People of Berwick – Catching up with Housekeeping Team Member, Paramjit.

#People of Berwick- “It is a wonderful feeling when a resident says ‘thank-you’ with a smile on their face.” Maintenance Assistant, Nathan, shares how his role is a perfect fit for his life today

As part of the team at Berwick’s newest community, Berwick Parksville, Nathan is known as the “Jack of all trades”. Nathan is a retired police officer who moved to Parksville in 2019 from the mainland. While looking for a part time role where he could positively impact the community, he was drawn to the Maintenance Assistance opportunity at Berwick Parksville.

In his 10 months with Berwick, Nathan has certainly left this mark. Nick Lynch, Berwick Parksville General Manager says “Nathan’s happy go lucky personality resonates very well with the entire community, and no task seems to be a problem. He is a true asset to the Berwick Parksville operation.” Nathan looks forward to the variety and doing something different each day at work. When asked what he is most proud of during his time with Berwick so far, he said “I don’t know if there is one particular situation that I am most proud. However, there have been countless instances where I have helped out a resident and put a smile on their face or eased their concerns about something.  This in turn, puts a smile on my face too!”

 

Being a part of the maintenance team means helping maintain Berwick Parksville’s state of the art amenities, which include pickle ball courts, a fire pit, pub, Zoom Room fitness centre, poker room, art studio and much more.  Of all the spaces at Berwick Parksville, Nathan says the Theatre is his favourite. As a lover of watching Netflix and playing the piano, which he is currently learning to do in his spare time, he describes the theatre as a “really neat space” for residents to enjoy all kinds of experiences. With the full exterior construction of the building almost complete, Nathan is looking forward to growing along with the Berwick Parksville team and the wonderful residents that continue to move in each month.

Nathan describes the team he works with as “very cohesive, approachable, friendly, and kind.” He has “an excellent manager who (he) really enjoys working with.” Berwick strives to ensure all team members have the opportunity to bring their personal passions to their roles and Nathan has embraced this. His personal passions of gardening, home renovations, woodworking and fixing things are easily seen in his day-to-day work at Berwick. He also describes himself as a compassionate and respectful person and says he “feels these values are very important as an employee at Berwick”.

Nathan says he is excited for his future at Berwick Parksville with his manager, Dylan, and the rest of the team. “I enjoy the work that I do, and just knowing that I am helping the residents enjoy their retirement is motivating.  It is a wonderful feeling when a resident says ‘thank-you’ with a smile on their face.”

 

 

 

Well what to say about Mrs. Paramjit She is amazing person, is that kind of person that will do anything for you, she is kind, friendly with a great smile big heart that makes you file good, personally i think that Mrs. Paramjit is the best representation of Berwick values, she loves the place and the residents loves her.

 

is always a pleasure for me have her as part of my team, amazing!!

 

• What drew you to Berwick originally? 

I like to work with seniors in an environment that upholds high standards of care. Berwick is a company that puts the resident first and treats their staff with respect. 

 

• How long have you worked at Berwick Royal Oak?

9 years. 

 

• What do you look forward to most each day when you come to work?

 

 I look forward to seeing my team and other staff members. They are always so supportive and positive. 

 

• How would you describe your role in the housekeeping department?

 

My duties include residents laundry and housekeeping. 

 

• What are you most proud of during your time so far at Berwick Royal Oak?

 

My relationship with the residents and staff. It feels like home 

 

• How would you describe the workplace culture at

 Berwick Royal Oak?

 

 Fun and positive workplace. Inclusive and welcoming. 

 

• What are you most looking forward to in your future with Berwick?

 

Continuing to build strong relationships. 

 

• How do you stay motivated on a daily basis?

 

Seeing cheerful seniors keeps the team going. 

 

• How would you describe the team you work with?

Very nice and helpful team 

 

• What is your favourite thing about your job?

The people I get to work with and the residents of Berwick. 

 

• What is something unique about you (a fun fact) that few people are aware of?

 

 I don’t think most people know that I love making cards and crafts. 

 

• How do your core values align with Berwick’s?

 

Respect, integrity and hardwork are all things that I value and are in line with berwick. 

 

 

• When you aren’t working with the lucky residents of BRO, what could we find you doing?

 I am a homebody and enjoy spending time with my husband and two children and son in law. 

 

Interested in exploring a career opportunity with Berwick Retirement Communities? Take a look at our careers page for more information and a list of our current openings.

My Purposeful Life with June Williams – A Resident Blog Series

  1. What does living a life of purpose mean to you?

That’s a big question, and I’ve been struggling to put words to what feels to me like a life that is well lived, a life that is purposeful.

For me, it starts with connectedness. It seems to me that the degree and quality of connection we feel with others and really with all life on this beautiful, complicated, interconnected planet determines what is important to us and how we will live our lives.

Central to my personal life are the people I’m closest to: my family and my friends. But there are also others to think about and to care about. There’s the broader community, the global community, the people I’ve met and those I’ll never meet. There are also all the amazing life forms on our planet earth. And all of these communities are dependent on one another for survival.

In general, I think that recognizing our connectedness, taking responsibility, and caring for ourselves and others are the central conditions for living purposeful lives. We’re surrounded by people doing just that, in amazingly varied ways. We need to do more for those who follow. That’s what keeps us going; I think it’s also what makes life so worthwhile.

  1. Over time, how have you changed the way you look at life/people?

I think I’ve become more understanding and appreciative of the individual and collective intelligence of people. At the same time, I’ve become increasingly alarmed at our careless response to the environmental crisis which certainly suggests that we have a real difficulty grasping the pace and extent of change to our environment and taking responsibility for saving this planet for future generations. I’m truly hopeful that we will prove ourselves to be as wise as we are clever.

  1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

Putting the big questions about the world aside, I look forward to good times with friends and family, travel, good books, good music, learning new things, and dancing the night away!

  1. If you had the problem to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?

It would be the environmental crisis. Why? Because we owe it to those who will follow us.

  1. What do you still want to learn?

You name it: French, German, Spanish, other languages, physics, astronomy, geology, cross country skiing, scuba diving, meditation, varied kinds of dance, and on and on…

  1. I you could choose to do anything right now, what would bring you the most happiness or pleasure?

I think anything that brought together socializing, travelling, and dancing would be right up my alley.

Berwick Qualicum Beach Wins ICAA NuStep Award as “Best in Wellness” & ICAA Spirit Award

Berwick Qualicum Beach received the ICAA Best in Wellness award AND the ICAA Active Aging Spirit Award ! We could not be prouder of this small and mighty community. These awards honor 25 senior living communities across North America and whose achievements, innovations, directions or commitments in wellness stand out as extraordinary guiding lights for all organizations and individuals in the active-aging industry. The Active Aging Week Spirit Award recognizes organizations that challenge perceptions of aging, and will be featured in the Journal on Active Aging. 

“We appreciate that the residents in our community trust us and help us create incredible purposeful programs.  I never would have thought we would make music videos, publish a book, write a biannual magazine or start a 20 person ukulele band!  We love to support people to live their best lives.” says Active Living Manager Laurel Wright. 

 The ICAA NuStep Beacon and Pinnacle Awards recognize senior living communities and CEOs that are committed to fostering an environment that embraces wellness as a way of life. Using the dimensions of wellness as a foundation, these organizations and leaders partner with residents, members and staff to intentionally create relevant, meaningful opportunities that empower individuals to live better longer.

“Our team feels lucky and proud to be a part of this vibrant community that we have helped to facilitate through intentional, organic, resident driven and age defying programming. We love when we get to share our vibe and our victories with the larger community,” says Active Living Coordinator Denene Derksen.

“Our entire team, from leadership to each community’s team members, is invested in making Berwick a great place to work and live, and we welcome ideas and feedback from residents. We encourage residents to take ownership of their communities by developing and leading programs, taking advantage of available resources, and sharing their invaluable perspective with us. Flexibility is important to us: our communities aren’t static but adapt to residents’ ever-evolving interests and desires.” says Lesley Sikorski, Director of Sales, Marketing & Internal Community Engagement. 

Residents living self-directed lives and having access to wellness programming rooted in the Seven Dimensions of Wellness can make a significant difference in health, longevity and well-being. It’s part of the Berwick Way, which is our company philosophy and way of being. It speaks to how we honour people and recognize each person’s unique story, gifts, interests, and goals. It reflects our belief that every age holds opportunities for discovery, adventure, and connection, and that our responsibility is to empower those around us—Berwick residents and team members alike—to embrace their fullest, most meaningful life.

 

 

Happy Holidays from Berwick!

The holiday season at Berwick has been magical so far. Seeing the Residents and Team Members come together to enjoy the holiday spirit and collaborate together on festive events has been absolutely heartwarming. From gala events to excursions to festive programs and talent shows… the abundance of joy and fun this holiday season has been so wonderful. Here is a sneak peek of all the fun we’ve had thus far in December! 

If you are looking for empowered living and connection, come for a visit and find out what life is like at a Berwick.

What surprised me most about moving into a Berwick?

What has surprised you about moving into Berwick? What were your biggest fears and how did you overcome them?

I felt I was too young. I have always been around younger people, and I have a wicked sense of humour that they seem to understand. I was very involved with the Monterey Seniors Centre and was part of their activities. I arranged and took people on trips– I oversaw the bus excursions. Nobody knew how old I was, even though I was the same age as everyone else, but I have always had younger friends, I colour my hair, and I have just felt younger throughout my life.

Moving to Berwick, in my mind at the time, was going to be too big a change for me, but my husband was ready, and I wanted to give it a shot. When we moved here, it didn’t interfere with his golf or tennis groups, but for me, it felt like I was cut-off from the life I was used to. I was also involved with the Canadian Performing Arts (18-22 crowd) so I was so involved with my greater community and I was having hard time connecting the two. I felt like I wanted to run away… but after about 9 months, I had a deep conversation with a very dear friend of mine that I had made at Berwick which really helped me look at things differently.

Now you couldn’t pay me to leave here! Since moving here, I’ve opened up like a butterfly. I really have!

I have developed skills that I never thought I had or knew I had. I’ve found purpose in ways I did not expect to. I’ve joined the Berwick Buzz, our resident-run magazine, and I love interviewing people and bringing out in them what they are proud of. I find they relate to me easily; that they are sharing things they may not have shared before, and I love that because I’m so genuinely interested in everything they are saying.

I have made more friends here in one year and 2 weeks than I made in 20 years. I’m talking about good, genuine friends who care for you, who look after you. I can rely on these people in ways I have never been able to in the past. I don’t ask my children for many favours because they are very busy in their lives, and to now have people that I can rely on in so many ways is truly unbelievable to me. I never had that before because we moved every two years, as my husband was in the Military. But, I’ve always felt my purpose in life is to be flexible and open to opportunity. Not many women I know would have moved across the world to Uganda with 4 young kids, but that was one of the locations we were posted and I have always been a risk taker.

Moving to Berwick was a risk for me. I had to be flexible! Now, I can proudly say it was one of the best moves my husband and I could have made and in turn, I hope sharing my story with others helps reassure them that it really is a good move to make.

My Purposeful Life with Lael Popham – A Resident Blog Series

My Purposeful Life – A resident blog series on intentional living at any age.

In honour of Active Aging Week last week, we met with 8 incredible people who reside across all Berwick’s and spoke with them about the importance of continuing to life a life of purpose as we age. Lael is a major contributor and volunteer member at Berwick Comox Valley & her greater community. Lael approaches everything with a spirit of service and from what we have learned, it has transformed her life and made it much more meaningful and fulfilling.

What does living a life of purpose mean to you?

Living a life of purpose, to me, means volunteering.  My parents were volunteers, my mother throughout her whole life, and I learned early on what a meaningful yet fun way of serving my community really means.  

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

During 2024 I would love to take a bicycle tour.  David and I did many bicycle trips, mainly on our own but a couple with tours, and that feeling of zipping down hills, accomplishing a steep hill, and then recounting adventures during a group dinner is just pure fun.  

What do you still want to learn?
Learning is a passion and although I’ve slowed down a lot I still pursue many opportunities.  I’m looking forward to taking Elizabeth’s course on the Roots of Religion.  Religion is an area I’ve avoided most of my adult life mainly because I felt it was dull and full of dogma.

If you could choose to do anything, right now, what would bring you the most happiness or pleasure?

The most happiness I could achieve right now is to have David back.  However, since that is impossible I would love to continue treating my grandchildren to either paying for part of their university education or to taking them on trips to exotic places like India….which I am doing in a couple of weeks.

My Purposeful Life with Tave Dandy – A Resident Blog Series

My Purposeful Life – A resident blog series on intentional living at any age.

In honour of Active Aging Week last week, we met with 8 incredible people who reside across all Berwick’s and spoke with them about the importance of continuing to life a life of purpose as we age. Tave is a very active, ambitious Berwick on the Park Resident.  She is retired and busier than ever. Tave has full days, is grateful to have so many exciting things to do seven days a week, the good health to stay involved, and the ability to continue managing her time the way she wants to. 

What does living a life of purpose mean to you?

For me, living a life of purpose means helping others, being happy and keeping busy. In this stage of my life, I’ve embraced the potential for personal growth, fulfillment, and making a positive impact. 

If you could choose to do anything right now, what would bring you the most happiness or pleasure? 

I actually wouldn’t change a thing about what I’m doing now, as everything I am doing and where I am at in life is bringing me happiness and pleasure. But, I wouldn’t mind being twenty years younger!

What would you like to learn more about?

From a technical standpoint, I will continue to work on my computer skills. Overall, I want to cultivate a mindset of gratitude, being more empathetic and compassionate towards others, and practicing mindfulness so I am more present and less critical of others. 

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

In 2024, I am looking forward to staying healthy and active so I can continue to golf, curl and participate in lots of activities with my friends at Berwick! 

My Purposeful Life with Ted Percy – A Resident Blog Series

My Purposeful Life – A resident blog series on intentional living at any age.

In honour of Active Aging Week last week, we met with 8 incredible people who reside across all Berwick’s and spoke with them about the importance of continuing to life a life of purpose as we age. Ted Percy is a proud Berwick Qualicum Beach Resident and very active in his greater community.  Ted plays plays the ukulele in traveling Berwick Qualicum Beach Strings & Sings Ukulele Band, he has made a calendar of his art that he is selling with proceeds going to the Salvation Army and he says a few words to the Berwick Qualicum Beach community after the monthly hymn sings. If anyone is living life intentionally, it’s Ted. 

What does living a life of purpose mean to you?

In a world filled with complexities, social and economic challenges, my greatest desire has always been, and will continue to be of service to my fellow citizens wherever and whenever possible. For me, no greater purpose in life is to love our neighbours as ourselves. I will endeavor to strive for a better life for all mankind; physically, mentally and spiritually.

Over time, how have you changed the way you look at life/people?

For many years, I have been involved in ministry to people of all classes. Such ministry has enlarged my concept of how people live and endeavor to survive in a world of many challenges socially, economically and environmentally regardless of class, creed or culture. In our modern world, I have viewed life and people to be just as precious in every aspect and must be treated with honour and respect. My endeavor has been to try and keep up to date with methods and procedures to combat poverty and homelessness more effectively.

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?

The one enormous problem in the global economy is poverty. This would be my priority in light of the fact you cannot preach to any person on any subject until the poverty question is met. Once that problem is addressed and hopefully conquered we could move forward in addressing other areas of healthy living.

What would you like to learn more about?

I endeavor to keep pace with the social requirements of mankind in order to meet the necessary spiritual need in all humankind. I would like to learn and become more equipped to meet this awesome challenge.

If you had the choice, would you prefer to lead or follow? (are you inclined to lead OR would you prefer to sit back and absorb)

My choice would be to lead. Having said that, I am a learner who will always apply any learned current methods to accomplish the goals.

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

In 2024 I would earnestly look forward to, and hope for a world free from war, strife and global unrest. A world in which mankind would appreciate each other regardless of class, creed or colour. This is possible! For with our Great God, Creator, Preserver and Governor of all things, it is possible!

People of Berwick – Catching up with Maintenance Assistant, Nathan.

#People of Berwick- “It is a wonderful feeling when a resident says ‘thank-you’ with a smile on their face.” Maintenance Assistant, Nathan, shares how his role is a perfect fit for his life today

As part of the team at Berwick’s newest community, Berwick Parksville, Nathan is known as the “Jack of all trades”. Nathan is a retired police officer who moved to Parksville in 2019 from the mainland. While looking for a part time role where he could positively impact the community, he was drawn to the Maintenance Assistance opportunity at Berwick Parksville.

In his 10 months with Berwick, Nathan has certainly left this mark. Nick Lynch, Berwick Parksville General Manager says “Nathan’s happy go lucky personality resonates very well with the entire community, and no task seems to be a problem. He is a true asset to the Berwick Parksville operation.” Nathan looks forward to the variety and doing something different each day at work. When asked what he is most proud of during his time with Berwick so far, he said “I don’t know if there is one particular situation that I am most proud. However, there have been countless instances where I have helped out a resident and put a smile on their face or eased their concerns about something.  This in turn, puts a smile on my face too!”

 

Being a part of the maintenance team means helping maintain Berwick Parksville’s state of the art amenities, which include pickle ball courts, a fire pit, pub, Zoom Room fitness centre, poker room, art studio and much more.  Of all the spaces at Berwick Parksville, Nathan says the Theatre is his favourite. As a lover of watching Netflix and playing the piano, which he is currently learning to do in his spare time, he describes the theatre as a “really neat space” for residents to enjoy all kinds of experiences. With the full exterior construction of the building almost complete, Nathan is looking forward to growing along with the Berwick Parksville team and the wonderful residents that continue to move in each month.

Nathan describes the team he works with as “very cohesive, approachable, friendly, and kind.” He has “an excellent manager who (he) really enjoys working with.” Berwick strives to ensure all team members have the opportunity to bring their personal passions to their roles and Nathan has embraced this. His personal passions of gardening, home renovations, woodworking and fixing things are easily seen in his day-to-day work at Berwick. He also describes himself as a compassionate and respectful person and says he “feels these values are very important as an employee at Berwick”.

Nathan says he is excited for his future at Berwick Parksville with his manager, Dylan, and the rest of the team. “I enjoy the work that I do, and just knowing that I am helping the residents enjoy their retirement is motivating.  It is a wonderful feeling when a resident says ‘thank-you’ with a smile on their face.”

Interested in exploring a career opportunity with Berwick Retirement Communities? Take a look at our careers page for more information and a list of our current openings.

People of Berwick – Catching up with Active Living Coordinator & RCA, Gretta Grant

#People of Berwick – “Every day is a truly a new adventure. I’ve found my calling in Active Living. To quote my co-worker Carolyn, “I think I’ve found a loophole in life!” Active Living team member, Gretta Grant, shares why she loves working at Berwick House.

Gretta is born and raised in Victoria, BC. Her Great Grandmother and Great Aunt both used to live at Berwick House when she was growing up, so she has been connected to this community for a long time. She has a clear memory of eating shrimp salad croissants with them one day while she was visiting for lunch. She thinks she was around eight years old at the time. She was watching the servers, who seemed so grown-up and important, and thinking, she would like to do that one day. And when she turned sixteen, she did! Margot Wallace was the Dining Room Manager at the time, and she hired her and mentored Gretta for ten years while she was working in the Dining Room, throughout the rest of high school and my Fine Arts degree at Uvic.

Eventually she took the Health Care Aide program at Camosun. For Gretta, it was a very natural progression because she knew she wanted to keep working with seniors in an environment like this one. After that she was hired in the Brio and worked there for another ten years. One of the main reasons she has worked at Berwick House for so long is the culture of respect, inclusion and compassion that she see’s around her every day and she feels grateful to be a part of it.

She has been working in Active Living now for less than a year, but in a way, it feels like she has always worked here, or was always meant to. Gretta had already started facilitating some programs while she was in Brio, and realized these interactions with the residents gave her a whole new level of fulfillment. Kendra King, the Active Living manager, saw something in her, and asked if her if she would like to join the department. She has encouraged my confidence every step of the way. “I’ve know Gretta since she was a teenager working in the dining room.  She then moved into nursing as a HCA.  I always noticed in nursing how kind and patient she was with the residents – how she went out of her way for them. She was first awarded a position helping with activities in nursing during the pandemic and she really enjoyed it.  So when the opportunity arose for her to help us in our department she jumped at it.  She has gone from helping to now being my right hand woman,” says supervisor Kendra King. “She is surprising me and herself at how adapted she is at programs and of course we are thrilled to have someone so creative in our department.”

Gretta has spent time in three different departments, and now that she’s spent a good amount of time in Active Living, there are many different elements to her role: fitness, event planning, crafting, daily posters on Canva, bus adventures and running every kind of program from exploring websites to sewing Easter sock bunnies. The other day, she took the residents for a walk around Swan Lake and to the Thai Lemongrass Bistro for lunch. Every day is a truly a new adventure. She’s found her calling in Active Living. To quote her co-worker Carolyn, “I think I’ve found a loophole in life!” 
 
When Gretta comes to work, she looks forward to time spent connecting with Residents. She learns something every day from their wisdom and life experience. She’s excited to see where this role is going to take her. Something that she’s very proud of is obtaining her Class Four Drivers License and driving the bus, which is no easy task. 
 
An Active Living Coordinator role demands energy, organization and coordination. It takes a lot of motivation on a daily basis, but for Gretta, finding motivation comes easy in this role because she loves learning new things. She has always been a creative thinker and she loves the way this role lets her use that part of her brain. And, whenever a resident gives her feedback about a program, well, there’s no greater motivation than that for her. 
 
It’s important to Gretta to feel supported in her role, and she’s felt lucky that so many people, like Kendra, have supported her personal growth over the years. She’s made friendships and feels she belongs to a team where that balance between working and having fun has been met. Berwick House General Manager, Tom Goluza, believes Gretta is “best described as genuine, sincere, kind, honest and humble. She has always exemplified what Berwick Retirement looks for in an employee. Gretta is likely unaware of her influence, she is someone that we can all draw real inspiration from.”
 
When you can’t find Gretta at Berwick House running incredible programs like Brushstrokes with Gretta, which is an evening of painting with wine, driving the bus around different neighborhoods and talking about local history, and sharing her passion for visual arts with Residents, she loves to sew and make her own clothes, loves cosplay and making costumes for fun. Halloween is one of her favourite days! She also knows how to relax. At home, you’ll often find her curled up with a cup of tea, a good book and her two cats, Ursa and Rooney Mara. 
 
 

Interested in exploring a career opportunity with Berwick Retirement Communities? Take a look at our careers page for more information and a list of our current openings