarsminde’s current residents, we have experienced that it has only taken a few days to feel at home.

Care is at the center of everyday life. Care is about being there for each other when the need arises. At “Dagmarsminde” we believe that we are human because of each other. We are all equal at the nursing home, and we develop mutually when we are together. Therefore, we show our residents how much they mean to us. We, as staff can act cautiously and with great care, in spite of different perceptions of reality. Some of our residents lack disease awareness and the understanding that they can no longer take care of themselves. On the other hand, they perceive themselves as being healthy and self-reliant – and this should not be taken from them.

A life with dementia must be meaningful. Therefore, we do our best to preserve the integrity and quality of life of each resident. We meet the individual by respecting what makes sense to him/her.

In relation to the staff, there is also a change in the mindset. “Dagmarsminde” demands “a professionalism that permits dissolving the sharp distinction between the professional and the private sphere.” The general idea is that a person’s feelings undermine the professionalism, which is considered unacceptable. We disagree with this. We think that expressing your feelings at work is a good thing. To meet the resident with warmth, presence, human to human in mutual relationships where there is not “a them” and “and an us” but one ”we”. We are not equal in status but we are equal in dignity.

“Dagmarsminde” reports that symptoms of dementia are reduced by 50% after 6 months stay.


In Denmark, persons with and without dementia or cognitive impairment, have legislation to support them in regards to citizens’ right to self-determination. However, if you are dependent on help, you may need to move residence even if you do not feel like it. A survey from “The Association for Elderly People” from 2015 showed that 80% of the 50-89 year old people did not want to live in nursing homes, even though they would have difficulty managing everyday life themselves.

According to, SFI (The National Research Center for Welfare) 2012 Survey: Every fifth person had the feeling of not having sufficient control over their daily lives, every fourth person felt that they were missing out on social contact with people they liked and just as many people said they could not, in sufficient degree, spend time on things they appreciated and enjoyed.

There is currently a trend towards establishing nursing homes on an “Eden basis”. As a reaction to the hospital-like conditions in nursing homes. These conditions are being reinforced by society’s demands for safety and documentation, rooted in the health care thinking.

“Dagmarsminde” has been chosen because it is an excellent example of succeeding in doing things differently and doing it well.


En revurdering af demens – personen kommer i første række”, Tom Kitwood, Dafolo Forlag 1999

Eden Alternative Håndbogen”, William H. Thomas, Erhvervsskolernes forlag 2007

Dementa acare mapping: princiles and Practice”Brooker,D og Surr,C University of Bradford 2005

Se hver jeg er!” Anne Marie Mork Rokstad Universitetsforlaget, 2017

Eden Alternative Håndbogen”, William H. Thomas, Erhvervsskolernes forlag 2007

  • All
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom