Best Retirement Places in Canada
Optima Living operates Independent living, Assisted living and Supportive Living communities in Alberta and British Columbia. Our communities are located amongst the best retirement places in Canada. You’ll find our welcoming facilities in Chilliwack, Hope, Kelowna, Claresholm and Vegreville.
Our vision: For every person to feel at home.
This is truly supported by our credo is “Let Us Welcome You Home.” All of us here feel it is an honour to work with our guests and we advocate a resident-centred approach where you, the resident, is the focus of all our endeavours.
Our mission is to Provide intimate Home Style Living for Seniors. Our goal is to provide the Best Quality of Life Possible by enabling each resident to experience a full and independent lifestyle as much as possible.
We promise to:
- 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.
Optima Living is also an approved service provider in both Alberta and British Columbia.
In Alberta, Optima operates both Private Assisted living and Public Supportive Living (SL4 & SL4D) facilities. Optima is a licenced care provider with Alberta Health Services and an approved Assisted Living Operator with Alberta Seniors.
In BC it has agreements with the interior Health Authority (IHA) and the Fraser Health Authority (FHA), is a licensed care provider under the BC Community Care and Assisted Living Act, and is registered as an approved Assisted Living (AL) Operator with the AL Registrar of BC.
Farid Damji is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer for Optima Living. Working with a team of qualified professionals, Farid currently oversees the operational aspects of the independent and assisted living sites as well as the residential and mental health care components, to ensure exceptional quality and resident-centred care.
Farid has a Master’s degree in Health Administration and previously held the position of Adjunct Clinical Professor for the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology within the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. He has over 20 years of strategic and operational experience in complex health care environments including both hospital and community care settings with: the BC Ministry of Health; Vancouver General Hospital; Vancouver Coastal Health Authority; Fraser Health Authority; and Interior Health Authority.
Karim Kassam is the Co-Founder and Principal of Optima Living Retirement Communities with seniors residences located in Alberta and BC. Karim has over 25 years of senior executive leadership experience leading in a variety of organizations leading commercial, sales and corporate development. He has had extensive experience in cleantech, commercial real estate, hospitality and seniors health care and housing.
Karim held senior executive officer roles at Ballard Power Systems (BLDP:NASDAQ) for a decade, been a Franchisee at Boston Pizza (BPF:UN) for over twenty years and was recognized as one of the top agents in Canada at Colliers International (CIGI:TSX) where he led the creation of its multi-family investment division in Edmonton.
Karim has completed the Executive Development Program at Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Doing Business in China Executive Program at the China European International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. He holds an MBA from Queens and is a designated CMA.
He has volunteered extensively with a variety of organizations including being the Honorary Secretary of the National Ismaili Social Welfare Board for Canada and a member of the Ismaili Councils of BC and Edmonton. Karim has also served as a Board Member on the Stratford Hall School Foundation, Vancouver Economic Development Commission, and the Wildlife Rescue Association. Karim served on the inaugural Board of the Women’s Health Research Institute in 2010 and subsequently has been on the board of BC Women’s Health Foundation as a Director since 2013 and more recently in 2017 was elected Chair of the Board.
Ali Shivji. Ali holds an MBA from INSEAD and is Optima’s Managing Director, Alberta Operations. Ali is a recognized best practice expert in care, housing, design and programing for seniors, and has worked in strategy and operations in both the public and private health care sector for over a decade, having worked with the National Health Service in the UK, and with McKinsey & Company’s International health care practice, primarily focusing on international healthcare system redesign, and most recently as the Chief Operating Officer for AgeCare Communities of Care and Wellness, a private seniors care and housing company with ten sites and over 1,800 beds across Canada. Ali also holds certificates in Value Based Healthcare Delivery from Harvard Business School, and Best Practices In Dementia Care from Johns Hopkins.
Glenda is the Activity and Resident/Family Coordinator at Norman Manor. Glenda has lived in Chilliwack for most of her life and loves the heart and spirit of a smaller community. Glenda has her journeyman’s chef ticket and has managed various kitchens in the lower mainland as well as doing private catering. Glenda is passionate about serving seniors a variety of home cooked nutritious meals. Glenda also has extensive management experience in the retail industry and hospitality experience working with seniors. Glenda cares deeply for residents and works hard to put a smile on their face.
Marc is responsible for supporting select Payroll and Human Resource functions at Riverside Manor, Norman Manor and Chilliwack Lifestyles Seniors communities. Marc is a Chiropractic doctor with 20 years of healthcare experience and wanted to make a career change to work with seniors. He is a longstanding resident of the Fraser Valley and lives in Hope with his family. With 20 years of experience in the health care field, he feels most privileged when he sees the joy and excitement on the faces of residents who reflect on a moment from their past.
Aman is professional health provider who is registered with College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC and is a Licensed Practical Nurse. Aman has solid experience with mental health patients and is passionate about resident-focused care and community integration.
In addition to building and maintaining a therapeutic relationship with residents, education is a pillar of Aman’s management style – it leads to healthy living and increased quality of life for all.
Sean Rathwell is a Registered Nurse and is the Manager of Care at White Heather Manor. Sean holds a Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing and brings several decades of experience in residential mental health care. Working with a team of multidisciplinary staff members, resident care is focused on Psychosocial Rehabilitation recovery with an emphasis on healthy living, illness prevention, health education, and disease management.
Wilma has worked with Optima Living since 2007 and is currently the Manager for Chilliwack Operations. She is also the Site Facilitator at Chilliwack Lifestyles. Wilma loves working with seniors, finding it very rewarding taking care of their needs and believes that they have so much to teach us. Wilma has lived in the Fraser Valley all her life and has lived in Chilliwack for the past 20 years. Prior to working at Optima Living, she worked in the hospital industry and feels like this is her favourite job ever.
Virginia is originally from Montreal and moved to BC many years ago with her family enticed by the beautiful natural environment that is so accessible and the quality of life that it gives her. Having lived in the city and in smaller rural communities throughout BC, her move to the smaller close knit community of Hope has provided Virginia the opportunity to experience the friendliness, helpfulness and kindness of the people here. Whether it is at a community event on the street or an emergency to be dealt with, the response is always heart warming.
Virginia has many years of training and experience in Business, Emergency Response, Health Care, and Seniors Housing Management. She is committed to the ageing in place model and wants the best quality of life for each resident possible. Her goal is to foster connections within the community while welcoming volunteers, family and friends to our various social, seminars and community events at Riverside Manor.
I’m an Albertan. I grew up in Edmonton. It’s where I discovered my passion for working in health care.
Since becoming a professional nurse (LPN) in 2011 I’ve never left the heath care system. My focus has been on the geriatric sector. I’ve been immersed in the community as a home care nurse and worked my way to become a clinical supervisor.
Through these experiences I firmly believe that caring for the elderly is the most rewarding of jobs. Although I have worked in Edmonton nothing compares to working in a rural setting. I went to college just down the highway in Lloydminster and fell in love with this part of the world.
There’s something about working in a smaller town. You get to know so many people – hard working people who show their passion for their job. It inspires me to be better at mine.
I know I will make a difference in Vegreville and working at Century Park. and encourage you to contact me if you have any questions about living in this fabulous facility.