By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A place where people go to live
Placeholder Image

Few people can say that their job is also their daily source of inspiration.  Julie De Araujo is one of these lucky few.

The Director of Development for Bethany Home senior community in Ripon, De Araujo has fully adopted her work’s mission of Christian love, a fact which is evident from the second you enter her office.  Bethany Home, started in 1963 by local church and community leaders, remains today a uniquely Christian environment in which seniors of all creeds can live assured of both independence and care.

Julie De Araujo and the Bethany staff feel a moral obligation to provide for seniors in their community.  As De Araujo explains, with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation there are now about 10,000 people turning 65 years old every day. Seven out of 10 people over age 65 will need care in one way or another.  At Bethany Home there are five different levels of care and independence ranging from fully independent apartment communities to 24 hour nursing.  Covering 22 total acres of land, the span of Bethany is inspiring in itself.

Julie De Araujo didn’t find her way to working at Bethany Home by chance.  As she tells me, Bethany “has been a part of my life since I was a little girl.”  When she was younger, her mother was the Director of Staff Development supervising and training staff.  De Araujo remembers how, on Sundays before church, her father would drive up to the front of Bethany for his wife to fix Julie’s hair which he, as a father, had decided he couldn’t handle.  Throughout her school years De Araujo remembers visiting Bethany with classmates to sing Christmas carols and do crafts. And her own grandparents were all residents at one time or another.  Now that her own children are grown, De Araujo has been working at Bethany for almost 13 years.

This strong family fabric is reverberated through each step of Bethany Home.  Immersed in the Ripon community, Bethany feels like just another part of the neighborhood.  As Julie De Araujo explains, “People don’t feel they come here to die. They come here to live”.  A community in and of itself, Bethany has such diverse activities as group outings to Yosemite National Park and water fitness classes at the campus’s therapeutic pool.  Every resident has the chance to feel connected not only to other seniors, but with the outer community as well, an opportunity not always possible with more institutional-like care.

The staff is also strongly involved in the family atmosphere.  Even De Araujo as Director of Development tries to get up from her desk once or twice a day to interact with residents.  For her, the common Christian thread and supportive environment at Bethany have made an unalterable impression.  “There is seldom a day when I leave here when I don’t feel inspired in some way”, she says with a smile on her face.  Julie De Araujo, like so many residents, has found a lasting home and happiness with Bethany Home.