Donate Button

Philosophy of Care

You have probably visited a seniors' facility or had a picture in your head of 'old folks homes' that are sad and depressing. We are proud to say that...Eden Gardens is NOT one of those places. Eden Gardens, and Nanaimo Travellers Lodge have been providing genuine, person-centered care since 1979.

Our staff and volunteer Board of Directors passionately researched the best dementia care models in Canada and the U.S. and as a result we conclude the Eden Alternative philosophy was the best direction to move towards.

Eden Gardens strategic direction includes raising it's level of compassionate care and becoming a recognized Eden Alternative home. In 2006 we began working towards that goal, new staff policies and procedures have been implemented and the home-like atmosphere of the facility has been enhanced.

The Eden Alternative

The core belief of the Eden Alternative is that aging should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline. Elders need close and continued contact with plants, animals and children; these relationships provide young and old alike with a pathway to a life worth living.

Our staff and Board members attended an intensive Eden Alternative Certification, offered by staff of the Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatchewan, the recognized leader in Eden Alternative care.

Since then, along with policy and procedural changes, physical changes at Eden Gardens have resulted in a more engaged, interactive atmosphere.

  • A growing team of resident pets - colourful fish, cats, and birds - provide constant stimulation and companionship to our Elders
  • Staff and visitors regularly bring their dogs into Eden Gardens
  • St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs regularly visit
  • Everyone enjoys the therapeutic benefits of gardening - 85% of our Elders gardened in their homes previously and many continue to do so now
  • Objects from the garden have proven to be familiar and can trigger memory and recall
  • Volunteers spend time carrying out activities
  • Children from local daycare centres participate in intergenerational programs with the residential and Day Program Elders
  • Events such as concerts take place in the courtyards and multi purpose room
For more detailed information on the Eden Alternative, visit

If your loved one is still living at home and you would like to learn how to incorporate the Eden Alternative philosophy of care into your home life, visit

Eden Gardens
1917 Northfield Road, Nanaimo, BC V9S 3B6
Eden Gardens
(250) 758-4676