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Bethany event celebrates past success, peeks into future

Ecumen's Bethany Home hosted nearly 50 Alexandria area community and business leaders for lunch with Ecumen's CEO, Kathryn Roberts, on Thursday, April 15.

The event honored the progress of the last decade at Bethany Home and looked into the future as well.

Ecumen is one of the country's leading innovators in providing senior housing and services, with housing communities in more than 40 cities, nearly 4,000 employees and 10,000 customers.

"This was an opportunity to celebrate with many of the people who have helped us transform and add new services over the last 10 years," said Carol Kvidt, executive director of Bethany Community, "And it provided an opportunity to look ahead at the next decade as we develop new ways to empower seniors to stay and live fully in a community that they love."

"Ecumen" is derived from the Greek term for "home," which is at the heart of Ecumen's mission, to create home for older adults, wherever they choose to live.

"Our mission can't be defined solely by bricks and mortar," Roberts said. "We seek to empower more people with services to remain independent and living life on their terms. Aging is a major opportunity for us to build upon the proud legacy here and help contribute to an even greater quality of life in Alexandria."

As part of that focus, Bethany has recently begun offering a new "voice care" technology for rehabilitation patients who are "graduating" and returning home.

This Bethany VoiceCare works through a person's home phone, with connections placed throughout the house. At any time, the user can check in for reassurance or any safety concerns they might have, and ask questions - with a live person on the other end of the line.

"It really helps not only the client, but also the client's family to feel confident about returning home after a stay in rehab," according to Kvidt.

Other services Bethany makes available to the larger community include a senior fitness center, independent housing and assisted living apartments with services, adult day services, subacute (rehab) and care center.