For New Vista Society, addressing the growing concern for affordable housing and quality senior care – especially in an increasingly graying world – is more than just a day job. With a mandate that enables seniors to stay close to home and become involved in their community, the non-profit organization strives to assist groups of the community that are traditionally underserved.
For over 75 impactful years, New Vista Society has enriched countless lives by serving the heart of Burnaby. This multi-faceted healthcare and housing facility helps both low-income families and seniors by providing housing and care homes. They take pride in actively engaging the seniors they care for with the world around them. “Social interaction and being around people in the community is one of the biggest things seniors can do for themselves,” said Leslie Karmazinuk, the chief operating officer at New Vista Society. “The fact that we get to play a role in bridging these people, who are typically isolated and lonely, is really important to us.”
Karmazinuk has been working at New Vista Society for seven years. She says one of the biggest challenges older generations face is seclusion. “As we age the TV should not take the place of personal relationships and social interaction. However, with social programs that exercise both brains and bodies, New Vista Society engages seniors in a new way that they do not get at home. With happy hours, choirs and sing-a-longs, and physical therapy sessions led by in-house nurses, Karmazinuk said New Vista does a lot more than renew social lives – they restore dignity, too.
What started as one man opening his home to people in need during the Second World War has evolved into one of Burnaby’s bastions of community support. The legacy of Ernest Winch, the founder of what is now New Vista Society, has proven to transcend time. As the demographics and needs of the surrounding population have evolved, so has the focus of the Society. Seventy-five years later, Ernie Winch’s advocacy for social welfare and his commitment to the community persist and continue to grow with New Vista.