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About Us

Aster Gardens

Aster Gardens is an innovative seniors’ living community that will open in early 2021 in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

Aster Gardens is a modern purpose-built residence carefully crafted around seniors’ active lifestyles, tastes, and needs, conceived through local knowledge, partnerships, collaborations, and planning with innovative design and craftsmanship all contributing to an inspiring and functional living experience. Aster Gardens reflects respect and celebration of local history in relation to the Sherwood Park community.

Together with the logo and supporting elements, the Aster Gardens name creates memorable and powerful associations and represents what this facility represents: a transformative and visionary community.

What is in a name?

The word Aster is an early 17th-century Latin word deriving its meaning from the Greek word aster, meaning Star.

Asters are daisy-like perennial flowers with starry-shaped heads. They provide a symphony of colour in shades of pink, purple, blue, and white. They bring delightful colour to the garden in late summer and autumn when many summer blooms are fading. The blue aster is known to grace the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A sturdy and robust plant, asters thrive in a variety of conditions, even in challenging soils and rock gardens.

For a seniors’ residence, a name featuring aster carries the meaningful subtext of perennial hardiness combined with a wild, vibrant beauty that reaches its peak late in the season.


Our Mission

Our Mission is to provide intimate, home-style living for seniors. We seek to provide the best quality of life possible by enabling each resident to experience a full and independent lifestyle.

Our Vision

We envision every person feeling at home. Here at Optima Living, we feel it is an honour to work with you and we advocate a resident-centred approach where you, the Resident, are the focus of all our endeavours.

Our Values

Respect You

We actively listen to provide a dignified and welcoming home where you can live your life as you see fit.

Uphold Your Dignity

We respect what you say and support your right to make choices for yourself.

Work Together

We work with you and your persons of choice to create a resident-focused community.

Do The Right Thing

We are passionate about doing ‘right by you’ every day.

Join Us

Do you share Optima Living’s vision for the future of senior communities? We would love for you to join us!

Our Leadership

Karen Fitzgerald
General Manager
As General Manager it is my honour to welcome you home to Aster Gardens and ensure that your expectations are exceeded from the moment you call us home.

With many years of experience working for seniors and their families, I am committed and passionate to do right by you, support your decisions, lifestyle and choices and lead a team that is responsive, respectful and engaging.

As a Sherwood Park Resident, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends in the many outdoor areas of Strathcona County. Some of my favourite interests include skiing, hiking, kayaking, gardening, winemaking, reading, volunteering, camping or just hanging out at the lake.

Contact me at [email protected]
Linda Portsmouth
Community Leasing Coordinator
I am the Community Leasing Coordinator of Aster Gardens. My main responsibility is building meaningful relationships with seniors in the Sherwood Park community.

I studied at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and at Kings University, and have additional training in Alzheimer’s Patient/Resident Care. I also have over 15 years of sales experience in medical, healthcare, and senior living.

In my free time, I like competing in marathons in places like Las Vegas, Victoria, Kelowna, and Edmonton. I also coach minor league baseball. I am so excited to be a part of the Aster Gardens team, and can’t wait to meet you!

Contact me at [email protected]

Our Story

Our Roots

Optima Living took root in 2007, when our founders Karim Kassam and Farid F. Damji, two friends who loved and cared for the seniors in their lives, crossed paths while working at the provincial health authority. They began dreaming of a way to welcome other seniors into a different circle of care, one that truly honoured their own parents and grandparents, who had served as such sources of inspiration. Discovering their shared desire to give back to their community and shared passion for improving seniors’ well-being, Karim and Farid were soon jotting ideas on a restaurant napkin. These ideas evolved into Optima Living and inspired the logo you see here, with its joyful person under a sheltering roof.  In 2015, Ali Shivji joined the Optima family as Principal. As part of this added capacity, the principals focused their efforts to grow in the Alberta market and increasingly investing in new innovations and developments.

Our North Star

Since then, our co-founders’ vision of a truly homelike place for seniors has grown into more than a dozen Optima Living communities serving hundreds of seniors and their families across Alberta and BC. At every decision-point and in every community, our North Star is this: Let us welcome you home. Home, where you’re safe. Home, where you’re respected. Home, where your voice is heard, your views matter, and you have freedom of choice. 

Let us welcome you home: It’s our invitation to you. And it’s our North Star, guiding everything we do.  

Our Grounding Principles

Optima’s mission, vision, and values support and point to this North Star.     

Our mission: to provide an intimate, home-style living for seniors. You are the focus of everything we do.

Our vision: every person living in our communities feels at home. Here, you experience the best quality of life possible, and your voice is heard. 

Our core values: 
• We promise to respect you
• We promise to uphold your dignity
• We promise to work together with you and your persons of choice
• We promise to do the right thing

It’s All About You

Three key ingredients breathe life into our principles: people, place and community. At Optima Living, you’re surrounded by people who welcome you warmly and become your neighbours, friends and care partners. You’re in a place that feels like home, with opportunities to fill your days as you see fit and freedom to explore the neighbourhood. You’re an important part of a vibrant community, engaging in your choice of activities and living with purpose. 

Our Chosen Privilege

At Optima Living, we are always on a mission to improve—to learn more about what it means for seniors to be at home in our communities. We reach out to knowledge leaders and community partners who help us offer all the ingredients for healthy, active and fulfilling days. We use our expertise and what we learn from knowledge partners, including the University of Alberta and the University of Manitoba, to incorporate the latest research into your care and advocate for your well-being as needs arise. 

Everyone at Optima Living understands the honour and responsibility that comes with serving seniors and their families. Our chosen privilege is to offer not just care but also peace of mind—to “walk with” rather than merely “do for” the seniors who live with us. Whatever your journey, when you join an Optima Living community, you’ve come home.

“We are absolutely committed to making a positive difference in the lives of seniors. For us, that’s the most meaningful work we can do. We believe that if we do right by seniors, then everything else will fall into place.” – Farid F. Damji


Experience Aster Gardens today!

7 Brower Dr, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 1Y7

(780) 902-7837

astergardens@optimaliving.ca