Ecumen, a Minnesota company, currently operates 70 senior communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and Idaho. Its revenues (2009) were $125.8 million. Its mission? To create “home” for older adults, wherever they choose to live. Indeed, the word “Ecumen” comes from the Greek word for home: “Oikos.”
Recently, Ecumen, working with physicians, residents, and family members at its Sunrise nursing home in Two Harbors, Minnesota, eliminated the administration of psychotropic drugs and decreased the use of antidepressants by one-half.
Eva Lanigan is an Ecumen clinical director who led the work. She says that "The chaos level is down, but the noise is up--the noise of people laughing, talking, much more engaged with life. It's amazing."
Here’s the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's coverage of “Awakenings” and a YouTube video of the program in action.