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The Green House Project Blog

Eight over Eighty, Celebrates Elders and Raises Funds for Green House homes in Manhattan

Green House adopter, Jewish Home Lifecare, raises funds for person-directed care as it celebrates 8 remarkable elders who are over the age of 80

The annual benefit gala hosted by New York City’s Jewish Home Lifecare, a 167-year-old elder care provider, is most definitely not the same old, same old. It is, in fact, an event unlike any other.

Pat Jacobs, longtime Jewish Home Lifecare board member and ‘Eight Over Eighty’ honoree.

Called “Eight Over Eighty” and slated to take place on Wednesday, March 11, at the Mandarin Oriental New York, the event will pay tribute to eight New Yorkers who, in their 80s and 90s, continue to live lives of remarkable achievement, vitality and civic engagement.

The second annual “Eight Over Eighty” will honor author and photographer ARLENE ALDA, cabaret artist BARBARA CARROLL, actor JOEL GREY, graphic designer MILTON GLASER (of, among many other things, fame), volunteer extraordinaire PATRICIA (PAT) JACOBS, and business people and philanthropists CHARLES M. DIKER, IRWIN HOCHBERG, and RITA & FRED RICHMAN.
(The first event, in 2014, honored an equally impressive line-up of octogenarians and nonagenarians: actor DOMINIC “UNCLE JUNIOR SOPRANO” CHIANESE; gay rights trailblazer EDIE WINDSOR; power couple and developer of 1 World Trade Center KLARA & LARRY SILVERSTEIN,; DICK EISNER, founder of one of the country’s largest and most successful accounting firms; EMILY & EUGENE GRANT, philanthropist and real estate developer; and JOAN WACHTLER, a tireless champion of the aging.)

“This event reflects the changing times we live in – times that will see 30 percent of the U.S. population reach 80 or older by 2030,” says CEO Audrey Weiner. “It also goes right to the heart of what Jewish Home Lifecare is all about: celebrating the vitality of older adults, honoring their lives, and respecting their individuality.”

Jewish Home Lifecare is one of the nation’s largest and most diversified nonprofit geriatric care institutions. Each year it provides 12,000 elders with healthcare services and long-term living options suited to their individual needs. Those options include short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing care, semi- and fully-independent-living residences, and day programs on three campuses, in The Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester. Through its telemedicine program and its extensive home healthcare network, Jewish Home also enables thousands of New Yorkers to age in place.

The money raised by “Eight Over Eighty” will go to support Jewish Home’s person-directed approach to eldercare, an approach epitomized by the long-term care residence being developed for the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Called The Living Center of Manhattan and slated to break ground later this year, the 414-bed structure will be the first GREEN HOUSE® home in New York City and the first to be built in a major metropolitan, high-rise environment.

The Living Center will have 22 of the Green House model’s trademark small, nurturing households, each with 12 private bedrooms and baths clustered around a large, homey shared living and dining space. Dedicated staff will prepare meals and arrange activities, outings and special events according to residents’ wishes, and provide whatever assistance they need with dressing, dining and other daily tasks. Medical personnel will be centralized elsewhere in the building, providing ongoing monitoring and care as appropriate.

The result will be a long-term care environment that offers residents the privacy, dignity and autonomy every human being deserves as well as the comfort and support of a small, close-knit community. The residents, by living in a place reminiscent of the New York City homes in which they spent much, if not all, of their adulthood, will be able to stay connected to the lives they have lived and the familiar surroundings in which they have lived them.

Jewish Home Lifecare has already implemented the Green House philosophy to eldercare at its Westchester branch, known as the Sarah Neuman Center. There, 26 elders are comfortably and happily settled in two of what will be seven Green House model inspired homes known as Small Houses.  “The Green House model is the future not only of Jewish Home Lifecare, but of long-term care for all older adults,” says Weiner. “There is no other model that actively recognizes the personhood of the men and women we are privileged to care for and that enables them to take the lead in their own lives.”

Click on these links to learn more about Jewish Home Lifecare’s Living Center in Manhattan and Small Houses in Westchester, or contact Tammy Marshall, Director, Green House Project, at Jewish Home at TMarshall@jewishhome.org.

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Author Ai-jen Poo Recommends Green House Model in TIME Magazine

In the latest issue of TIME Magazine, author and director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) Ai-jen Poo, discusses the coming Elder boom and how older adults and their care partners deserve to live with dignity.  When asked what exactly is wrong with today’s nursing homes she replies, “There are great nursing homes. The Green House Project is a different kind of model. But those are, I think, more the exception than the rule.”

As Green House adopters across the country work every day to create caring homes for meaningful lives, we must work together to make this model the rule rather than the exception. How do we ensure that Green House homes are available in every community across America?  Quite simply we need to make the model an integrated extension of the community itself where Elders and their care partners enjoy a relationship based on the power of interdependence.

Ai-jen Poo, also the co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign, captures this sentiment within her new book, The Age of Dignity, when she makes the following call to action:

“We must take action now to plan for our grandparents’ futures as well as our own futures. When we really examine the scope and scale of the coming elder boom, we won’t have a choice but to make care a priority. Everyone will be touched by this change in the American demographic. We’re going to have to rethink everything- how we live, work, and play, and especially how we organize our family and community life: how we take care of each other across generations.”

Now is the time to come together to make profound and lasting change in the world of long-term services and supports.

Are you ready?

Visit our Support the Movement page today to learn how you can spread the word and take action leading up to this summer’s White House Conference on Aging in Washington, D.C.

 

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Innovative Roundtables and Conversation at 2015 Association of Jewish Aging Services Conference

Green House leaders, Susan Frazier and Scott Brown, joined innovative organizations from around the country in San Diego for the 2015 Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS) conference.

This conference highlights the groundbreaking work of its membership and discusses the future of the field, while connecting its work to strong foundational values.  The Green House Project not only sponsored the event, but also led an innovation round table.

Innovation Roundtables felt a little bit like speed dating for elder care professionals, and provided the opportunity  to share 15 minutes of information with three different groups of interested people as they moved from table to table.  Our presentation focused on creating sustainable change in a disruptive era, which resonated with the membership.

The AJAS conference is always inspiring and energizing.  We are honored to participate!

 

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Dr. Bill Thomas: Creating Real Home with Increased Acuity

As Elders living in Green House homes age in place it is important that we resist the urge to revert back to institutional practices to solve the obstacles that may be associated with their changing care needs. During a Peer Network webinar last month, adopters had the opportunity to hear Dr. Bill Thomas discuss the topic of increasing acuity of Elders in Green House homes and his recommendations for sustaining the Green House core value of real home.

Participants on the call were asked to think about Florence Nightingale and the new approach and standard of practice that she brought to the existing institutions of her time. Dr. Thomas believes that we are descendants of her philosophy of care and therefore must be prepared to care for Elders in sickness and in health.

A few recommendations he provided during the conversation included:

- Having a clear understanding of the advanced care directives of Elders living in Green House homes and what they want when their health changes acutely.  It is important to have these conversations in advance of illness and revisit the topic as needed

- To better understand how quality acute care services are provided in a home, have conversations with the hospice and home care agencies in your community

- Understand from Elders and their loved ones whether they want maximum care or maximum treatment at the end of life. It isn’t possible to provide both simultaneously.

In many institutional long-term care settings a person is placed in the “sick role” and then kept there for the remainder of their life. Green House homes are unique in that they are a place of recovery, rejuvenation and a dedication to the belief that all people have the right to live with dignity, autonomy and purpose until their last breath.

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Much Comfort on this Valentine’s Day

Below is a special Valentine’s note from Minna Rae Friedman.  Her husband lives in a Green House home at the Capt. James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois.  While the note is written to express how grateful she is…we think you’ll agree there is much love written here “between the lines”!

My husband, Stanley Friedman, has been a resident of the Green House home for over one and a half years.    He is a 94 ½ year old WWII veteran.  This facility has been a godsend to us both.  It is a pleasure to visit and see the care he receives and his surroundings.  Friends who visit, want to move in.

When I have had health situations needing care, I am comfortable knowing he is being cared for.  Our children have supplied him with a desk and computer so he is able to play his favorite “Freecell” game, which not only engages his time, but provides some mental stimulation.

He has a number of health problems requiring medical and physical attention that I wouldn’t be able to provide, so it is doubly comforting to know he is comfortable, and contented.

We, fortunately, live close to Lovell FHCC, and it is a pleasure for me to visit often and I love to bring homemade treats that are always enjoyed by the residents and staff.  (I hope. They say so.)

The Green House homes are a wonderful addition to Lovell FHCC and a welcome respite from the old, traditional nursing homes.

Minna Rae Friedman

 

 

 

 

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