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Bethany Life offers a full continuum of care for older adults. Our services include At-Home wellness and education, skilled care, assisted living, independent living, and long-term care. Located in Story City, Iowa (a short drive from Ames), Bethany Life has been a part of the community since 1914.
Bethany Life has grown and transitioned into the region’s most comprehensive resource for senior living and healthcare services. Innovative thinking extends to partnering with community organizations, hospitals, families, and residents to help guide each older adult in his or her personal journey through life. Non-profit and faith-based, Bethany Life serves all populations, regardless of financial position.
Caring for others with a Christian focus of hope, wellness, and compassion.
Transforming the aging experience by providing comprehensive and innovative services wherever you call home.
Community, Service, Empathy, and Innovation.
Owned by 24 area Lutheran, Methodist, and Catholic Churches, Bethany Life has been ministering to seniors for more than 100 years. Since its founding in 1914, Bethany Life has grown from a hospital and sanitarium to become a regionally recognized resource for comprehensive innovative aging services. The following are significant events in our history!
1913 – Construction started on the Story City Old People’s Home and Hospital.
1914 – Construction was completed with rooms for 84 patients. The hospital section was closed in 1947, as a new hospital was being built in another part of town.
1963 – There was a reorganization and 30 congregations of the Des Moines Conference of the ALC banded together to for the Bethany Manor Corporation.
1967 – A new nursing unit was added to the original building that accommodated 33 residents. Construction also included the multipurpose room in the north end of the building.
1977– The 1977 addition was construction that accommodated 129 residents on two floors. This additional also included the main lobby/office area and dining room. At this time the original building was torn down due to fire hazards and lack of elevator access throughout.
1984 – Cedar Place was constructed to provide 50 affordable independent living apartments.
1990 – A 17 bed memory care unit was constructed on the east side, along with the Chapel and an addition to the back of the dining room.
1999 – The Bethany Manor Foundation was created and Bethany Manor becomes affiliated with Mary Greeley Medical Center.
2000 – Renovations were completed to house a Head Start Preschool program in the 1967 addition. Fourteen children were served at any one time (this has since closed due to Federal funding).
2001 – A second 17 bed memory care unit was constructed on the north side of the building. At this time 17 of the existing beds in the 1967 addition were de-licensed so that our bed count remained at 180.
2002 – Timberland Village was constructed with 24 assisted living apartments and 36 independent living apartments in three connected buildings.
2003 – Construction began on Twin Homes on the Timberland Village campus. Currently we have 12 units that serve independent seniors wanting care free living.
2004 – Bethany Manor becomes licensed as a Continuing Care Retirement Community.
2005 – The Affordables store opened in the Scandia Center June 3 for Scandinavian Days, and the grand opening happened June 18. In addition, renovations were completed at Cedar Place on 24 apartments to serve affordable assisted living clients.
2009 – Bethany Life Home Services began providing private duty home care services to those in our continuum and within a 25 mile radius of Story City. In addition, renovations were completed on a unit dedicated to serving those who need skilled services to get well and go home. This became the transitional care unit.
2010 – The Bethany Manor Foundation purchased the building at 630 Pennsylvania Avenue and moved the Affordables store.
2012 – A third 18-bed memory care unit was opened following renovations to first floor C hall, which became Julia’s Place.
2013 – Bethany Manor’s name changes to Bethany Life. In addition, Bethany Life launches LifeChoices® at Bethany and Bethany Life Home Services was re-branded to be Bethany at Home.
2014 – Bethany Life celebrates 100th anniversary (June 30, 2014) and construction begins on renovations for Households.
2015 – A momentous change in the culture known as The Household Model was introduced.
2016 – Bethany Manor is now known as The Households of Bethany. Ten households were completed and open throughout the year, including a new transitional care household, LifeBridge.
2016 – Main Street opened, including Tom & Stevie’s Bistro, The Beauty Shop, The Lund Library, and the Family Room.
2017 – New construction and renovations were completed after two years including a therapy pool.
Only a few short minutes from Ames, Story City is a lively and thriving community offering a quality mix of retailers, restaurants, industries, and service businesses, as well as a variety of year-round festivals and events. Families, volunteers, businesses, and community organizations work together to compliment the exceptional school system, dynamic employment market, beautiful surroundings, diverse recreational opportunities, and friendly people. Story City offers a full calendar of activities that highlight assets of the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents and visitors. Distinctive features like the 1936 Swinging Bridge, 1913 Story Theatre/Grand Opera House, 1903 Bartlett Museum and Carriage House, and the 1913 Herschell-Spillman Antique Carousel offer a unique glimpse into Story City’s history and preservation of small town life.