French Government invests $22M for a Dementia Village

Canada’s first community designed specifically for people with dementia, Langley Village

Everyone living at Landais Alzheimer, in south-west France, has dementia.   “Each of the single-storey chalets houses about eight residents, with a communal kitchen, sitting and dining room.  While villagers pay a contribution, the running costs, similar to an average care home, are mainly covered by the regional French government.  This project has a research component which means that outcomes will be tracked right from the beginning, providing meaningful date for future long-term care home ‘villages’ on whatever scale is possible.

 Click here to learn more.

“I opened Canada’s first dementia village”

Canada’s first community designed specifically for people with dementia, Langley Village

As noted in his article which recently appeared in Macleans, Elroy Jespersen, came to the conclusion when considering long-term care homes that “The standard approach was to designate a wing or floor of a given building to dementia patients, with locked doors on either end. When the doors wouldn’t open, they would get frustrated and agitated. I’d panic if I couldn’t move about freely—wouldn’t anyone? Newer facilities have doors that open into a fenced-off courtyard instead, but people still feel trapped. The focus was always on their safety; their freedom and connection with others took a back seat. This approach didn’t sit right with me: life should be about more than just safety. “

Fast forward, Village Langley in British Columbia is now thriving.  Click here to read more  

This is one of several innovative and/or hybrid models that allow residents to live in ‘homes’ and not in institutions.   So while the costs at Langley may be too expensive for most, there are other models to choose from or to adapt the Village model accordingly.

If you want to see these types of ‘homes’ become the norm,  please help us create more awareness by sharing this post with your contacts, MPP, and City Councillor.

Quebec is all action in transforming its long-term care homes from institutions to homes


The Hover Green House,  copied with permission

In his presentation on May 17th, Stéphane Bouffard, long-term care consultant at la Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux in Quebec, was passionate when he spoke about the approach being taken to transform all long-term care homes from institutions to homes.  With good reason!

Quebec seems to be ‘all action’ as noted by CBC news in its posting on May 22nd, 2023, “Quebec announces 1st private CHSLDs to get government funding as province moves to fund all”  Click here to read more .    Quebec is taking seriously the need for drastic change to transform its long-term care home system and ensure that residents in any home receive quality care and have quality of life.

Please join us as Champions for Change Long-term Care Now from Institutions to Homes by forwarding this post to your contacts, MPP and city councillor.

Webinar: Overhauling Quebec’s long-term care homes with small more “humane’ homes

A Green House Dining Room

At the May 17th webinar, Stéphane Bouffard, long-term care consultant at  la Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux in Quebec, spoke in no uncertain terms about the progress that is being made to do just that.  His passionate presentation outlined Quebec’s strategic plan to transform long-term care homes from institutions to homes where the focus on new builds has already begun.   The projected size of the units will range from 12 to 15 residents and the care approach has been adapted from existing innovative models including the Green House, and the Hogeweyk Village model.


Webinar: Resident autonomy over institutional effectiveness

More than 300 people registered for the webinar, Humanizing Dementia Care in Long-Term Care on Feb 11, 2023. Aimée Foreman began her presentation saying, “Aging is a social experience, and our emphasis in long-term care should be on the social experience as opposed to clinical care.”

Aimée presented information on the Hogeweyk model of care for those with advanced dementia and explained why this village model promotes quality of life for the residents. Hogeweyk villages emphasize a household model where normal activities of living occur inside the home and exterior design allows for other activities that usually happen outside the household such as shopping, concerts etc.

Some of the key points in her presentation include:

  • Normalizing dementia is key.
  • Resident autonomy and self- identity trumps institutional effectiveness.
  • Language is important. Use of the words “programs” or “therapy” implies a clinical approach.
  • We need to measure quality of life based on the experience of the person living in the home.
  • Quality of life implies choice and with choice comes risk.

To view the presentation, please click here.  

Ontario needs more homes where residents thrive in a place that looks and feels like home, not an institution.

Please help make this transformation a reality by forwarding this post to your contacts or by sharing on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.


Providence Living: Leading the way in Canada


On March 30th CARP Ottawa held a webinar on Providence Living Place in Comox BC. Candace Chartier, CEO, presented the webinar and provided slides which can be accessed here.

Providence Living is building a Hogewey village which will have 156 beds. The home will be configured with groupings of 12 private rooms or households that will constitute a “village”.  This new publicly funded long-term care home will be ready in 2024. What is unique about this emotion-based model of care is that they will have an indigenous log house in the centre as well as a chapel. Comox elders are helping to make this space a First Nations spiritual space, a first in long-term care homes in Canada. In addition, they are using a “living lab” concept where staff are currently being trained for three months with 10 residents in this model of care. This means that once the home is built, staff will be ready to move forward with policies in place.  Providence Living is also working with the University of British Columbia to evaluate their progress and outcomes each step of the way.

We have been able to obtain a video which provides an inside look at what Providence Living is hoping to achieve. It will provide an emotion-based model of care which will provide a quality of living focusing on a social model of care, yet residents’ physical needs will be attended to. This video can be seen here.

Hats off to Providence Living for leading the way! This is a publicly funded long-term care home that will provide a model for other provinces to follow. We need other provinces to change to emotion-based care.  With provincial elections coming up in Ontario, please make this a ballot box issue in Ontario.


Another Innovative Model Coming to British Columbia


Daring steps forward are making their mark as Providence Living, a new non-profit health care organization established by Providence Health Care is set to redefine seniors’ care in British Columbia.

Construction of Providence Living Place, Together by the Sea, a 156-bed dementia village in Comox, B.C. will take place on the site of the existing The Views long-term care home and the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital. Construction will begin in 2022.

Candace Chartier, President and CEO of Providence Living, recently said “We are so very close to showing BC and the rest of Canada how publicly funded seniors’ care must be provided to create whole communities where people want to live.” Providence Living Place, Together by the Sea will change long-term care from an institutionalized medical model to one that fosters a home-like environment where staff and residents become friends in a culture where families, children, pets and visitors become interwoven into the fabric of life throughout the facility.  Click here

Other provinces ‘are doing it’.   We need a drastic transformative change to emotion-based care in Ontario too.  Please make this a ballot box issue in Ontario.

For more information on existing emotion-based models of care in long-term care homes go to



The Village Langley: Four Months Old and Growing!


Instead of building homes in which people feel homeless, let’s build communities where people belong”. Sonya Barsness.

In June, 2019, Canada’s first Dementia Village opened. The Village’s design was inspired by Hogewey, the world’s first dementia village, in The Netherlands. Langley will become home to 78 people with dementia housed in six cottages. Care will be provided by 72 specially trained staff.

After 4 months, Langley has admitted 38 residents, one couple, and more residents are being added from its wait list every week.

  • Two cottages are full and two more are at 50% capacity.
  • The General Store is stocked and open for shoppers (pet food is popular).
  • Elroy’s Cafe & Bistro is open for baking, lunch, coffee or a cold beer.
  • The kitchen is the centre of activity and the smells permeate the house and stimulate the senses and appetite of the residents. Residents are involved in the daily food prep, plating and cleanup to the best of their abilities.
  • Residents have created their own Newspaper complete with real and imagined stories and clippings contributed by each household member.
  • Music is also important to the residents playing instruments when able to express their own particular interests.

The Village is about doing things differently. It is about putting the interests and needs of the residents first and making each house a home.

Although the Village Langley in British Columbia is privately owned and will not be affordable to all, we hope that this kind of innovation will influence others to bring culture change to their own long-term care homes.

Please forward this link to your friends, colleagues and your local city councillors, MPs or MPPs.

Dementia villages!


The Hogewey Village concept, developed in the Netherlands in the 1990’s, was featured in this blog’s first post (September 22, 2017) describing its implementation at Georgian Bay Retirement Home in Ontario; it has also been implemented in Alberta, and is soon to become a reality as a long-term care home in Langley, B.C.

As reported in The Northern View article on June 20, 2019,  the Langley  complex includes squares, gardens and a park where the residents can safely roam, along with a grocery store, restaurant, bar and theatre streets.

“What we want is to create a space where people can live life to the best of their ability in their own way, ”  For the full article, click here.

Even though the Langley project is private and costly,  it is a model from which both public and private sectors can build on to improve long-term care homes in Canada.  For instance Providence Health Care, a non-profit organization, is now in the process of creating similar purpose-built facilities in Vancouver and Comox.

While change is happening, it is very sporadic in a  system devoid of a strategic plan to overhaul the long-term care home system.

We need a strong advocacy voice to pressure governments at all levels to ‘step up to the plate’ and begin a health revolution in bringing about total culture change in the long-term care home system in Canada.  Please reach out to friends, families, organizations, politicians, and the list goes on to lobby and advocate to make this long overdue change a reality.



Canada’s first Dementia Village!

Dec 2018

Canada’s first community designed, specifically for people with dementia opens in June 2019 Langley B.C.

It’s called The Village. Comprised of six, single-story cottage-style homes and a community centre, The Village will be home to 78 people with dementia, an umbrella term that includes people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases associated with aging. Care will be provided by 72 specially trained staff.

At The Village, residents are not seen as dementia patients; they see the person and their story first. They believe that every person’s fundamental desire to achieve well-being, purpose and fulfillment does not diminish with age or dementia.

The Village’s design was inspired by Hogewey, the world’s first dementia village, in The Netherlands. What makes The Village different from traditional nursing homes is that residents will be able to shop, have a coffee, walk their dog, get their hair cut and take part in activities such as gardening by themselves. Continue reading “Canada’s first Dementia Village!”

One Innovative Model

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” R. Buckminster Fuller  

Our long-term care system is broken and it needs to change! Recent news reports from long term care homes in Ottawa and elsewhere highlight the urgent need for transformation. It is time to stop trying to repair a system that is broken and think about what quality care should look like for those living in long term care.

Many strategies have been tried to repair the system such as changes in policies, more education for staff, increased oversight by owners and government departments, and stronger evaluation practises. While these are worthy measures, they have not changed or prevented terrible incidences to occur. This is not to say that there are not compassionate, competent staff who work in long term care homes.

In fact if you ask staff how they feel after their shift, most will say that they did the best they could in a system which does not allow them to spend time with their residents in order to provide quality care. They go home tired, exhausted, and wishing that things could be different. Most will say, “If only there were more staff, more activity programs, and less regimentation, perhaps I could make a difference in the work I do.” Certainly more staff, and more funding would help, but would it really change what is currently happening? Is it time to look at a new way of organizing how long term care is delivered?


Hogeway Dementia Village, Holland

In March of this year, CBC news reported on an alternative model of elder care, Hogewey Dementia Village in Penetanguishene, Ontario. The concept originated in Holland in 2007 and caught the attention of health care professionals in Ontario and Alberta. Hogewey has a grocery store, a theatre, a barber shop, gardens and community gathering places. It looks less like a sterile hospital environment and more like a cozy little neighbourhood. The only twist is that many of their residents live unaware that their orderly community is actually a nursing home for people with severe dementia. The concept is all about “social inclusion,” something that’s often missing from existing long term care homes. Residents are encouraged in this environment to continue their lives and focus on what they can still do. By normalizing life, especially for persons with dementia, it will help reduce outbursts and promote positive feelings thus enhancing quality of life. For full news article go to:

The Hogewey Dementia Village is just one innovative model of elder care available that enhances quality of life. The Alzheimer Society of Canada has identified other models within Canada that are innovative and seem to be offering a “home” where the quality of life is being enhanced for the residents. More research needs to be done but our understanding is that these “homes” do not cost more than the traditional long term care home model. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. There are innovative models of care that already exist in Canada and elsewhere. What is needed is recognition of the need for significant change in our present long term heath care system and a willingness to act! According to the Ontario Long Term Care Association, currently 90% of residents living in Ontario long term care homes have some form of dementia.

Please note: The authors of this blog are not endorsing any particular model of care. We are offering this blog as information and to provide an impetus for change and action. If you agree with what is written and want to take action, then you are encouraged to write to your local newspapers, write letters to your politicians, and speak out at public forums which address long term care homes. You can make a difference! For easy reference, links to MPPs and MPs: