Updated: June 24, 2021 09:29 PM
Created: June 24, 2021 09:20 PM
It's been a tough 15 months for senior living communities. So an unmasked, outdoor celebration Thursday afternoon felt especially sweet at Ecumen Lakeshore.
The facility was marking 91 years of serving older adults in the Duluth area. They had hoped to hold a 90th anniversary celebration, but the pandemic prevented that.
The celebration featured a few 91-year-old residents. Bea Libbon turned 91 in March and has been living at Ecumen for seven years.
"My children said this would be a wonderful place. And it has been," she said. "I feel safe. And I have friends. And the longer I stay, the better I like it."
She enjoys the gardens and tries to walk around the facility a few times a week.
As Ecumen looks toward the future, they know technology will be a big part of it. It already has been. One of their senior care pharmacists helped develop software called ABX Tracker.
"The software will populate those infections and where they are on the community's map for them so the nursing staff can really hone in on those trends and put barriers in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus to other areas within the building," creator Matt Just explained.
There's also an antibiotic stewardship piece that helps ensure the drugs aren't overused, leading to antibiotic resistance.
"I'm just happy to offer this solution to all of our patients and providers to assist with antibiotic reduction, reducing negative outcomes, saving side effects for our patients, and catching those infection control trends in real time," Just said.
Ecumen is now offering this technology to other skilled nursing and assisted living facilities and hospitals.
Ecumen Lakeshore also just opened a hospice office so they can provide care to older adults wherever they are.
"Ecumen is a nonprofit organization, and at the core, we aim to serve people," Executive Director Blaine Gamst said. "So our goal is to continue to provide great service to find new and innovative ways to serve people in our community."
The facility serves around 2,200 people and employs 250.
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