Changing Aging Blog

Year in Review: Ecumen's 2014 Milestones are Changing Aging
Date: Jan 2nd, 2015 1:33pm


Ecumen Communications

As we reflect on 2014, one thing stands out – Ecumen really is “Changing Aging.” Our innovative spirit, hard work and great partnerships kept Ecumen in the news, but our greatest success was making life better for our customers, their families and our employees. From the Changing Aging Blog, here’s a roundup of the top news of 2014:

Ecumen Awakenings in the National Spotlight

Ecumen Receives National Award for Excellence in Dementia Care
Ecumen received a national honor March 17 as the winner of the Excellence in Dementia Care Award presented by LeadingAge and EMA at the Great Minds Gala in Washington, D.C. Ecumen received the award for its Awakenings program, which over the last five years has significantly reduced the use of antipsychotics drugs by its dementia residents.

NPR Story Highlights Ecumen Awakenings Approach to Dementia Care
Ecumen Awakenings once again received national attention for its innovative approach to dementia care. National Public Radio (NPR) aired a three-part series on the dangers of medicating elderly dementia patients with antipsychotics drugs. The third segement – titled “This Nursing Home Calms Troubling Behavior Without Risky Drugs” focused entirely on Ecumen.

Washington Post Highlights Ecumen Awakenings
Washington Post Reporter Tara Bahrampour interviewed Ecumen nurses Shelley Matthes and Mara Reyes about the history, methods and success of the Ecumen Awakenings program for a Q&A in the Post.

National Senior Living Publication Highlights the Ecumen Awakenings Program
Senior Housing News (SHN) the leading source for news and information about the senior housing industry, recently highlighted the Ecumen Awakenings approach to dementia care.

Star Tribune Editorial Calls for Awakenings Funding and Expansion Nationwide
A Star Tribune lead editorial on April 5 said Ecumen Awakenings dementia care program is “effective and compassionate” and “should become the standard of care across the nation as baby boomers swell senior ranks.”

Three New Ecumen-Managed Senior Living Developments

Ecumen Collaborating to Bring Senior Housing to Downtown Minneapolis
As out-of-town visitors saw during All Star Week, Minneapolis is a pretty cool place. What it lacks, however, is cool senior housing in a primetime location such as the Mill City Neighborhood on the Mississippi.

Ecumen Opens Its First Senior Living Community in Michigan
Ecumen once again teamed up with Edward Rose & Sons, a Michigan real estate developer, on a new senior living community in Clinton Township, Mich., northeast of Detroit.

Heritage at Irene Woods in Memphis Hosts Official Dedication
Heritage at Irene Woods, a new Ecumen-managed senior living community near Memphis, Tenn., hosted its official dedication ceremony January 10.

Innovation Work on Several Fronts

Ecumen Awarded Grant to Reduce Hospital Readmissions Through Improved Medication Management for Seniors
Ecumen has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to improve medication management by the elderly as a way to reduce hospital readmissions.

Ecumen Awarded LeadingAge Innovation Grant to Test Dementia Care Light Therapy
Ecumen was awarded a $29,800 LeadingAge Innovations Fund grant to integrate light therapy into memory care units for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD).

Ecumen Awarded Grant to Expand Awakenings to Assisted Living Communities
Ecumen was awarded a $265,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to fund expansion of its nationally recognized Ecumen Awakenings dementia care program into its assisted living communities.

Ecumen and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Form Partnership to Address Rural Senior Care Shortage
Rural Minnesota is acutely impacted by the collision of a rapidly aging population and a shortage of nurses in senior care. Ecumen, a non-profit senior housing and services organization, which operates in many rural Minnesota communities, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will collaborate to help address that problem through a new workforce development initiative called Ecumen Scholars.

Ecumen Named Top Workplace in Minnesota

Ecumen Honored with “Best Place to Work” Award by Business Journal
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal named Ecumen a “Best Place to Work” – for the ninth time in the past decade. The award is based on the high marks employees gave in an anonymous survey on topics such as work environment, people practices and how things work day-to-day.

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