New dementia care home in Nanaimo receives $500,000 for seniors’ care programs

Travellers Lodge Society is set to open new Eden Gardens care facility later this month

Programming development to entertain and properly care for elderly people with dementia at Eden Gardens will start out flush with cash when the facility opens.

Eden Gardens is a new $34-million, 130-bed facility for seniors with dementia and other complex care needs.

The facility, scheduled to open April 28, will replace Nanaimo Travellers Lodge and is designed to enhance the quality of life for seniors with advanced care needs.

Michelle Stilwell, minister for social development and social innovation, presented a cheque for $500,000 from the B.C. government to Travellers Lodge Society directors and Eden Gardens representatives Tuesday.

The money will be used to develop entertainment and activity programs for facility residents and help train staff.

“That includes music, art, drama, horticultural – all of those sorts of things – along with making sure that our staff are properly educated and trained in how to better serve people with dementia and care for them,” said Ken Bibby, Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society administrator and business manager.

Eden Gardens is the only dementia care facility of its kind in the central Island region.

“One of the things that I’ve heard at the door, when I’ve been out door-knocking, is that we didn’t have a specific dementia care facility mid-Island,” said Stilwell who said 47 per cent of the population north of Nanaimo in her Parksville-Qualicum riding is over 65.

The money, presented Tuesday, builds on the province’s recent announcement of $500 million supporting its action plan to improve care for seniors.

The province has provided about $30 million in construction financing for the facility which will have about 200 staff.

To learn more about Eden Gardens, please visit www.nanaimotravellerslodge.com.

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