Ecumen Takes Holistic Community Approach to Aging and Senior Housing Development with Unveiling of New Successful Aging Center

New development and services by Ecumen take proactive, holistic approach to aging for senior housing residents and community members at large

Shoreview, MN, February 16, 2008 --( – Aging services provider Ecumen, one of the country’s largest non-profit senior housing, services and senior housing development companies, is empowering seniors to take greater personal control of their wellness with the opening of the Vitalize! Wellness Centre.

Successful aging entails a moving away from a traditional reactive approach to aging and helping people take more personal control over how one lives to the very end of life. It centers on physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional and vocational wellness and engagement.

The Vitalize! Wellness Centre at the Ecumen continuing care retirement community (CCRC) of Parmly LifePointes, in Chisago City, MN, is part of an approach to senior housing development by Ecumen that builds vital connections to the larger community, empowers people and promotes physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional and vocational growth.

Many of the Vitalize! members come from the larger community, especially people who do not want to go to fitness centers that are more focused on spandex and techno-thumping music than successful aging. Most Vitalize! members range from their 50s to their 90s, and it’s used by Ecumen employees.

“In the United States, senior housing development often focuses on what people can’t do rather than what they can do,” says Dana Wollschlager, director of real estate development at Ecumen. “Vitalize! is all about people growing, it’s about empowerment and emphasizing that aging is all about living – even at the very end of life. We see this as a wonderful model for other senior housing and long-term care providers that are seeking to reposition themselves and serve more people in the community.”

The Vitalize! aquatic center includes a water exercise and lap pool, plus a professional sports grade therapy pool. On the second floor is a customized exercise center with Technogym equipment that a person can personalize to the program they develop with their personal trainer. Vitalize! hosts classes and workshops on a variety of subjects, including cooking, yoga, tai chi, politics and centering prayer. Class subjects change approximately every 8 weeks.

Vitalize! also includes community gathering places, such as the outdoor Serenity Garden and Ruben’s Café, which was named after Ecumen Senior Olympian swimmer Ruben Berg. And, of course, no visit is complete without a trip to the Vitalize! massage spa.

More information and a video on the Vitalize! Wellness Centre may be found at

About Ecumen
Ecumen ( is based in Shoreview, Minn., and is one of the largest non-profit senior housing, services and senior housing 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. You can read Ecumen’s “Changing Aging” blog at

Agency Contact
Mike Yanke
Misukanis & Odden

Mike Yanke