Bethany Care Society Opens New Centre Dedicated To Complex Dementia Care $67M Project Part Of Riverview Village Campus Of Care For Seniors

CALGARY, AB – Bethany Riverview, a purpose-built care centre designed for people with complex dementia, will celebrate its grand opening today and welcome its first resident on September 24, 2018.

Bethany Riverview is a 210-bed long-term care centre located on a 12-acre campus of care for seniors called Riverview Village in the community of Dover. The campus is also home to about 400 seniors living in three affordable independent living rental apartments.

The $67 million project is funded by a capital grant from the Government of Alberta, Bethany’s own equity, a $5 million capital campaign and mortgage financing.

“As the number of Albertans living with dementia continues to grow, making sure they can receive a higher level of care close to home is important,” says Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health. “We’re grateful for the partnership of organizations like Bethany Care Society for their interest and compassion in providing high-quality continuing care options for Calgarians.”

“We are meeting a very real need in Calgary with the opening of Bethany Riverview,” says Jennifer McCue, President and CEO of Bethany Care Society. “Calgary’s population is aging and the number of people suffering with dementia is rising. This is a very special place that will help those with dementia live well and age with joy and dignity.”

The features and amenities in the 200,000 square foot care centre are specifically designed with the unique care needs of people living with dementia in mind. Of the 210 beds, 120 are dedicated for people with complex dementia. There are seven neighborhoods with 30 residents each. The commitment to creating a homelike environment is evident, with residents entering their home through a common living and kitchen area where food prepared on site and is finished and served in a family-style dining experience. The spaces are filled with natural light, soothing colours and are intentionally designed to connect with residents’ senses of sight, smell and sound, as well as promote meaningful activities and moments.

All of the 210 rooms are private and include an ensuite bathroom. Features such as distinctive door colours and handles; sensored lighting; blue toilet seats to allow for easy recognition and identification; and slip resistant flooring are a few of the rooms’ highlights.

McCue added, “We’ve created an environment which intentionally removes visual and physical barriers to create a place that is accessible, welcoming and secure for our residents.” Through wearable technology, residents can safely explore and “wander” while being monitored by care staff. This freedom removes the anxiety and frustration that people with dementia will often feel. All staff will wear street clothes and their workstations are integrated into the household environment to help remove barriers and ensure positive feelings and interactions.

Bethany Riverview’s amenities are designed to create a sense of community and the common areas are accessible to Riverview Village tenants as well as to other surrounding neighbours.

The Original Food Company bistro is open to the public, offering delicious, homemade meals as well as small grocery items, such as fresh bread and produce. There is a hair salon for residents of Bethany Riverview and tenants of Riverview Village; an assembly space for gatherings; and in early 2019, a day care operated by Summit Kids, which will offer the opportunity for inter-generational programming.

The crown jewel of Bethany Riverview is the 3,000-square foot Rotary Atrium, a spectacular space with lush greenery, peaceful places to walk and sit, and a private dining room for family events. It is designed to bring the outdoors inside for residents to enjoy and was made possible by a $1 million gift from Rotary Calgary and Area Clubs.

“Bethany Riverview is the result of partnerships with organizations like The Calgary Foundation and Rotary Calgary, who shared in our vision and desire to create a place to support Calgary families through the very difficult journey of dementia,” says McCue.

Assessments and placements for Bethany Riverview will be done through Alberta Health Services, as is the standard practice for any long-term care centre in Alberta.

About Bethany Care Society:

For over half a century, Bethany has been improving the lives of Alberta seniors and adults with disabilities by providing housing, health and community services that honour their spirit and individuality. Grounded by faith and strong values, the greatest service we can offer residents, tenants and clients is to foster well-being for their physical, spiritual and emotional needs. At Bethany, we embrace and celebrate aging. By creating communities of caring, both in our residences and among our residents, we improve the quality of life for those involved with Bethany.

We are a faith-based organization founded in 1945, and continue to be one of Western Canada’s largest voluntary, not-for-profit providers of health, housing and community services for seniors and persons with disabilities. Visit for more information.

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