Port Alberni
Operator:  West Coast Native Health Care Society
Address:   6151 Russell Place, Port Alberni, BC  V9Y 7W3
Phone:      250-724-5655

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   Tsawaayuus - interior


Access to subsidized residential care is coordinated by Island Health staff. For more information on subsidized residential care, contact the Home Health Office nearest you. Please do not contact the Operator directly regarding subsidized residential care. For information on private residential care, please refer to the Seniors Housing Directory of BC.


Publicly Subsidized Units: 30
Private-Pay Units: 1

Building Description

This one-storey apartment-style building is run by the West Coast Native Health Care Society and has a complex care facility on site. It is situated one block from a bus route. Our grounds are large and well maintained with lush green lawns, and benches and pathways throughout the property. The large patio is used for meals and activities. We have a greenhouse for our resident horticultural programs.

Building Amenities

Our resident kitchenette is self-contained with stove, microwave and dinette set. There is also a hair salon, activity room, gift shop (which is operated by our Ladies Auxiliary), a greenhouse, and bathing room (with state of the art tub, hydraulic lift chair, and jacuzzi, as well as a domestic tub with grab bars and a shower that is accessible to wheeled shower chairs).

Neighbourhood/Community Amenities

Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) is in a newer residential area. Shopping, pharmacy, hospital, restaurants and hotels are less than five minutes away.  Port Alberni Parks and Recreation offers a multitude of activities for city residents. Movies, live performances and special events are scheduled regularly. The Alberni Valley has a natural beauty that everyone enjoys.

Language, Culture or Religious Affiliation

Tsawaayuus is a unique, responsibly managed residential care facility whose mission is to provide holistic, culturally competent care in a family-like environment with an emphasis on Aboriginal people.

In 1985, a group of ladies had a dream of building a safe home for Native Elders, which would also hire native employees to look after the Elders. The ten assisted living apartments are an addition to the original 30 residential care beds opened in 1992.

There are some First Nations people working in each department, First Nations people in management and First Nations people on the Board of Directors.

Philosophy of Care

At Tsawaayuus we have an underlying respect for who people are.  We strive to keep each Resident as well as they can be.  We accept each Resident as a unique whole person physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and culturally.

Tsawaayuus plays a role in the community which includes education.  We challenge and act against racism.

Each Resident has a family they are important to whether it is the family within Tsawaayuus or their relatives in the community.

The house we maintain for Residents is comfortable and warm.  Care provided is supportive and culturally appropriate to the individual.  We are relationship focused.

Staff are valued for the skills, knowledge and abilities they bring to Tsawaayuus.  They are responsible to know how to provide safe care and maintain a safe environment for Residents.  Staff are open to learning and sharing.  We are cooperative as a team and we have concern for one another.

Accreditation Status 

We achieved Primer Level in February 2016.

Accreditation is an external peer review process to assess and improve the services health care organizations provide to their patients and clients, based on standards of excellence set by Accreditation Canada. For more information, visit here: http://www.accreditation.ca.

Type of Accommodation

30 private rooms. Each room is equipped with a bed, desk, locked drawer, closet, grab bars, and bathroom. Each room has a ceiling lift.


Residents pay 80% of their after tax income which covers the cost of food and accommodation.

Special Recreational Opportunities

Our Activity department operates Monday-Friday and has a variety of activities each day i.e. : chair exercises, puzzle time, bowling, floor curling, bean bag toss. We also have a variety of entertainers who come into the facility to perform regularly. Two buses with wheel-chair lifts are available for outings.


Manual/power wheelchair accessible throughout.

Motorized Scooter Policy

There are some spaces outside the rooms for a motorized scooter which have access to an outlet for charging.

Pet Policy

No pets are allowed.

Smoking Policy

Smoking in permitted in designated outdoor areas only.

Facility-Specific Restrictions

Those that require 24 hour care.

Safety/Security Features

24 hour staffing.

Any Other Amenities

There is a hair salon which operates 1.5 days per week, and a garden which grows vegetables for our kitchen.

Visiting Information

There are no set visiting hours, visitors are always welcome.

During influenza season (typically December-March), to help protect patients from the flu, all visitors will be expected to wear a mask in our facilities if they have not had a flu shot. For more information, please read our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) and Influenza Protection Policy (PDF).

Note:  Provincial policy requires all visitors to be informed:  "Violence, foul language and abusive behaviours are not acceptable. Verbal threats or acts of violence will not be tolerated and may result in removal from this facility and/or prosecution."