Netherlands Reformed Congregation's Bethany Care Home near to completion
The Bethany Care Home in Norwich is a 12-unit assisted living facility located at Main Street East, next to the Netherlands Reformed Congregation, which owns and operates the care home. Residents will have their own spacious suites, a common eating area and gathering space, and the care of registered practical nurses, personal support workers and many volunteers.
Recognizing the need for somewhere to care for its elderly members, Netherlands Reformed Congregation has just about completed a years-long project to plan, fund and build the new Bethany Care Home on Main Street in Norwich.
It’s been just over a year since the ground breaking ceremony for the facility, but the work leading up to this weekend’s open house has been going on for several years.
John VanBrugge, chairman of the care home committee, explained it was more than six years ago when members of the Netherlands Reformed Congregation (NRC) began to talk about what could be done for the care of the elderly members. The idea was that those people have done so much for their families and community in the past that it was time the seniors of the congregation would be cared for in an environment that supports their faith and beliefs.
NRC purchased the five acres that was formerly the site of Moore’s Bird Seed, right next to the church building and the Rehoboth Christian School.
The last of the exterior finishes were being applied and a few tradesmen were still on site while a crew of volunteers cleaned the inside of the facility to prepare for an open house this weekend and the opening of the home – with already several residents to call it home.
Brad Joosse is the director of care at Bethany Care Home.
He said the name of the retirement home was chosen with much thought and intent. The ancient town of Bethany was located near Jerusalem and was known as a town of caring for the sick and elderly, as well as the last town were Jesus visited before the Crucifixion.
Six of the 12 units in the first phase of the retirement home will be occupied upon opening, and those residents will live in spacious fully-accessible suites with a living area, bedroom and washroom. The design is such that another 12 units could be constructed as the need arises without disruption to the operation of the care home.
Amenities include three meals per day in a common eating area, supervision, medication administration and personal care by a staff of registered practical nurses and personal support workers. A large team of volunteers is also lined up to help with activities, cooking, cleaning and other tasks.
“Our intention is to provide care right up to the end of life with support from the LHIN (Local Health Integration Network),” said Joosse.
He also said having half of the rooms full upon opening is more than he had anticipated.
“It’s overwhelming, the support,” said Joosse.
The roughly $5 million cost of the project has been entirely funded by members of the NRC with assistance from the Reformed Congregation of North America in Otterville.
Also part of the development are 12 condominium-style independent living units which are connected to the care home by an interior corridor. These units are privately purchased homes held by a not-for-profit organization called Elim Homes of Norwich. There is also room on the property to add two more duplexes as the need arises.
“Everything has gone very smoothly and we have to be thankful for it coming along as it did,” said VanBrugge.
The completion of this first phase of the Bethany Care Home is going a long way to meeting a need identified not only in the church, but society as a whole. Of the 2,100 members of the NRC, VanBrugge said there are 175 members over the age of 65.
“This is a growing need,” he said.