senior housing, senior living

AN INTERGENERATIONAL APPROACH TO SOLVING AFFORDABLE HOUSING SHORTAGE

Ecumen Breaks Ground on New Affordable Senior Living Community 11 Units Designated for Veterans Experiencing Homelessness at Ecumen’s The Hillock.

By Angie Andresen | October 26, 2021

The Hillock — Entrance, render

MINNEAPOLIS, October 26, 2021 — Addressing the real need for affordable senior housing — particularly near transit, jobs and services — Ecumen today broke ground on an affordable, 100-unit senior housing community that will include 11 units designated for veterans who are experiencing homelessness.

One of the 25 largest healthcare organizations in Minnesota, Ecumen also announced the name of this new community at the groundbreaking: The Hillock. The Hillock is scheduled to open in fall of 2022 and is the first phase in creating an 100 percent affordable, intergenerational campus at Snelling and 45th Street in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis

“This is an exciting day for us because this type of project is so central to our mission and vision that every older adult has a home with innovative services to live the life they choose,” said Shelley Kendrick, Ecumen president and CEO. “There is such a need for more affordable options for seniors, and we’re delighted to be part of the solution.”

The nonprofit, which is celebrating 160 years in 2022, has a long history of serving those in need — serving widows and orphans after the Civil War in its earliest days. It now provides many housing and service options for seniors.

“Our mission compels us to honor and serve those who need it most. Certainly, many of our veterans are in need, and this is one way we can make a difference — by designating some of these beautiful apartments for our veterans.”

The Hillock is designed to provide a safe, affordable, maintenance-free living option adjacent to public transit for Minneapolis residents 55 and older, while offering the benefits of socialization and community. Total development costs for The Hillock are $24 million. Rents are expected to range from $816 to $1,339 for studio, one bedroom or two bedroom units. Units are available to qualifying seniors at various income levels earning from, at, or below 30 percent to 60 percent of Hennepin County Area Median Income (AMI). Other unique aspects of this project include a community garden and onsite clinic, which will be open to a rotation of medical providers.

Phase two will be a 89-unit affordable family housing building with 13 units reserved to support veterans experiencing homelessness. The campus is co-developed by Ecumen and Snelling Yards Development, a joint venture between Lupe Development Partners and the Wall Companies. The two new communities will sit on a three-acre parcel that formerly housed the City of Minneapolis Public Works maintenance yard.

The intergenerational approach that will come to life with the second phase of the project has many benefits, including creating connectedness and community among different age groups. This approach also can decrease isolation and depression among seniors and helps young people understand and appreciate the aging process.

“We love being part of an intergenerational community that will give people the option to stay in their same community and neighborhood as they age.”

The Hillock - Oct. 26, 2021 groundbreaking ceremony

About Ecumen

Ecumen is a nonprofit provider, developer and operator of award-winning living spaces and innovative technology and services for older adults. Mission-driven since its founding in 1862, Ecumen’s legacy of service is a reflection of a commitment to honoring those it serves. One of the country’s largest senior housing and services providers, Ecumen is based in Shoreview, Minn., and operates properties and services in multiple states, and provides new development, management and consulting services. Housing options include cooperative living, independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care communities. Its diverse in-home and community-based services include home care, hospice, physical and occupational therapy, adult day services, technology products and an online durable goods medical store. Ecumen is a recipient of the 2020 NRC Health Customer Approved Award, a reflection of resident and family member ratings.

For more information, visit www.ecumen.org.


Kathryn Roberts

News About Kathryn Roberts, Former Ecumen President & CEO

News About Kathryn Roberts, Former Ecumen President & CEO

By Angie Andresen | Aug. 17th 2020 – 9:13am

Kathryn Roberts

Kathryn Roberts, Former Ecumen President and CEO

May 15, 1951 – August 14, 2021

We are devastated to share with you that Kathryn Roberts, Ecumen’s former president and CEO has died. She passed away on Saturday, August 14. We send our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.

Our hearts are breaking for her family and all those who knew and loved her. Kathryn was a visionary, a leader, a mentor and a friend.

“There is no overstating what Kathryn meant to Ecumen, to those we serve and to so many of us personally. 

She was a true servant leader who measured her success by her impact on others. Not only did Kathryn set an ambitious and courageous course for Ecumen to grow and to serve more people, but she was committed to inspiring and encouraging others in their careers and lives. As our current CEO emeritus, Kathryn continued to inspire people to support Ecumen to further its mission. She made such a difference and will be sorely missed.”

– Shelley Kendrick, Ecumen President and CEO


senior housing, senior living

Ecumen Pathstone opens new independent living facility

Ecumen Pathstone opens new independent living facility

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) – Latitude Independent Living has been open to residents since February, but due to the pandemic, they were not able to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new facility overlooks the Minnesota River Valley.

The brand-new building features a terrace, an entertainment area and living spaces. The building was built and designed with the thought of serving the older Mankato community.

“It has been a long time coming, we have been working on this project for a number of years really,” said Laura Templin, a senior living consultant at Ecumen Pathstone. “So to see it all come together today and to start welcoming our first occupants here has been really exciting.”

The independent living building is filling up fast with residents, which has Ecumen Pathstone optimistic about its future in Mankato.


Senior man and woman having coffee at table seen through window

Ecumen Announces Latest Advancement in Senior Care as it Celebrates its 91-Year History in Duluth

Latest Advancement in Senior Care as it Celebrates its 91-Year History in Duluth

Abxtracker Technology Designed to Improve Care and Quality of Life for Older Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | By Angie Andresen | June 24th, 2021

SHOREVIEW, Minn. – (June 24, 2021) — Throughout its 91 years in Duluth, innovation has been a hallmark of Ecumen Lakeshore’s approach to care. Today, Ecumen announced its latest advancement at a 91st anniversary celebration in Duluth.

One of the largest senior care and services providers in the country and among the 25 largest healthcare organizations in Minnesota, Ecumen announced that it has acquired abxtracker as the first technology tool in its new suite of technology solutions designed to improve quality of life and patient/resident outcomes. Ecumen is marketing this product to senior providers on a national level.

Developed by two seasoned, Duluth-based senior care pharmacists, abxtracker is an antibiotic and infection control tracking software designed for long term care and assisted living, and aligned with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations. The technology allows providers to electronically track antibiotic use in real time, with the ultimate objective of reducing the use of antibiotics in senior care.

Matt Just, director of clinical data solutions for Ecumen, was one of the developers of this software. “I had continually seen the need for a system to support antibiotic stewardship in the senior living space. We know that the overuse and over prescription of antibiotics can lead to negative outcomes, including increasing bacterial resistance,” Just said.

Beyond antibiotics, the abxtracker technology has expanded to infection control surveillance, which allows clinical teams to identify infection trends in real time and implement precautions to reduce the chance of spreading infections. The abxtracker technology has the ability to track COVID-19, as well as other viral, fungal or bacterial infections such as influenza and norovirus among residents and staff.

“This is such an exciting development for us,” said Shelley Kendrick, Ecumen president and CEO. “We are constantly working to enhance the lives of the older adults that we serve in our communities. This technology is addressing a real issue for seniors while at the same time, it allows clinical caregivers to focus on direct patient care.”

“Ecumen’s rich history is, in part, rooted in our value of innovation,” Kendrick said. “The one constant in our industry is change, and over the past nearly 160 years, we have evolved to better meet the needs of those we serve. Technology enhancements like this allow us to not only better serve Ecumen’s residents, but also serve more people — wherever they live.”

About Ecumen Lakeshore

Ecumen Lakeshore began in 1930 as the Lakeshore Home for the Aged. It was a traditional 14-bed nursing home owned and managed by the Board of Social Ministry, a nonprofit that later became Ecumen. In the late 1990s, Ecumen transformed Lakeshore into a leading regional center for contemporary senior living and care. The new campus — constructed in 2005 — has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to caring for older adults, transforming itself from a nursing home to a state-of-the-art senior community offering a full continuum of services including short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing care, outpatient therapy, assisted living, memory care, independent living, home care, hospice and other services. Ecumen Lakeshore is one of Duluth’s largest employers with nearly 250 team members who serve more than 2,200 people annually.

In addition to Lakeshore, Ecumen’s footprint in the Duluth area includes Zvago Lake Superior, an independent cooperative living community; Mount Royal Pines III, and Lakeland Shores. In total, Ecumen serves nearly 2,400 people and employs more than 300 team members from this key regional center.

 

About Ecumen

Ecumen is a nonprofit provider, developer and operator of award-winning living spaces and innovative technology and services for older adults. Mission-driven since its founding in 1862, Ecumen’s legacy of service is a reflection of a commitment to honoring those it serves. One of the country’s largest senior housing and services providers, Ecumen is based in Shoreview, Minn., and operates properties and services in multiple states, and provides new development, management and consulting services. Housing options include cooperative living, independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care communities. Its diverse in-home and community-based services include home care, hospice, physical and occupational therapy, adult day services, technology products and an online durable goods medical store. Ecumen is a recipient of the 2020 NRC Health Customer Approved Award, a reflection of resident and family member ratings. For more information, visit ecumen.org.


Zvago Cooperative Living is expected to open in late 2022 in Long Lake. (Graphic submitted)

Zvago introduces newest location in Long Lake

Zvago introduces newest location in Long Lake

Zvago Long Lake, a new 57-unit OneTwoOne Development cooperative which overlooks Long Lake and is expected to open in late 2022, is now accepting reservations. Ecumen and Lifestyle Communities, LLC, created OneTwoOne Development to offer consumer-focused boutique cooperatives for adults with active lifestyles.

“We’re committed to creating exceptional living options with personalized design in locations that connect with people’s interests and lifestyles,” said Tim Nichols, owner, Lifestyle Communities. “Zvago Long Lake does just that in a beautiful setting.”

For adults age 62 and better, Zvago Long Lake offers an amenity-rich community, including a private pickleball court, makerspace, great room, wellness studio, entertainment suite, lakeside terrace, rooftop patio, guest suite for visiting friends and family, electric car charging station, and more. In addition to the nearly 8,000 square feet of indoor common space, Zvago has easy access to dining, shopping and outdoor recreation including Long Lake, Nelson Lakeside Park, Baker Park Reserve, several revered golf courses and the Luce Line Trail.

Each Zvago community is designed to incorporate unique elements of the area into the development. At Zvago Long Lake, the community spaces are designed with inspiration from Long Lake and the surrounding area. With 10 unique one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom and two-bedroom plus den floor plans, each home can be personalized to reflect the owner’s unique tastes and style. Home sizes range from 1,003 – 1,976 square feet.

Unlike the more traditional options including condos, townhouses or rentals, Zvago Long Lake’s cooperative community is designed to give owners the benefits of ownership in a vibrant community, without the hassle of maintenance. Cost advantages of co-op living includes a high level of owner financial security.

“Our members are active, and Zvago Long Lake’s location will make access to common conveniences, recreation and entertainment easy, in a very walkable community,” said Dena Meyer, Ecumen vice president, living spaces and partner services. “We’re excited to bring this new housing option to the west metro.”

Senior cooperatives are communities where residents buy shares of the corporation that owns the building — an ownership structure that offers financial advantages similar to traditional home ownership, along with lower costs of entry than many condominiums or townhomes. Plus, cooperative owners have a strong say in shaping their community and how it operates.

Zvago Long Lake is located at 1948 Wayzata Boulevard. Long Lake is next door to Wayzata, Orono and Plymouth, and is only 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. For more information, visit zvagoliving.com or call 952-206-2006.


Alvin-Roath

Alvin Roath Named as Health Care Hero in Twin Cities Business

Alvin Roath

Corporate Facilities Director, Ecumen



DESCRIPTION

Some Health Care Heroes don’t wear scrubs or lab coats; instead, they’re working behind the scenes to create a safe environment for those on the front lines and the people in their care. Alvin Roath is one of them. In addition to his role as facilities director, in which he works to safeguard the residents and team members at each of Ecumen’s sites, he assumed an additional role in 2020: incident commander, where he helped the organization prepare for and manage Covid-19. Roath’s background in health care emergency preparedness provided a strong foundation, and within days, he had identified all necessary elements and roles and gathered the team twice daily to talk through action plans.


Tillie Dybing

A 107-year-old Minnesota woman beats Covid-19

A 107-year-old Minnesota woman beats Covid-19

(CNN) — Tillie Dybing is a survivor.

At the age of 107, the Minnesota woman recently beat Covid-19 after being diagnosed this fall, according to officials at the Ecumen Detroit Lakes community home, where she has lived since 2015.

This isn’t the first pandemic Dybing has lived through. Born in 1913, she was almost 5 years old when the 1918 flu pandemic hit her family farm in North Dakota, she told CNN affiliate KARE.

“My folks got sick and they were in bed, and I’d run into the bed and my Dad said, ‘Can’t you find another place to run,'” she said.

Throughout her life, Dybing endured other losses, including the deaths of several siblings in infancy and her husband in her 80s. She is also a cancer survivor, having beaten uterine cancer at the age of 95, KARE reported.

Now, she has survived two viral pandemics. The only Covid-19 symptoms Dybing says she had was fatigue.

“Nothing in her lungs. They said she doesn’t have a fever. She just slept all the time,” Tillie’s daughter Susan Berke told KARE.

Dybing recently returned to her apartment at the facility after spending a few weeks away from the general population, Ecumen officials tell CNN. They added that they are happy she has recovered and thanked her family for trusting them with her care.

“We continue to be so grateful to see that smile and hear her infectious laugh each day,” Ecumen Detroit Lakes posted on their Facebook page. “She is such a blessing to our community!”


Senior man and woman having coffee at table seen through window

Ecumen Announces New Housing Projects

Ecumen Announces New Housing Projects

Growing to Serve More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | By Sue Sorensen Lee | Dec. 10th, 2020

SHOREVIEW, Minn. – (Dec.10, 2020) – Minnesota-based Ecumen, one of the country’s largest nonprofit providers of housing and services for older adults, announced that in 2020, it has opened, launched or moved forward with 12 new owned or managed housing projects in the Midwest, with more on the horizon.

“Our goal is to continue to grow to serve more people through our housing, compassionate healthcare services, and related business lines,” says Ecumen president and CEO Shelley Kendrick. Ecumen’s differentiated model reflects its focus on safety and wellness, and the importance of individually defined holistic health. The organization is including elements of well building design in its new properties.

Ecumen’s projects represent an expansion of more than 975 apartments for older adults. “I’m especially pleased that three of these new offerings are affordable housing,” says Kendrick, who has highlighted affordability as an ongoing housing priority for the organization.

New Ecumen-Owned Properties

    • Ecumen Pathstone Latitude – Mankato, Minn. – February 2021
      • Expansion of Ecumen’s Pathstone campus
      • 56 new independent living apartments in this new building located on the bluffs of the
        Minnesota River – an extension of the large, full continuum of care campus
      • The new building will also house 24 new memory care apartments (Ecumen Pathstone
        Landing)
    • Snelling Yards Senior Housing – Minneapolis, Minn. – summer 2022
      • New development: 100 affordable independent living senior housing apartments
      • 11 apartments are dedicated to homeless veterans
    • Edina Affordable Housing – suburb of Minneapolis, Minn. – summer 2023
      • Owner, Ecumen and Lupe Development Partners
      • New development: 118 affordable housing apartments

 

Ecumen Managed Properties

      • Mt. Royal Pines III – Duluth, Minn. – April 2020
        • Existing community: 54 assisted living apartments
      • Rose Senior Living Beachwood – Beachwood, Ohio – June 2020
        • New development: 174 unit blended building – independent living, assisted living, memory
          care
      • St. Croix Forest Heights – St. Croix Falls, Wis. – Nov. 2020
        • Existing community: 30 affordable independent living apartments
      • River Town Heights – St.Croix Falls, Wis. – Nov. 2020
        • Existing community: 25 affordable independent living apartments
      • CedarStone – Cedar Falls, Iowa – early 2022
        • New development: 120 carefree living, assisted living and memory care apartments
      • Quartet – Bettendorf, Iowa – early 2022
        • New development: 120 carefree living, assisted living and memory care apartments

 

New Cooperative Living Properties

    • Zvago Lake Superior – Duluth, Minn. – Oct. 2020
      • Overlooking Lake Superior, near Ecumen Lakeshore campus
      • 51 units
    • Zvago Stillwater – Stillwater, Minn. – early 2022
      • Located in downtown Stillwater
      • 48 units
    • Zvago Long Lake – Long Lake, Minn. – fall 2022
      • Overlooking Long Lake
      • 57 units

 

About Ecumen

Founded in 1862 as a Lutheran social service agency, nonprofit Ecumen provides housing choices, compassionate healthcare, and innovative services to older adults. One of the largest providers in the country, Ecumen is recognized for its innovative programming and individualized, person-centered care. The company is a recipient of the 2020 NRC Health Customer Approved Award, reflecting the ratings provided by the residents and family members it serves. Based in Shoreview, Minn., Ecumen operates nearly 100 properties and services in more than 40 communities in multiple states. Housing options include independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation long-term care communities, and long-term care communities, in addition to offering cooperative living, home and community-based services, hospice, and a durable medical equipment store. The company also provides consulting services in management, marketing, and development. For more information, visit us on Facebook or at ecumen.org.


abiitan exterior

Senior Living – Creating Community in Spite of COVID

Senior Living – Creating Community in Spite of COVID

If you have spent much time around Mill City, you might have noticed a gorgeous, boxy building between the Stone Arch Bridge and the Guthrie Theater. It is nice to look at, with a dramatic black trim that starkly contrasts the tan and grey brick, the slate-colored siding, and the many recessed balconies. It looks like any other upscale condominium or apartment building – which is not far from the truth. This is Abiitan: a residential living space for people who are 55 and older

I was lucky enough to spend a little time with Sue Lee, the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer of Ecumen, Abiitan’s parent company, and she gave me the run down on this stunning facility. We talked about everything: the facility itself, the way that Abiitan is dealing with COVID on both operational and personal levels, and Lee’s high opinion of Abiitan’s residents.

It should not surprise you to learn that the inside of Abiitan is every bit as nice as the outside. The building includes comfortable, contemporary, independent living spaces as well as state-of-the-art assisted living and memory care facilities. Abiitan truly has something for everyone. The property, which opened in 2016, feels modern, accessible, and trendy. Its bar/restaurant, café, and gym, are respectively classy, cozy, and full of high-tech machines.

Abiitan’s fresh aesthetic alongside Ecumen’s long history as a successful care provider makes for a winning combination. Ecumen “has a legacy of more than 150 years…[and is ] one of the country’s largest nonprofit providers of housing and healthcare services,” Lee says. The organization is “committed to exceptional care, advocacy for those it serves and employs, equality, and inclusivity.”

Of course, neither its beautiful facilities nor its historic legacy could shelter Abiitan’s staff and residents from the ramifications of COVID, but because Ecumen took the pandemic seriously from the beginning, when I ask Lee how the pandemic impacted residents, her first thought is of local business closures.

“Each of Ecumen’s communities has a long-standing commitment to helping residents stay connected,” Lee explains “At Abiitan, those connections sometimes reach beyond the walls to downtown arts and cultural centers, dining and recreational activities. Those activities outside the community have been curtailed during this period.” Residents, many of whom specifically chose Abiitan because of its close proximity to favorite Minneapolis touchstones, have been sad to see favorite dining establishments close and nearby theaters go dark during this time.

From the beginning of the pandemic, Abiitan has worked hard to provide safe opportunities for residents to engage with artistic, cultural, and educational opportunities that are no longer available in the surrounding area. “Abiitan’s wonderful community partners have found innovative ways to bring music, lectures, classes and other opportunities to residents virtually, via technology,” Lee says, “Across all of Ecumen’s communities, more than 23,000 virtual and in-person visits have been scheduled with the help of technology. The resilient spirit of our community members has been completely inspiring.”

Abiitan has also helped residents maintain social connections safely through the pandemic. “Outdoor visits from friends and family were enjoyed all summer and through the fall and we introduced a Connection Station, a 3-sided plexiglass booth that allowed those residents who have challenges wearing masks the opportunity to see their loved ones.”

In addition to the visits from friends and relatives who do not live at Abiitan, Lee has noticed the Abiitan community growing stronger. “We’ve seen that this time has brought residents together more than ever before – as they reach out by phone to connect and support one another,” she says, “One group of independent living residents has regularly sent beautiful, hand-crafted cards to residents in memory care, to remind them that they are part of a caring community. There are so many innovative ways to safely share stories and make new friendships.”

The tight-knit community at Abiitan is a direct result of the residents, who Lee is routinely impressed by. “We have a truly outstanding community at Abiitan – it really is a place where interesting people do interesting things,” Lee says, “We have socially conscious residents…Some are artists and educators, others come from business.” Abiitan is an exceptional place to live, not because of the amenities, but because of the strong community built by the hands and hearts of each resident.

As we wrapped up our conversation, Lee made a point to remind me how important it is for everyone to stay connected to the people they love. Residents at Abiitan are already excelling at giving the “gift of connections”, as Lee calls it. Giving that gift is something that the rest of us should strive to do for our family and friends as well.

We can all benefit from Lee’s final words of advice: “Stay safe and stay connected.”


Lupe Development Partners is moving forward on two rental projects aimed at low-income renters: An 111-unit building that opened on Lake Street in Minneapolis, shown above, and a senior rental in Edina.

Developer moves ahead with Lake Street, Edina apartment projects

Developer moves ahead with Lake Street, Edina apartment projects

Amid pandemic, apartments in Minneapolis, Edina target low-income tenants.

Twin Cities-based Lupe Development Partners has moved forward on two rental projects aimed at low-income renters: an 111-unit building that opened recently on Lake Street in Minneapolis and a senior rental building in Edina that’s in its infancy.

Both projects come at a challenging time for low-income renters. Though vacancy rates for market-rate rentals are on the rise in much of the metro and rents are flat or falling in some areas, wait lists persist for the most-affordable units.

To help meet that demand, Lupe is proceeding with additional phases of that Lake Street project, and on Monday the developer participated in a virtual community meeting where people who live near the Edina project will discuss its plans to build 118 rentals for low-income, older adults on a site that’s owned by the Edina Housing Foundation near Southdale Center in Edina.

“This project will be ideal for individuals who want to remain in Edina after retirement,” said Steve Minn, vice president and chief financial manager of Minneapolis-based Lupe Development Partners, in statement. “This area is rich in services, restaurants, shopping, transit and other essentials to keep senior residents connected to their community. It’s a perfect match with the amenities we plan to bring to the development.”

Lupe will partner with Ecumen, a nonprofit that specializes in managing low-income senior housing. The team was selected last month to develop and manage the proposed project at 4040 W. 70th St. in Edina. It would include one- and two-bedroom units with rents ranging from $650 to $1,600, making it affordable to seniors with annual household incomes ranging from $22,000 to $58,000 per year.

“This property will be a wonderful opportunity for residents to remain actively connected with all that they love in this special community as they explore new interests and build new friendships,” said Shelley Kendrick, president and CEO of Ecumen, in a statement.

Amenities would include a fitness center, community room with kitchen, business center, below-grade parking, a package and mail center, outdoor garden beds and a green roof. Walking paths would connect to the city’s trail system. The team has just begun the development planning and approval process and is still seeking financing for construction. If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2022.

The announcement of the Edina project followed the opening of Lake Street Dwelling, a new 111-unit rental building at 410 W. Lake St. in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. That six-story building is one of three buildings that Lupe plans to build as part of a mixed-income redevelopment project.

Residents, who began moving in on Nov. 1, must earn $30,000 to $42,000 a year. There will also have units reserved for veterans who have dealt with homelessness. Those veterans will receive services and support via a partnership between Hennepin County and the nearby Ballentine VFW Post 246.

“It’s a tough time right now in our community,” said Winston Kettle, VFW Post 246 quartermaster, in a statement. “And we’re looking forward to better and brighter days ahead when we hope the residents of Lake Street Dwelling will visit for a meal, a drink, or some entertainment.”

On an adjacent site, construction is already underway of a 135-unit market-rate building at 500 W. Lake St. which will later be joined by a third building that will have another 95 income-restricted rentals at 550 W. Lake St.