Over the past six years, I regularly visited several close relatives during their stay at Bethania. My visitation of loved ones came to an end when my dear aunt passed away in January 2022. Whenever I drive past Bethania, I miss turning into the parking lot and going in to see my loved ones and the many other residents and staff who became friends. I also enjoyed bringing Sunday morning services, as a member of Douglas Mennonite Church.
Bethania’s motto of “faithfully serving seniors with heartfelt care” is lived out by all employees and volunteers. After each visit, I left Bethania without concern. I knew my loved ones would receive the best care possible.
I recall Chaplain Ferd Funk telling me before my first relative moved into Bethania that she could be busy from morning till evening. That was true. The many activities stimulated spiritual growth, artistic abilities, the love for all kinds of music, the love of nature -both inside and outside, the love for God’s creatures (cats, fish and birds were often places we stopped to visit), the growth of friendships, old and new…there is more much one could add to the list of ways that Bethania focuses on maintaining and developing a sense of meaning and purpose in lives of the residents as well as a sense of community for the residents and their families.
The architect who designed Bethania was brilliant and Bethania was fortunate to purchase land that allowed it to be built on one level. Residents who are independently mobile can easily visit their friends on the various wings. Hallways are wide with many corners designed as gathering places. The satellite and main dining areas are spacious and open. Residents with various feeding needs can be assisted in a relaxed environment. The food is cooked on site and is delicious! The Chapel is large, inspiring and open, allowing residents easy access any time of the day. Services are held several times each week in English and/or German. The familiar songs, the spoken words and the overhead images are designed to nurture the spiritual health of the elderly. I am so glad this aspect of care, which is essential to sustaining the well-being of those who are in a phase of physical decline, is independently supported at Bethania.
The recreation department ensures there is a happy and celebratory vibe at Bethania. I loved attending birthday parties, Canada Day events, bowling, painting classes etc. and in particular, the large events as when all families come to Bethania to celebrate Dankest.
Each time I said farewell to my loved ones, I was so impressed that staff from all over the facility came to say their goodbyes. This speaks to the fact that our loved ones are precious and are loved by the staff at Bethania. May God richly bless the staff for their dedication to the care of our loved ones- body, mind and spirit.
Kathleen Rempel Boschman