Ecumen Brings Respite Care to Saint Peter, Minnesota

Feb 10th, 2012 3:09pm

Knowing the tremendous need for caregivers to take mental and physical breaks, Ecumen Prairie Hill has introduced a respite care service for area residents who have Alzheimer’s, dementia or other chronic care needs.

Respite care refers to a short time of rest or relief. It provides a break from the typical care routine – giving a caregiver down time while a person with care needs continues to receive care from qualified individuals and has the opportunity for different experiences.

Called Rejuvenation, Ecumen Prairie Hill’s respite service is provided in a private studio apartment or 1-bedroom apartment, each with private bath and kitchen, at the new Ecumen Prairie Hill senior community. Area residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia can receive the overnight service, which can span a day or longer, in Ecumen Prairie Hill’s memory care neighborhood called Reflections.

“The vast majority of care of older people in the area is provided by family caregivers,” said Heather Slechta, housing manager at Ecumen Prairie Hill. “In fact, when you look at the most recent Minnesota statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 240,000 family caregivers provided more than $3 billion in unpaid care in the state. That’s just for Alzheimer’s. It’s essential that people doing this very difficult work take a break.”

A substantial body of research shows that family members who provide care to individuals with chronic conditions are themselves at risk. Emotional, mental, and physical health problems arise from complex caregiving situations.

In addition to a fully furnished apartment, Ecumen Prairie Hill’s Rejuvenation respite services, which cost $150 per day, include three meals daily, plus snacks; assistance as needed with such things as eating, bathing and using the restroom; regularly scheduled social, spiritual and recreational programs; basic cable TV; controlled access to the residential area; escorts; and medication management and administration. More information can be found at or by calling (507) 934-2200.

Ecumen Prairie Hill, which opened last year, is located across the street from River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic. It offers independent living apartments, assisted living services and memory care. It is the sister community of Ecumen Sand Prairie in St. Peter and Ecumen Pathstone Living in Mankato. Ecumen is the most innovative leader of senior housing and services, empowering individuals to live richer and fuller lives.