Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Awards $3 Million to Improve Rural Senior Living

Ecumen, a nonprofit senior housing and services provider in Shoreview, Minnesota, has announced a $3 million grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation to develop a replicable housing/services model for seniors in rural areas.

The organization will use the grant to transform a nursing home at Ecumen Detroit Lakes into a one-stop aging services hub and expand access to services for seniors in Becker County, Minnesota. The goal of the project is to develop a replicable model that combines existing community infrastructure, technology, and services in one location to help seniors in rural areas remain healthfully independent.

The new facility will include a telehealth center for patient consultations; thirty private rehabilitation suites; a warm-water pool; state-of-the art occupational, speech, and physical therapy areas; a fitness center; an area for meditation, prayer, and reflection; an Internet cafe, library, and classrooms; a salon; and a dining area for up to forty people. Construction is expected to begin this spring and be completed in 2014.

"We are honored by this opportunity to carry out Margaret A. Cargill's philanthropic vision, especially as it relates to transforming aging services and serving unmet needs," said Ecumen president and CEO Kathryn Roberts. "Our goal is to help keep people healthier and out of the nursing home and hospital. This initiative will take a whole-person approach and create a community hub that helps integrate technology, socialization, fitness, nutrition, and health care."