Ecumen Detroit Lakes Receives Grant to Advance Its Dementia-Friendly Work

Ecumen Detroit Lakes is among 12 Minnesota organizations receiving grants through ACT on Alzheimer’s to help create more dementia-friendly communities.

ACT on Alzheimer’s is a volunteer-driven, statewide collaboration preparing Minnesota for the personal, social and budgetary impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are 88,000 Minnesotans age 65 and older with the disease and many thousands more with other dementias.

“As the population of Minnesota ages, it’s becoming increasingly important to build support systems for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Olivia Mastry, executive lead for ACT on Alzheimer’s and also an Ecumen board member. “Some of the most exciting innovations will emerge from this community work.

“Creating dementia-friendly communities means that caregivers are supported and people with dementia are able to live in the community and stay out of institutional care longer,” Mastry said.  “That helps everyone – families and taxpayers who pay for institutional care, employers who have workers trying to balance all the demands of caregiving, and the individuals themselves.”

Janet Green, executive director of Ecumen Detroit Lakes, said:  “We have a long history of supporting community members with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, and this generous grant gives us the ability to even further enhance our programs.  What a wonderful recognition in our 50th anniversary year serving the Detroit Lakes community.”

Green said Ecumen Detroit Lakes has had Alzheimer’s support groups for more than 15 years, and started its memory care community more than 20 years ago.  “We have a strong commitment to this work and have been in the forefront dealing with dementia care,” Green said.  “This grant will allow us to take our work to an even higher level.”

Ecumen Detroit Lakes was part of the initial round of grant recipients and initially will receive $5,800 to implement support programs.  The amount could grow to $18,000 based on the success of the programs.  For a list of communities receiving grants go to this link.

Ecumen Detroit Lakes’ grant is funded through Blue Plus (an HMO affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota), the Medica Foundation and Greater Twin Cities United Way.

More than 60 organizations are partners in ACT on Alzheimer’s.  More information is available at