Our society is coming out of a medicinal coma. For years, it has seemed that the acceptable answer to every ailment has been to take a pill. In the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia, the same has held true. Of the over 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, many are inappropriately treated with anti-psychotic drugs to control erratic behavior that can accompany the progression of their disease. These drugs are powerful and dangerous when administered unnecessarily; they can increase risk of stroke and pneumonia, worsen cognitive function and even lead to death. They can rob a person of their personality, causing what some have termed the “zombie effect” or the “nursing home stare.” Still, these drugs continue to be a common way to treat patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Ecumen says "No more"! Instead of relying on these medications to treat patients who have no diagnosis that would call for them, Ecumen launched the Awakenings Project in 2010. Awakenings focuses on relationship care over pharmaceutical care, developing care teams of doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, pharmacists, staff, and family to eliminate these drugs from their care plan and focus on treating root causes of outbursts. The result has been astounding. Once quiet nursing homes where people stayed in bed all day have become hubs of activity where residents play balloon volleyball in the hallways and celebrate their renewed freedom.
For more information on Awakenings, visit our Innovations page.
As the Age Wave (60 million baby boomers turning 65 in the next 10 years) hits the United States, our nation faces an unprecedented challenge in providing adequate services to an aging population. A large part of this conundrum is around housing: where will all of these people live as they age? Surveys are conclusive; the majority of people of all ages – but particularly boomers – want to stay in their homes. But as time progresses, our homes can turn against us – stairs become insurmountable, mowing the lawn an impossibility, driving a treacherous task, even reading a difficulty. How can we stay in our homes with challenges like these?
Enter Ecumen At Home, a service that is personalized to you and your specific, changing needs to help you realize your own vision for living longer, living better. It is a one-stop service AND information provider that connects a senior in need to the right answers for them. From home health and transportation services to home modification and technology assistance, Ecumen At Home creates customized menus of services and products for each client and connects them directly with what they need to keep them where their heart is: home.
Thanks to the Frey Foundation for supporting innovative community models by providing seed money for this new project!
As we age, our cost of living often increases dramatically. Unexpected and severe illnesses, costly life-saving surgeries, and medication are only a few of the factors that can radically alter a senior’s financial outlook in a relatively short period of time. Even for some well-prepared seniors, savings and assets can quickly dry up, leaving them dependent on Medicaid. This can be a frightening time for some seniors; the not insignificant gap between Medicaid reimbursements and the actual cost of daily care has seen some senior communities in the United States evicting seniors on Medicaid in favor of those with means to provide private pay.
At Ecumen, we are committed to keeping our residents in their Ecumen community; whatever financial circumstances may befall them. We value each resident and strive to provide stability in their Ecumen home through Sustainable Living, a fund specifically designated to bridge the gap between Medicaid and daily care costs. By removing uncertainty and fear of moving from the lives of our residents, Sustainable Living empowers them to keep living their best life in their Ecumen community.
3530 Lexington Ave. N
Shoreview, MN 55126