The name, Bethania, is derived from the palm-trees which grew in the residence of Lazarus and his sisters. That village has been described as “remarkably beautiful, the perfection of retirement and repose, of seclusion and lovely peace.”

My connection with Bethania Personal Care Home goes back to my childhood in its original setting of St. Andrews on the Red. Our Sunday School picnics and races were held yearly on the grounds every June and we would sing for the residents in the mansion used for the first Bethania care home.

My Dad’s aunt, Katharina Andres, was a resident in the 70’s in the present building and on my wedding we visited in full wedding day dress for pictures with her as part of our special day.

During a strike my Dad, John Pauls who had worked as an orderly at the Deer Lodge Veteran’s Hospital, volunteered to help with the residents until things were settled.

Church services as an accompanist for the church choir including services at Bethania were a regular part of my life

I also played duets with Henriette Schellenberg during her German sing a-longs for the residents.  As well, my piano students have performed recitals at Bethania as a community service to the residents over the years.

Now that my Dad (at 106 years) has been a resident for 6 years I have seen the very real and sincere service that Bethania provides for its residents.  Bethania is a community of administrators, staff and volunteers that try to provide an all-encompassing setting for its residents.  They work diligently with empathy to provide support for the physical needs of the residents. There is a high standard set for providing each person with as personal and helpful a setting as they can manage.  Anyone you meet in the hallways greet you with openness, warmth and most often by first names that create a feeling of home in a large establishment.

The recreation and spiritual staff are readily available to chat and discuss issues and ideas of what can be done to create a settled and comforting environment. Residents’ activities are structured to provide emotional, imaginative and creative support that enhance the sense of community and connectivity within the building. I have found that the care providers at Bethania are dedicated people who many times go beyond just the expected job descriptions.

Bethania is well named and certainly tries, as much as is possible, to capture the essence of a place of repose in retirement.