Bethany Retirement Community

4950 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60640

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June 27, 2011

By arjayeph

I visited this facility

This facility is truly a hidden gem. A fairly mundane brick structure on a fairly busy Chicago thoroughfaire, it is quite easy, as did we, to completely underestimate this facility before exploring it. Though in a distinctly urban environment,the 170-person facility is adjacent (attached,actually) to a small hospital with which it shares its grounds, creating a well groomed park-like area to one side of the facility; there is also a well-manicured inner courtyard, which features plants and flowers tended to by the residents, and is viewable to several common areas- including the dining room- and many of the apartments. Because the structure was built mid-century as a retirement community, it lacks any particular architectural charm as well as certain more modern features, but it is extremely well maintained and thoughtfully designed as an assisted living facility. The halls are broad and airy, practically sloped where necessary and lined with functional railings throughout. The front lobby is large and airy, and has an adjacent community room featuring a fountain and view of the garden. This room is one of several well kept common areas, which include a spacious library, impeccably-kept craft room, a smaller and comfortable communal/game room on the second floor, and an expansive auditorium, complete with a permanent raised stage. The auditorium is used for everything from building-wide celebrations to entertainment from and for the residents. Despite the facility's size and amenities, there is a genuine sense of community and warmth that larger facilities often lack Though the large and open main dining area was a bit institutional due to its large size and higher ceilings, it is bright and clean. Meals are orderd from a fairly conventional daily menu, which includes two daily selections at each meal, plus a choice of always-available standby items. If one prefers, they are welcome to eat in the smaller dining areas available on each floor (there are six residential floors) or in their room if the mood strikes. The staff was very personable, and the overall demeanor of the place was very upbeat. The list of available activities is varied and extensive and, unlike at other facilities, many are adaptable to the varying levels of competency among the residents. Though this facility is pleasant on any level, what makes it such a true gem is its value. The rates are as low as we've encountered at any quality facilty- starting around $1600/month for those not needing of any particular personal caregiving, and WELL under $3000 for those who do require basic assistance with daily activities. While these rates are low in comparison to comparable facilties, better still is the fact that the individual residences at these prices are CONSIDERABLY more spacious than any we've encountered to this point. The options include several sizes of "studio" and one-bedrooms, as well as some two bedrooms. We were shown a studio described as one of their smallest, and it was larger than almost any studio/kitchenette unit we've seen. The same went for the one-bedroom, which was dramatically less expensive than those in other facilities offering them. Though we feel that this facility merits the highest recommendation for those still capable of independent living or in need of basic assistance, it is not necessarily ideal for those who are already considerably impaired either physically or mentally. Though temporary physical impairments can easily be accommodated and additional caregivers can be brought in, neither the staff nor the facility is set up to provide continuous nursing care. For those suffering with dementia, they do have a "Savvy Circle" program with activities and care dedicated their specific needs. However comprehensive this program might be, though, it is difficult to see how a resident suffering from more advanced dementia would be able to navigate the premises without endangering or confusing themselves. In summary, this is an ideal selection for anyone still in possession of most of their faculties, especially if someone is forced to weigh costs against the quality of care. For those already requiring numerous daily care interventions, the environment here might be a bit daunting.
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About Bethany Retirement Community

Bethany Retirement Community is an assisted living facility in Chicago, IL that offers residents independent living options and daily support services. Contact Bethany Retirement Community for more details on housing, services, and rates.

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