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Bethany Home makes more rooms private

Ecumen's Bethany Home in Alexandria has received approval from the Minnesota Department of Health to close 21 beds in its long-term care and rehabilitation center.

This will allow Bethany to reach its goal of providing all customers a private room. Bethany will keep two of its 90 rooms as double rooms for the occasional circumstance in which residents prefer having a roommate.

"One of our key tenets is honoring the people we serve, and this change allows us to honor our customers' desire for privacy when they are receiving care or undergoing physical rehabilitation," said Carol Kvidt, executive director of Bethany Community.

According to Kvidt, it also fits with Bethany Community's approach to providing the right services at the right time in the right place. That includes skilled nursing and more independent, assisted living arrangements as well as community-based services, such as adult day services.

Bud Chan, who has lived at Bethany for a couple of years, said private rooms are the best option. "It's wonderful, the way it should be, the only way it really works," he said.

Chan said he's had two roommates over the years - one was messy, one had dementia and wandered, and neither were companions Chan would have chosen to share his bathroom with. "Now I can keep my projects spread out on my work table, and still have room for my visitors," he said.

All of the rooms are now on the second floor of the care center. Bethany plans to remodel the first floor in the coming year and add assisted living apartments to the site.

"No one hopes someday to live in a care center," said Kvidt. "We'd like to empower those who are able to remain in their homes or an assisted living apartment, and continue to offer the option of a more highly skilled care environment for those with greater needs."