Living Standards | Housing
Wellness | Mental Health, Physical Health
Community Connections | Aging Population

Bethany Care Foundation

Aging touches us all, and Bethany is a leader in seniors' care. Together, we can innovate seniors' care and enhance quality of life. Music & art therapy, pet & horticultural activities, and pastoral care ensure that residents are healthy, happy and thriving in their own terms.

Our Story

Why We Exist

At Bethany Sylvan Lake, the stairwell doors open and 20 wide-eyed children skip into the Great Room. Residents’ spirits lift as youthful chatter and laughter fill the room. Twice a month, these juniors from the local elementary school join seniors from Bethany for a morning of connection, learning and activity. For many of our residents this visit is a highlight, but for Suzanne*, who is wheelchair bound and has dementia, this is life changing. Few things can bring a smile to Suzanne’s face like singing and clapping along with her bubbly little companion. Her face lights up, her smile is beautiful and she works with her young partner to colour, play bingo, read or do a craft. Suzanne is usually a woman of few words, so it’s wonderful to see her chat with a child, and when the activity is over her uplifted mood carries into the rest of her day. Bridging the gap at both ends of the age spectrum brings the curiosity and joy of children together with the wisdom and gentle spirit of seniors, developing an increased sense of purpose and decreased feelings of loneliness for seniors. In short, it is magical. – inter generational programming is just one of Bethany’s innovative care programs, *not resident’s real name

On a crisp September day, several residents of Bethany Calgary joined together to paint their version of a tree, backed by a blue sky, bursting in fall colours. Kacie, the recreation therapist, guided them through the steps, selecting painting materials that helped each resident succeed in their art project. A volunteer bent down to eye level to help a resident pick out a brush. One resident’s family came to take her to coffee. One stopped to enjoy an afternoon snack. This was the beauty in the activity. It was as a lovely social get together. Throughout it all, one resident with limited eye sight took great care applying blue paint to the background of her painting of a tree. This stood out as the power of the activity – seeing our resident focused so carefully on a picture that she took great pride in creating. – sensory therapies like art, music and gardening have the power to reach residents in new ways.

“This is the only recreational experience left to us, in which we can communicate in a meaningful manner.  Observing responses she and all the residents demonstrate, as well as those of the family members and caregivers who participate in these heaven sent events, is a mind altering experience.  Seeing the light return (even temporarily), to their eyes, watching them recognize and sometimes remember the words, and realizing that those words and memories bring them joy.” – Don, resident’s spouse, on Music Therapy

Our Impact

What We Do

Founded in 2003, the Bethany Care Foundation is a registered charity serving donors who are passionate about innovating care and enhancing quality of life for seniors and adults with disabilities living in Bethany Care Society communities.

Operating in six communities throughout central and southern Alberta, including Calgary, Bethany is one of western Canada’s largest and longest serving not-for-profit providers of care for seniors and adults with disabilities. Bethany provides a full spectrum of housing and care options, including long-term care, supportive living, independent living, affordable housing and community services for over 2,100 residents and tenants. As a leader in seniors’ care, we are dedicated to providing medical attention; support for personal care; therapy/activities to improve, maintain or slow the loss of physical and intellectual abilities; spiritual care to support wellness across beliefs, cultures and practices; and comforts of home that improve quality of life.

Bethany is recognized by health care partners, and established as a leader in dementia care, for its innovative and quality care. It is the only complex dementia care provider in southern Alberta, with specialized programming, highly qualified and experienced leaders and caregivers, and strong partnerships with clinical researchers and specialists working in this field. With rates of dementia rising, Bethany recognizes that its specialized work in this field is increasingly essential, and that community partnerships hold the key to the creation and success of new models of care and support for our aging population.

Our Programs

How We Do It

As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Bethany Care Society in 2020, we do so knowing that the pace of change experienced in our first 75 years is going to be exponential in the decades ahead. And yet, the most basic human experience of living, aging and dying will remain common to all of us. Bethany’s role as a compassionate care provider is going to be more important than ever as the realities, needs and expectations of an aging population challenge us to think about, plan for and provide services differently. Bethany is dedicated to building caring relationships with the residents we serve and meaningful partnerships that support and celebrate aging within the communities we operate.

Bethany Care Foundation provides for these evolving needs of our residents, their families and the communities they call home. Through the generosity of donors, we provide:

Innovative Care – Whether in its resident-focused care, use of technology to support care or its purpose-built care centre, as a leader in seniors’ care, Bethany continuously evolves its quality care.

Sensory Therapy and Activity – music, art, garden, pet, equine and warm water swimming help residents improve, maintain or slow the loss of physical and intellectual abilities as well as enjoy social time together and maintain a sense of purpose.

Spiritual Support – spiritual care within each Bethany community helps support wellness for residents and their families across all beliefs, cultures and practices.

Comforts of Home – new furnishings, decor and gardens help Bethany feel a little more like home.

Our Communities – new facilities, such as Bethany Riverview, and renovations and refurbishments to our existing care centres help ensure our buildings are supporting the best care.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

Donors are vital to Bethany Care Foundation. You help innovate care and enhance quality of care for seniors and adults living with disabilities in Bethany communities.

Greatest Need – by supporting Bethany’s greatest needs, you are supporting innovating care and providing sensory therapy and activity, spiritual support and comforts of home.

Music Therapy – by supporting music therapy, you are providing powerful musical activities. With music, residents’ moods are elevated and feelings of anxiety are decreased. They increase their movements as they sway, tap their foot or clap their hands. As words to songs are remembered and sung aloud with strong voices, residents are present in the moment – and sometimes this moment alleviates the confusion of dementia or the silence of being non-communicative.

Pastoral Care – by supporting pastoral care, you are providing spiritual support that attends to the needs and many diverse faith traditions of our residents and their families.

Bethany Community – by supporting a Bethany community that is meaningful to you, you are providing for the greatest needs at that site like specialized bath tubs and garden spaces. If you chose to support Bethany Riverview you will be helping complete the $5 million capital campaign that brought this purpose-built facility to life in fall 2018.

Become a partner – Choose to be a Leader in Care. Leaders in Care make a significant annual commitment of $1000 or more to Creating Caring Communities. Monthly gifts of $84 or more will qualify you as a Leader in Care. We’ll share opportunities with you to help us promote aging well in your community and you will receive special invitations to Bethany events in your community.

You can also choose to give in other ways:

  • a one-time gift for a special  project or program
  • a gift in memory of a loved one or in honour of a special birthday or celebration
  • become a monthly donor
  • host a fundraiser
  • leave a lasting legacy through a gift in your will
  • volunteer at a local Bethany care centre