Ecumen Receives $20,000 grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota To Improve Oral Care for People with Dementia
Delta Dental of Minnesota

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May 9th, 2018

Ecumen Receives $20,000 grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota To Improve Oral Care for People with Dementia

SHOREVIEW, MN— Ecumen, one of Minnesota’s leading providers of senior housing and services, recently received a $20,000 grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota to create a training program in oral care specifically designed for people with dementia.

With this funding, Ecumen will create a training program that explains and demonstrates successful tooth brushing techniques to provide the best care for people at all levels of memory loss. Both professional and family caregivers will learn how to decrease anxiety and increase cooperation, as well as how to assess when it’s time to see a dentist for further care.

“People with dementia often resist oral care because they feel threatened or scared,” said Sonya DeSmith, RN, an Ecumen nurse with extensive experience in dementia care who will lead the training program. “By using the proper techniques, caregivers can lessen this fear and provide not only effective oral care, but a calmer atmosphere and better quality of life overall.”

“Ecumen has a proven commitment improving the lives of those with dementia, a population that often suffers from poor oral health,” said Joe Lally, vice president of government and community relations at “Ecumen’s work is crucial, and we are happy to help make this program possible.”

This is one of several grants from Delta Dental of Minnesota to organizations which focus on access to better care for older Minnesotans, including support for the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota and for new and innovative care for Minnesotans living in assisted living and long-term care homes.

About Ecumen Ecumen is one of the nation’s top 25 largest non-profit providers of senior housing and aging services. Based in Shoreview, Minn., Ecumen operates 36 communities in 8 states — Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. Ecumen provides a variety of senior housing options and services including independent living, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care communities as well as at-home and community-based services including home care and hospice. Dedicated to empowering individuals to lead richer, fuller lives, Ecumen prides itself on innovation and radically changing the way aging is viewed and understood. Ecumen, founded more than 150 years ago, was named “Best Places to Work” 10 times by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and one of Minnesota’s Top Workplaces by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Monthly Magazine. To stay up-to-date on the latest news, find us on Facebook or visit

About Delta Dental of Minnesota Delta Dental of Minnesota is an independent, nonprofit health services company that serves the oral health needs of Minnesota and North Dakota residents. Since 1969, Delta Dental of Minnesota has accomplished this mission by providing the best access across the state to oral health care through affordable dental plans. Delta Dental of Minnesota is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plans Association of Oak Brook, Illinois.