Senior Living’s Technological Evolutions Detailed by Ecumen in New Whitepapers

Aging services provider details technology’s role in both the critical and everyday aspects of senior life

Shoreview, MN, December 15, 2007 --( – Aging services provider Ecumen, Minnesota’s largest non-profit senior housing company, has recently commissioned two new whitepapers describing the power of technology as it pertains to not only modern senior housing, but everyday senior living.

Technology Transforming Aging Services in the United States” and “Nana Technology”, were both written on behalf of Ecumen by journalist Kay Harvey. In them, Harvey describes trends and services now available to the senior community and those that are emerging.

The Ecumen whitepapers examine how technology is giving people more control over their independence and how they live and approach aging by meeting customer’s wants and needs. It also outlines how important technology is to navigating America’s age wave.

“We’ve done expansive research of baby boomers and what they tell us is that they expect technology to help them live not only longer, but more independently,” states Kathy Bakkenist, Ecumen’s chief operating officer and senior vice president of strategy and operations. “Technology is an integral part of their lifestyle and that will only increase as it continues to support the themes that are important to baby boomers and important to senior living: independence, choice, mobility, ease, and quality of life.”

Bakkenist also points out that technology is not only focusing on one’s physical wellness, but also other areas of healthy, successful aging, including social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and vocational wellness.

Popular social networking sites like Facebook & MySpace now exist side by side with counterparts like Eons, Razoom, Multiply and Boomertown, designed, like the aforementioned networking sites, to help older adults stay connected from anywhere.

Further, one only has to visit Ecumen’s Lakeview Commons in Maplewood, Minn., to see residents exercising their minds with cognitive fitness technology such as Dakim’s (m)Power, which includes fill-in-the-word exercises, math challenges and other exercises. Why have these sites and games caught on in the senior living community? The answer, by Lakeview Commons resident Honor Hacker is as simply honest as it is refreshing: “It’s fun.”

In “Nana Technology”, Harvey details how senior living has benefited from the work of Andrew Carle, founder and director of a program in senior housing at George Mason University. Coiner of the term ‘nana technology’, Carle describes technological innovations that are helping improve the lives of older adults in categories as varied as health products, safety, cognition, lifestyle products, and sensory products.

“The categories work like a roadmap to help people find what they need,” states Carle in the article. “People basically say, ‘My mom needs help with her pills’. ‘Or with falling’. The categories help me to know where to look for the products my mom needs.”

Technology is a fast growing tool in America’s changing aging movement.

Visit Ecumen’s website to download the full whitepapers “Technology Transforming Aging Services in the United States” and “Nana Technology”, both by Kay Harvey.

About Ecumen
Ecumen ( is based in Shoreview, Minn., and is one of the largest non-profit senior housing, services and development companies in the United States. The name Ecumen comes from the word ecumenical, which in turn is derived from the Greek word for home: “Oikos.” Ecumen’s mission is to create “home” for older adults wherever they choose to live. Ecumen is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has 4,000 team members. Ecumen writes about news and ideas that are shaping the future of aging services at its Changing Aging blog:

Eric Schubert