Senior Housing Communities Developed by Ecumen Win National Awards for Design Approach for Alzheimer's

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Two senior housing communities developed by Ecumen were honored this week with national awards for innovative interior design approaches for housing for people with Alzheimer's or dementia.

Two senior housing communities developed by Ecumen were honored this week with national awards for innovative interior design approaches for housing for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

WoodsEdge at Sanford assisted living community in Bemidji, Minn., was awarded a 2012 SAGE Innovation Design Showcase Citation of Merit. SAGE (the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments) promotes the objective of improving the built environments for older adults.

“We’re seeing that using vintage design that incorporates resident work spaces and items from a person’s past can help trigger memories associated with hobbies and work, and spark interaction and conversations,” said Dana Wollschlager, Ecumen’s director of real estate development.

WoodsEdge at Sanford, which is also Minnesota’s first LEED® Silver certified senior housing development, integrates gardening areas and ‘40s-era vintage-inspired “work spaces” where residents can work on projects or socialize. WoodsEdge also incorporates antique farm implements and country store memorabilia, which has helped draw out memories and conversation among the residents.

GracePointe at Tabitha assisted living community in Lincoln, Neb., was awarded both the 50+ Gold Award and the Innovation Award for Best Assisted Living Project by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). GracePointe interiors embrace the 1940s and ‘50s era, offering environmental cues that encourage familiar memories among residents with memory loss, celebrating life while remembering the past.

Ecumen Business Development Services adds these recent awards to a string of honors for senior living developments, including the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s “Best in Real Estate” honors for both Ecumen Seasons at Maplewood (2010) and Ecumen Seasons at Apple Valley (2011).

Ecumen (ecumen.org), based in Shoreview, Minn., is the most innovative leader of senior housing and services, empowering individuals to live richer and fuller lives. Ecumen envisions a world in which aging is viewed and understood in radically different ways. Its mission is to create home for older adults wherever they choose to live. Ecumen operates senior housing and services across Minnesota, and in North Dakota, Wisconsin and Idaho, and provides senior housing development services nationally. Ecumen has been named seven straight years by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of Minnesota’s “Best Places to Work” and one of Minnesota’s Top Workplaces by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

For more information contact Andrea Marboe, Ecumen strategic communications manager, 651-766-4433 or andreamarboe(at)ecumen(dot)org.

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Eric Schubert
Ecumen
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