Calgary·Video

$67M dementia care centre opens in southeast Calgary

The largest dementia care residential complex in southern Alberta opened Tuesday in the southeast Calgary community of Southview.

Bethany Riverview has floors broken into neighbourhoods, and neighbourhoods broken into households

The new Bethany Riverview facility, which cost $67 million to build, features the light-filled Rotary Atrium, thanks to a $1-million donation from local Rotary clubs. (Bethany Care Society)

The largest dementia care residential complex in southern Alberta opened on Tuesday in the southeast Calgary community of Southview.

The 200,000-square-foot Bethany Riverview facility cost $67 million to build. It was funded jointly by the Bethany Care Society and Alberta Health, plus capital debt financing and a $5-million fundraising campaign.

Of the 210 new beds, 120 will be dedicated to complex dementia care.

"Bethany Riverview is purpose-built with the unique needs of dementia residents in mind," the society said.

The new centre also features the light-filled Rotary Atrium, thanks to a $1-million donation from the Rotary Calgary and Area clubs.

The $67M complex uses neighbourhoods and painted households to make residents feel more at home. 1:16

Care service manager Janine Ollenberger says the centre is designed to make the surroundings feel intimate rather than institutional.

"Residents can come live here and feel like they are living in a home and not like they are living in a facility," she said.

"Each floor is broken into neighbourhoods, and our neighbourhoods are broken into households."

Bethany Riverview is a newly built, 200,000-square-foot dementia care centre in southeast Calgary. (Bethany Care Society)

Staff wear street clothes rather than uniforms, and meals are served from a residential-style kitchen after it's prepared in a larger-scale kitchen tucked away downstairs.

All of the 400-square-foot rooms have their own en suite bathrooms, Ollenberger added.

"When you have dementia, it's very hard to share your space with someone."