Everyone wants to live independently and in their own home – to age in place. That’s the wish of all of us, for our parents and for ourselves, but sometimes health and safety concerns make that impossible. While aging in place may not be possible for every single person, Bethany believes that aging in community is. That is why Bethany Riverview, our newest care centre now under construction in SE Calgary, is such an important new project for the community. It is being built as one part of an integrated campus of care designed with healthy aging in mind.
What do we mean by campus of care? It is an intentionally designed community that provides a full range of housing options and care services for seniors. With the completion of Bethany Riverview in Calgary’s SE community of Dover, Bethany will be able to deliver a full continuum of care, supporting the important concept of aging in community where people have access to the right care at the right time in the right place.
An approach like this makes it possible for lifelong relationships in familiar surroundings to continue, even as care requirements change over time. Bethany believes that maintaining the enriching relationships of family, friends and neighbours in the same place is a vital element to aging well and so that concept is central to our campus of care called Riverview Village. Today, 1 in 8, or 550 thousand Albertans are over 65 with close to 8% of them living in care facilities. Over the next twenty years those numbers are going to grow: by 2038, 1 in 5 or 1.1 million Albertans will be over 65, and we expect the percentage of individuals requiring care to hold steady. Providing a range of care options is crucial in ensuring that all individuals in need of care are able to access the right services for them at the right time. A campus of care model creates an opportunity for someone to age in community whether they are an independent senior, or they are in need of supportive living, long term care, or complex dementia care.
One of the most important immediate functions of Bethany Riverview will be its Complex Dementia Care program. Dementia is a growing concern in Canada and around the world with more than 700,000 Canadians (including over 13,000 Calgarians) living with dementia today. Within a generation that number will triple. Even today, it would likely be hard to find someone whose life has been impacted by this disease. When an individual presents with dementia with complex behaviours it can be difficult to provide appropriate care in a regular long-term care setting. Responsive behaviours like aggression, violence and increased elopement can be present in complex dementia. Riverview will provide Southern Alberta’s only complex dementia program where individuals and their families struggling with their dementia journey can find help to enable them to live meaningful lives despite cognitive challenges.
Bethany’s Riverview Village is one of the ways that we are addressing the urgent need for more care spaces while providing a solid foundation to continue to evolve senior care in our communities, In addition to our Complex Dementia Care program, the campus of care at Riverview Village will provide affordable housing options for independent seniors and long-term care spaces for those needing more help in their daily lives. Future development of the site will see supportive living suites added to the campus. All of these housing options reside within a vibrant, welcoming community that offers a wide range of social and community events, affordable dining options, social worker support, intergenerational programming via the onsite daycare, and beautiful public use spaces. This intentionally designed community will offer solutions to financial constraints, physical and cognitive decline, and issues with loneliness and isolation. With the addition of Bethany Riverview, it will also provide a state of the art dementia program that will reduce wait times and offer more options for Albertans and their families as they navigate a dementia diagnosis.