By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on April 25th, 2016
“Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” –Psalm 71:9
The Green House Project and Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS) share many common values, and are proud partners in elder care innovation. Recently, Green House leadership participated in the AJAS annual meeting to share insights and connect with organizations who share a similar mission to serve elders.
Senior Director, Susan Ryan, was highlighted as a speaker for “AJAS Speaks”, a TED Talk style session, where thought leaders share their experiences and perspectives. In her talk, “Living the Good Life”, Susan shares the path that has shaped her personal mission to see the people living with dementia as creative, resourceful and whole.
Innovation Roundtables are a feature of the conference where leaders of the field share insights in short, rotating sessions. Green House Director of Outreach, Scott Brown, delivered a talk on the power of differentiation in our changing and dynamic health care landscape.
We appreciate the opportunity to partner with innovative organizations as we work to change the paradigm of aging, creating caring homes and meaningful lives.
Please watch for a blog series in the near future entitled “Living the Good Life” based on the stories shared by Susan at the AJAS conference.
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on April 24th, 2016
When the decision was first made to build Green House homes, Barry Berman, CEO, Chelsea Jewish Foundation, said we knew the model was “extremely special, extremely unique and wondered what other vulnerable populations in addition to elders we could serve. We challenged ourselves knowing that these individuals would probably be on Medicaid.” As a mission driven organization they opened their 10 Green House homes with one dedicated to individuals living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS, and one to individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis or MS. An amazing achievement.
Today, they are excited to open another home for ALS individuals, the Dapper McDonald ALS Residence, thanks to a generous donation from the Dapper McDonald family as well as a group of individuals from New York who assisted in the process.
As Barry explained individuals with ALS are “transformed overnight” in the ALS Green House homes. They gain “such profound independence”. Below is the announcement of the new home.
We applaud all those who helped make the Dapper McDonald ALS Residence a reality!
The Dapper McDonald ALS Residence at the Leonard Florence Center for Living is now open! Due to an extremely generous donation of $3.5 million – and a commitment to raise $9 million in additional funds – the Chelsea Jewish Foundation was able to open a second home for individuals with ALS. The Center’s first home, the Steve Saling ALS Residence, opened in 2010 and has received world-wide acclaim; the Slifka MS Residence is devoted to residents living with MS.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer another residence to individuals with ALS,” states Chelsea Jewish Foundation CEO Barry Berman. “There is such an incredible need for these homes, but the operating costs are extremely high. Thankfully, this donation has helped turn our dream of a second ALS home into reality.”
Richard “Dapper” McDonald was a New York businessman who was diagnosed with ALS in 2008. The news came as a shock to the entire family as it was something completely unfamiliar to them. Over the next seven months, the family took their lead from Dapper. He never slowed down or quit. He went to work every day and continued running his business despite the constant struggle. On July 15, 2009, nine months after his diagnosis, Dapper passed from ALS.
After touring the Center in an effort to replicate the home in New York, the family soon realized it was too difficult to develop the staff and technology that was already in place in Boston. As a result, a group of New York residents have donated a $3.5 million leadership gift and have committed to raising $12.5 million in total.
Welcome to all of our new Dapper McDonald residents! We are thrilled to have you join the Chelsea Jewish family.
For the last six years, Patrick O’Brien, has lived in the ALS residence. Barry Berman describes him “as the most amazing individual I have ever met”. Read below the story about Patrick’s movie and where to watch it. The documentary is an amazing story and as Barry explained, Patrick “will always credit The Green House Project for giving him back his life”.
Leonard Florence Center Resident Living with ALS Directed and Produced an Award Winning Documentary!
The amazing documentary film, Transfatty Lives, directed and produced by Leonard Florence Center resident Patrick O’Brien, had its Boston premiere at the Revere Showcase Cinema in Revere on Sunday, April 3. The film won the 2015 Audience Award at the Tribeca and Milano Film Festivals, and is a featured selection in film festivals all across the world.
Transfatty Lives takes one on an emotional rollercoaster from Patrick’s wild, fun-loving days as a DJ and filmmaker into the heart of living with ALS. With the support of his friends and family, Patrick braves the unthinkable and turns his camera onto himself. He is able to capture all of the emotion, humor, and absurdity of real life – falling in love and fathering a child along the way.
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on March 26th, 2016
Michigan can be a cold location in January for a Grand Opening of Green House homes, but it was certainly warm and welcoming on the inside! These two homes were developed by Kalkaska Memorial Health Center. The festivities included a number of leaders from the area, along with Elders, families, staff and members of the press. Lela, an elder moving into one of the homes attended the special Grand Opening event with special anticipation. She had started the countdown to her move 191 days earlier and was most excited about her new home.
This organization is not new to culture change having been an Eden certified home for 15 years, however the opening of the skilled nursing Green House homes takes their journey to a whole new level! They opened the first home to 10 elders on January 14th and the second will open soon once the licensing process is completed.
Renee Cunningham, Service Line Director of Nursing, explained that the opening and move went smoothly and that the past two months have been great. “It went really well, better than I had expected by our both the community and residents! Staff feel very committed to the homes, and family members often stay and have meals with their loved ones. It’s such a warm environment”. Renee went on to say that Lela has expressed many times that moving to the Green House home “was the best decision she’s ever made”. Renee explained that Lela has “blossomed” in the home.
Those thoughts are echoed by team member, Dana DeRousse, “The opening of the Green House homes have been a phenomenal and humbling experience for me. It doesn’t feel like I’m coming to work, more so coming into a home of myfamilymembers. Being a Concierge CNA [their Shahbaz] is the kind of health care experience I was looking for when I first became a CNA. It also challenges me as a person to try new things, like cooking that I really had no prior experience with. I would highly recommend a position in a Green House home to anyone who is working as a CNA and I feel like The Green House Project is the absolute future of long term care”.
We congratulate the team at Kalkaska on their opening and look forward to many more Green House Homes opening in 2016:
Green House Cottages of Carmel, Carmel, IN
6 Green House homes
The Woodlands, John Knox Village, Pompano Beach, FL
12 Green House Homes
May 26th Grand Opening
Washington County Nursing Home, Akron, CO
4 Green House homes
Summer 2016 opening
Cedar Sinai Park, Portland, OR
4 Green House homes
Summer 2016 opening
Clark Lindsey, Urbana, IL
2 Green House homes
JGS Lifecare, Longmeadow, MA
2 Green House homes
Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, Detroit, MI
2 Green House homes – 1st PACE program
Winter of 2016
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on March 25th, 2016
The Green House model “goes to the idea that regardless of age people still have a chance to have a meaningful life where they can experience joy and create value,” Scott Brown, Director of Outreach, The Green House Project says. In a recent article Kiplinger Retirement News editor, Susan Garland, visits two Green House organizations, Leonard Florence Center for Living and Eddy Village Green and shares her experience with this innovative model:
It’s a common refrain that adult children hear from their parents: “No matter what, promise that you’ll never put me in a nursing home.” These seniors obviously have not visited a Green House, a unique alternative to the traditional nursing facility.
By highlighting the comprehensive transformation that occurs when an organization implements The Green House model, Garland is able to show that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that the cornerstone of the model’s effectiveness is the deep relationships that form as a result: “In the traditional nursing home, you don’t have time to develop the relationships that you have in these homes,” says James Farnan, administrator of Eddy Village Green. “When you have the same group of people taking care of the same group of elders, you get to know what they like and don’t like.”
To read more stories and experiences from these Green House homes, read the full article here>>
By Admin / Posted on March 15th, 2016
Twice a year The Green House Educator program is held at The Eddy Village Green in New York. It’s a week long, very intense program to prepare educators from each organization to teach The Green House curricula on site and continue to meet the organizations needs for staff education and growth.
During the past session held earlier this month, team members from Colorado decided to seize the travel opportunity and see the big city before attending Educator. As we often say “it’s all about relationships” and this adventure certainly provided an opportunity for a little team building!
Thanks to Libbie Schuetz, Jamie Arfsten and Amber Morgan from the Washington County Nursing Home in Akron, Colorado for writing the blog below and sharing some fun pictures of their special weekend.
After being asked to become educators for our home we were told that the education was going to be in Albany New York. The first thing we all thought was New York City. We all three agreed that we would probably never get another opportunity to be so close to the city again. So it was decided that we would leave 2 days early and fly into the city.
It was a great adventure and so much to take in, from Time Square, to the Statue of Liberty, and more. The best part of New York City was all of the lights and people in Time Square.
The biggest adventure of the trip might very well have been the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel. It was the first time any of us had been in a taxi and wow how they drive in the city! On Sunday we rode the mega bus to Albany. The most accurate description that anyone in New York gave us was, in New York you walk, stand in line, and eat, which was very true. It was a trip of a lifetime giving us great memories and the opportunity to get to know each other better.
By Andrea Tyck / Posted on February 25th, 2016
Andrea Tyck is the Wellness Director at Mt San Antonio Gardens, a Life Care Community in Pomona, California. She is also a Green House Educator and helped to open the first Green House homes in California.
In Jerry Spinelli’s book Hokey Pokey, Hokey Pokey is a place where there are no adults. Kids are in charge and free to roam. The main character, Jack, is the de facto leader and is loving his life until things start to change. A tattoo, present on the bellies of all the inhabitants of Hokey Pokey, begins to fade. When his bike, the symbol of his power and influence is stolen, he oddly begins to adjust to its absence. And what’s worse is that his enduring disdain for girls and a girl named Jubilee, in particular, is beginning to lose its grip. She might even become a friend. In addition Jack begins to sense that he is going to be leaving Hokey Pokey although he doesn’t know why or how. Jack tells Jubilee he thinks he is leaving that night. When she asks “How do you know?” he replies “I don’t. It’s like” – he stares up into her eyes – “I’m on a bike I can’t steer, can’t stop.” “So….,” she says, “Where to?” He hangs full weight from her eyes. “Beats me.”
The book cover explains that it is “a timeless tale of growing up and letting go, of reverence and remembrance of that moment in childhood when the world opens up to possibilities never before imagined.” Ever since I read it I have been thinking of how the process of children becoming adults might be similar to the process of adults becoming elders.
Dr. Bill Thomas makes a case that elderhood is a distinct part of human development and that part of the process of that development is leaving adulthood. In very broad terms that means moving from a primary focus on doing and generating to embracing the “being-rich responsibilities of making peace, giving wisdom, and creating a legacy.” In the land of Hokey Pokey, Jack’s transition out of childhood is perceptible but vague. The reader has a sense of what might be happening to Jack (he is growing up) but the steps are still somewhat confounding. Might that be similarly true of one’s growth out of adulthood and development into elderhood? Are there signs that the purposes in your life and the mechanisms by which you enjoy, ponder and resolve things have been transformed? Are there treasured parts of you or your life that you no longer have (like Jack’s bike) that you realize you are ok without?
The book ends with Jack back in the “real world” preparing to redo his bedroom with his dad to make it less childish. There is a sense of hope, that all is right. That the magical world he left behind wistfully has been left for “possibilities never imagined.” Perhaps the journey into elderhood can also be hopeful, that leaving adulthood is as it should be, and that it is , per Dr. Thomas, a “complex ripening, a richness that is unavailable to those who remain in the fevered grip of adulthood.”
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on February 10th, 2016
We are thrilled to congratulate, Ruta Kadonoff, former Green House Project team member, on her new role as Executive Director of The Pioneer Network. The Pioneer Network is an organization that was formed to support, advocate and enhance the work of individuals, organizations, regulators and policymakers who are creating a life-affirming, satisfying and meaningful culture of aging and long-term care.
“I am honored and excited by this opportunity to serve the Pioneer Network and advance its critically important work,” Kadonoff says in a press release. “I am passionate about seeing our vision and values fully realized and look forward to working hand in hand with innovators and individuals across the country who share this passion, who have come together in this unique gathering place for those of us unwilling to settle for the status quo.”
We look forward to opportunities to collaborate with Ruta and advance our shared vision and passion.
By Rachel Klumpp / Posted on January 29th, 2016
What Does it Mean to Lead Meaningful and Sustainable Change
The “Portrait of a Green House Leader” webinar series continues by highlighting the talents of Joyce Ebmeier, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning for Tabitha Health Care Services in Lincoln, NE. Tabitha offers a continuum of services to elders, including the first Green House homes in Nebraska and the second built nationally. Joyce attributes her desire to work in elder care to her deep relationship with her grandmother and the wisdom she shared with her growing up. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in Education, she pursued a career in teaching before beginning her career with Tabitha in 1981, where she served as the administrator of their nursing and rehabilitation center for fourteen years. Currently, as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, she is responsible for directing the overall planning, monitoring, communication, and progress of Tabitha’s business and strategic plan.
Joyce was inspired to champion the development of Tabitha’s four Green House homes after listening to Dr. Thomas speak about The Green House vision in 2001. As an administrator of a traditional facility, she knew the opportunity to imagine a blank page, and create more of what she knew elder care could be through The Green House model was the next step in writing Tabitha’s future chapters. After sharing the vision, the board approved the development of one Green House home after half the initial funds were raised. Joyce identifies that engaging with a grant writer to help locate available funding sources and network with organizational leaders was a crucial strategy to raise the initial funds for the Martin house, their first Green House home to nine elders. After they demonstrated the success of the model through the Martin house, three more homes were built, with plans to purchase property and build four additional homes in the future.
From a cost perspective, Joyce states that their Green House homes are major contributors to the success of the
entire company. Specifically, adding Green House homes for long term care into Tabitha’s continuum of services provided an opportunity to expand their capacity for post acute short term rehabilitation in their legacy building. This balance of costs and revenues combined aids in the growth of Tabitha’s entire organization. Further, Joyce describes that the quality of care associated with their Green House homes has become a hallmark within the community that is a “magnet” for people seeking long term care. This high demand results in a reliable, sustainable census that is crucial for overall operational success.
However, Joyce notes that the true success or “magic” of The Green House model comes from the incredible people who live and work in the homes and the culture created to foster deep knowing relationships. “It’s the most important part of getting The Green House model correct. If you don’t have the right people and you don’t provide an environment which empowers them to do their work with the elders… if that doesn’t happen the most beautiful and perfectly designed houses are really a waste of time and money.” At Tabitha, recruiting extremely creative, great people has resulted in
unique teams in each home where people feel empowered to bring who they are into their work. This results in extraordinary events and celebrations, such as their annual Green House carnival, and quiet everyday moments of compassion, love, and joy in the homes that couldn’t occur in a traditional setting. For Joyce, when talking about her accomplishments in her career, she identifies working with The Green House Project as the one she’s most proud of, yet is continuously striving for success in providing the highest quality of care for elders. When thinking about her Green House legacy in the future, she hopes it reads “But as remarkable as the Green House model became, what came next from these pioneers in elder care was even better.”
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on January 13th, 2016
“In a year that marked the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security, the White House Conference on Aging provided an opportunity to reflect on the importance of these programs, highlight new actions to support Americans as we age, and focus on the powerful role that technology can play in lives of seniors in the decade ahead.” –Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council
The Green House Project was honored to participate and be highlighted during the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. “Through a combination of listening sessions, breakout groups, watch parties, regional and topical forums, and written feedback, the White House heard from thousands of Americans about the issues most important to them regarding our aging population.” Click here to read the final report for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging that summarizes the work of the White House to create a fulfilling and dignified world for elders and those who work closest to them.
One highlight was a visit by Executive Director of The White House Conference on Aging, Nora Super, to Leonard Florence Center for living, the first urban Green House model, located outside of Boston. There, Ms. Super engaged in dialogue with elders and staff members to learn how The Green House model creates caring homes and meaningful lives for those who live and work there. This opportunity gave the model a national stage to share the impact that it can have for elders and staff in long term care.
By Jeff Shireman / Posted on January 6th, 2016
At Lebanon Valley Brethren Home we believe in empowering our elders and providing innovative ways to care for their needs both in mind, body and spirit. This video is the story about our Green House homes, which are designed to serve those who need the highest level of nursing care.
We decided to tell our story by video for a few different reasons. First and foremost, we wanted to create a clear and visual way to describe The Green House model to prospective elders and their families. Because we limit outside visits to preserve the value of ‘real home’,video is another way to create that “seeing is believing” experience.
Additionally, this video is a great way to educate our team, community and stakeholders about The Green House model. By ensuring that our network understands the value of this model and the life that we are creating at Lebanon Valley Brethren Home, we are looking forward to their support in building more Green House homes in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to watch our video, and if you would like to learn more about our community, please visit our website.
Jeff Shireman is the President and CEO of Lebanon Valley Brethren Home
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on December 28th, 2015
2015 was a year of remarkable growth for The Green House Project. We are coming to a community near you, and our name is recognized as the pinnacle of long term care innovation. The Peer Network is one of those crucial elements that sets us apart and as our network grows, we develop and evolve because of their wisdom. The 8th Annual Green House Meeting was a powerful convening of this network. Green House adopters from around the country come together to learn from leaders in the field and each other. They gain energy and successful practices toward continued success. To support this sustainability and apply the results of the THRIVE research that will be published in 2016, The Green House Project released a tool to gauge model integrity. This tool will ensure that The Green House core values of Real Home, Meaningful Life and Empowered Staff thrive in all organizations who are living this model every day.
The Green House Project receives a great deal of recognition and media coverage. Here’s just a small sampling of the dozens of stories and accolades over the last few months.
- Green House Project Founder Hailed as top “Influencer in Aging.” In its first annual list of people that are changing aging and how we think about aging, Next Avenue recognized The Green House Project’s founder Bill Thomas. Read more.
- The New York Times Highlights Green House Homes. In a recently published story on the trend toward smaller nursing home residences, the author highlights the Green House model. Read more.
- Recognition at Annual LeadingAge Conference. At this year’s conference in Boston, thousands of attendees got to hear Atul Gawande’s keynote, where he discussed The Green House model and specifically called out the Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, MA. Read more. Dr. Eleanor Barbera of McKnight’s visited the Leonard Florence Center while attending the conference and wrote about it. Read more.
The Green House Project is about to end an historic year – there are now 185 Green House homes open in 28 states. Here’s just a sampling of some of the news from Green House projects around the country over the last few months:
- Washington County (Colorado) Nursing Home Groundbreaking. In a total replacement of its current nursing home, Washington County will be developing 4 Green House homes. This is the second project in Colorado. Read more.
- Saint Elizabeth Groundbreaking – First in Rhode Island. Rhode Island breaks its moratorium on new nursing home development to approve the first Green House homes in the state. Read More.
- Morris Hall Meadows (NJ) Grand Opening. In October, Morris Hall Meadows opened 6 new Green House homes, making it the second Green House project in New Jersey. Read More.
- Clark-Lindsey (IL) Groundbreaking. In September, Clark-Lindsey broke ground on two Green House homes that will be dedicated to dementia care. This is a major step forward for Illinois providers and regulatory offices looking to spur innovation in the state. Read More.
As we look with hope and gratitude toward the new year, please take a moment to hear Doris Delanus, an elder who lived at The Village of Redford in Michigan, tell us about what these homes mean to her. Elders Rule!
By Admin / Posted on December 9th, 2015
Green House Homes Will Be First of Their Kind in Western Massachusetts
Jewish Geriatric Services Lifecare Partners with THE GREEN HOUSE® Project
LONGMEADOW, MA— Martin W. Baicker, president and CEO, Jewish Geriatric Services (JGS) Lifecare, is pleased to announce JGS Lifecare will be working with THE GREEN HOUSE® Project to implement this revolutionary model of care in the new Sosin Center for Rehabilitation, currently under construction, and throughout the Leavitt Family Jewish Home community over the next 18 months.
“Green House has worked with over 170 nursing homes around the country,” said Baicker. “They’ve helped establish a new standard in long term and post-acute care that’s resulted in higher quality outcomes and increased elder and caregiver satisfaction,” he added.
“JGS Lifecare has a strong reputation for high quality, with over a hundred years of commitment to elders, families and staff in the community. We commend them for their vision to further their mission by implementing The Green House model, and their commitment to transform long term care in western Massachusetts,” said Susan Frazier Ryan, senior director, The Green House Project.
A Green House home is a self-contained home for up to 12 elders, designed to provide a personalized model of care within a real home setting. Each home features ample natural light, a central living area, open kitchen, and dining room. Staff is rigorously trained in the Green House philosophy, giving residents 4x more human contact than the traditional institutional model.
The Green House model will be implemented in the 24,000 square foot Sosin Center, featuring two Green House homes, when it is completed in approximately 8-10 months. The Sosin Center will be the only Green House certified facility in western Massachusetts, the third in Massachusetts. The model will then be implemented throughout JGS Lifecare’s 200-bed skilled nursing home.
“As we move away from traditional models of care and embrace The Green House model of care, we will not only improve the care provided, but also enhance the dignity of those living here. Green House homes combine the best of a real home setting with skilled care, giving elders the freedom to live life on their terms, rather than conform to the rhythms of the institution. It helps them thrive in comfortable spaces that feel like home,” said Anne M. Thomas, vice president of residential health, JGS Lifecare.
JGS Lifecare is working with Perkins Eastman, one of the foremost architectural firms designing in The Green House model in the United States to assist in the design of the upgrades and new facility. The Sosin Center and nursing home remodel are part of JGS Lifecare’s Project Transformation, a dynamic $20 million multi-step initiative to enhance person-centered care on the Longmeadow campus.
About JGS Lifecare: JGS Lifecare is a leading health care system serving seniors and their families. JGS Lifecare services include nursing home care, home health and hospice care, assisted living, adult day health care, rehabilitation services, palliative care, music therapy and subsidized independent living.
About the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation: Now under construction, the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation will bring the Green House model of care, a more homelike setting for people undergoing rehabilitative care, to JGS Lifecare. The 24-bed short term care/rehabilitation building will be connected to our existing nursing home by a promenade that will include Michael’s Café, a new kosher coffee shop and cafeteria. Sosin Center construction will be completed in approximately 12 months.
About THE GREEN HOUSE® Project: The Green House Project is a radically new national model for skilled nursing care that returns control, dignity and a sense of well-being to elders, their families and direct care staff. In the Green House model, residents receive care in small, self- contained homes organized to deliver individualized care and meaningful relationships between residents and care staff.