Ecumen Brooks, a 50-unit senior housing and services community in Owatonna, Minn., has opened a new secure memory care area.

Ecumen Brooks, located at 2480 St. Paul Road, was renovated over the past six months to create the memory care apartments. “We added the memory care neighborhood so our residents can continue to live here if their care needs increase,” said  Executive Director Amanda Beavens. “Also, we will now be better able to serve the care needs of the entire Steele County area.”

The new memory care area is a 12-unit secured hallway with three studio apartments and nine one-bedroom apartments, along with a community dining room, living room, kitchen and a secured outdoor patio overlooking flower gardens and a pond. Each unit has its own bathroom and shower.  Numerous services are offered,  including meals, activities, laundry service and medication management.

Beavens said as people live longer, the incidence of memory loss and dementia is rapidly increasing. “Based on current trends, we expect the need for memory care to increase in the years to come,” she said. “We created more capacity to serve our current and future residents who require a higher level of care.”

Ecumen Brooks, which opened 16 years ago, offers independent and assisted living, as does its sister site, Ecumen Countryside at 650 El Dorado St. SE.