World Alzheimer's Report 2013 Illlustrates Need for Integrated, Whole-Person Alzheimer's Care

Until there is an Alzheimer’s cure, there must be the very best care.  That rings loud and clear to us at Ecumen as we look at the World Alzheimer Report 2013: ‘Journey of Caring:  An analysis of long-term care for dementia.”  As this disease impacts more and more people, it's imperative that we have people throughout the care profession who can help create a standard of care that honors a whole person's being and doesn't look to antipsychotic medications as a default way to "care."  B


NPR Story Highlights Ecumen Awakenings™ Approach to Dementia Care

Ecumen Awakenings™ once again received national attention for its innovative approach to dementia care.

This week National Public Radio (NPR) aired a three-part series on the dangers of medicating elderly dementia patients with antipsychotic drugs.  The third segment — titled “This Nursing Home Calms Troubling Behavior Without Risky Drugs" — focused entirely on Ecumen Awakenings™ as an example of a better way to care for those with Alzheimer's.


Minnesota Nursing Homes Exceed National Antipsychotic Medication Reduction goal

Ecumen is proud to be a partner in the important work of reducing the use of unnecessary antipsychotic drugs in all Minnesota nursing homes. The Minnesota Partnership to Improve Dementia Care recently announced its 2014 first quarter results, which exceeded the national reduction goal. Below is the full press release from Statis Health: 



A Handy Guide to Communicating With People Who Have Dementia

Dementia gradually diminishes a person’s ability to communicate properly, requiring patience, understanding and good listening skills. The following infographic offers a few suggestions on how to overcome barriers between you and the person with dementia.






Star Tribune Editorial Calls for Awakenings Funding and Expansion Nationwide

A Star Tribune lead editorial on April 5, 2014, 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.”


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.


Duluth News Tribune Tells the Ecumen Awakenings Story

In today’s Duluth News Tribune, reporter John Lundy gives a sensitive and compelling account of how Awakenings works to calm dementia without drugs.  Shelley Matthes, RN, Ecumen’s director of quality improvement, tells Lundy: “Our job is to identify things that bring people to a place of peace and joy.”


Ecumen Medical Consultant Dr. Tracy Tomac: A Psychiatrist Blazing New Trails in Dementia Care

Dr. Tracy Tomac

New Ulm, Minn., 18 years ago:  The bus from the nursing home moves through the below-zero snowy prairie to the clinic where a freshly minted young doctor has just started practicing.  The bus attendant unloads the elderly patients in their wheel chairs and rolls them, one by one, into the clinic. 


St. Paul Pioneer Press Highlights Ecumen Awakenings for Excellence in Dementia Care Award

In a recent Opinuendo column the St. Paul Pioneer Press highlighted Ecumen’s Excellence in Dementia Care Award, a national honor received last week in Washington, D.C.  Here’s what the Pioneer Press wrote: 

On stage with a legend

Two nurses from Ecumen, a Shoreview-based nonprofit senior housing and services provider, shared a stage this week in Washington, D.C., with music legend Glen Campbell and his family.



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