Among the people touring and enjoying tea at Bethany Sylvan Lake Feb. 5 were Sheila Klein

Among the people touring and enjoying tea at Bethany Sylvan Lake Feb. 5 were Sheila Klein

Bethany tours offered inside look at long-term care facility

Tea and tours at Bethany Sylvan Lake seniors community offered people the chance to learn about, and explore, the long-term care facility

Tea and tours at Bethany Sylvan Lake seniors community offered people the chance to learn about, and explore, the long-term care facility, which was visited by many for the first time, Feb. 5.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize what it’s like behind the scenes,” said Bethany Care Foundation fund development associate Joanne Toller. “It’s nice because the community can come down and have a look at the facilities and see what it’s really like.”

Those who embarked on tours of the building, which currently houses 61 people, were also given the chance to learn about various programs that take place within it, such as music therapy and pastoral care.

They also saw the facility’s tub room, which is being planned for replacement in the near future.

A campaign to raise funds in order to do so is currently underway.

“It’s very old, and if you have mobility issues, to get in this tub is quite scary,” said Toller. “It’s out of date. When we built Bethany 10 years ago, the tub was used.”

The idea for Bethany Sylvan Lake originated when a group of people began raising funds for a new facility to help keep couples together when one partner required care.

“If you needed care, you were off to Ponoka, and the other partner who’s not in long-term had to travel,” said Toller. “A bunch of folks got together and started to help raise money for it, and there was a lot of community support. It was really needed.”

It now benefits from a partnership with Sylvan Lake Lodge, which is adjacent to it.

Although the two facilities are run by different organizations — Bethany Sylvan Lake by Bethany Care Society, and Sylvan Lake Lodge by Sylvan Lake Foundation — certain tasks, such as cooking and laundry, are shared.

When and if necessary, lodge residents may make the short transition from supportive living to long-term care at the neighbouring Bethany.

“We have a lot of that happening, where one spouse is in the lodge, and another spouse is in long-term care, and that’s why we’ve got a little hallway that connects us, so that you’re not separating people,” said Toller.

People interested in helping Bethany Sylvan Lake’s fundraising efforts, or who wish to find out more about the facility, may contact Toller at 403-210-4611, or joanne.toller@bethanyseniors.com.