A foundation that serves seniors at long-term care and supportive living facilities in Airdrie, Didsbury, and Cochrane has been recognized by the Government of Alberta for its work supporting seniors through the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Bethany Care Foundation, headquartered in Calgary, is one of nine organizations, businesses, and individuals who were recognized recently in a virtual ceremony with a 2020 Minister's Seniors Service Award hosted by Alberta Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon.  

The Bethany Foundation was selected in the organization category and was one of more than 100 nominees, the most since 2007.

Since March 2020, the foundation has raised over $500,000 to support the fight against COVID-19.  This funding helped the foundation provide iPads to facilitate virtual visits between residents and families, a smart television, social isolation kits for residents, and seven portable touch screen units for sensory programming.

The foundation realized that it needed to come up with creative ways to help residents stay socially connected and utilized things like photo name tags for staff and wipeable signs for guests so they could share birthday and anniversary wishes.

The foundation worked to bridge the digital distance and to help seniors feel real connections and also rallied the community to share words of encouragement with seniors through lawn signs, messages on social media and at their sites, demonstrating its mission of creating caring communities.

While presenting the awards, Minister Pon said, "In the middle of a worldwide pandemic, Albertans stepped up to support seniors. The stories of this year’s Minister’s Seniors Service Award recipients make me very proud to be an Albertan. Congratulations to the outstanding recipients, and thank you for investing your time, energy, and resources to support seniors."

The virtual awards ceremony took place on Dec. 15.  

The Bethany Care Foundation was established in 2004 as the fundraising arm of Bethany Care Society. The Society operates Bethany Airdrie, Bethany Cochrane, and Bethany Didsbury.