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Cottages in demand
Bethany Board looking at expansion possibility
Longtime friends of the Bethany Community and representatives of Greg McKenzie Builders, contractor for The Cottages at Bethany, left to right, Julia Hilson, Greg McKenzie Jr., Ruthie Peterson McKenzie and Greg McKenzie, attend the Feb. 2 open house.

Since The Cottages at Bethany opened in January as an extension of the Lodge at Bethany in the direction of independent living for seniors, seven of the eight available cottages have been leased and occupied.

“The remaining one is certainly open for lease,” Lodge at Bethany CEO Becky Dasher Livingston said in an email last week.

In addition, the model unit, Cottage 5, remains available “for interested folks to see what it looks like when furnished,” she said. It is a ninth cottage, not for lease, and now serves as the headquarters of the complex.

The single-story cottages feature open floor plans, each with a fully-equipped kitchen and laundry room with stainless steel appliances, a 320-square-foot enclosed garage, a coffered ceiling in the living area, large windows and a medical alert system and camera monitoring system for resident security.

Independent living

While fitting with the aesthetics and mission of The Lodge at Bethany, the Independent Living Cottages are designed for residents who can, as the name says, live independently, without the assistance available to residents of The Lodge itself.

“Residents who come to live at The Cottages are in fact independent living status as opposed to assisted living,” Livingston wrote.

The Lodge, she noted, “is the only licensed Assisted Living Community in Bulloch County” while The Cottages, as independent living units, are not licensed to offer healthcare services.

But the Independent Living Cottages “remain a part of the senior community of Bethany and thus have access to the wellness center, theater, activities, and meals at The Lodge if they desire to do so,” Livingston added.

Cottage residents also have priority for entry into The Lodge, when and if they need or desire to enter the assisted-living home for healthcare needs.

“Since The Lodge has a waiting list, this is an important advantage,” Livingston said.

The Cottages will potentially have a waiting list as well.

“We do have several individuals who have expressed an interest in being placed on the waiting list as they are awaiting the sale of their home or they are ‘not quite ready’ to move to Independent Living (The Cottages) at this time,” Livingston said.

Her direct phone number is (912) 690-6060 and email for potential residents or family members.

Future expansion

The board of The Lodge at Bethany has now engaged local engineering firm Maxwell Reddick and Associates to complete a master plan in upcoming weeks.

In it, the engineers have been asked to consider the possibility of adding more cottages, in further phases, on the existing campus, Livingston said.

“We do have approximately 40 acres that remain for future expansion and development,” she said.

Construction of the cottages already marked a milestone in the Lodge at Bethany’s vision to be a leader in senior care in Georgia, Board of Trustees Chairman Edwin E. Akins said in a press release before the Feb. 2 open house. City of Statesboro, Bulloch County and local business leaders joined Bethany leaders and supporters and Greg McKenzie Builders, contractor, in celebrating the opening of the cottages. 

“This has been the hope and desire of Bethany for many years,” Akins said. “As we embark on a new direction for Bethany with The Cottages, we believe this will be an extension of quality and exceptional care for those who reside with us in a different setting.”

Six cottages had already been leased before the ceremony.

The Lodge at Bethany opened in January 2016 as a 44,000-square-foot complex with 24 units of traditional assisted living and 24 units within a secured memory care portion. It is licensed by the Georgia Department of Community Health as an Assisted Living Community for up to 60 residents.

Other local facilities for senior living are licensed in different categories, such as personal care homes.

Both The Cottages and the Lodge carry on the mission of a not-for-profit, faith-based organization founded by the Primitive Baptist denomination. 

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