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The Green House Project Blog

White House Conference on Aging in 2015

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.  Four major areas of focus are:

Retirement security is a vitally important issue. Financial security in retirement provides essential peace of mind for older Americans, but requires attention during our working lives to ensure that we are well prepared for retirement.

Healthy aging will be all the more important as baby boomers age. As medical advances progress, the opportunities for older Americans to maintain their health and vitality should progress as well and community supports, including housing, are important tools to promote this vitality.

Long-term services and supports remain a priority. Older Americans overwhelmingly prefer to remain independent in the community as they age. They need supports to do so, including a caregiving network and well-supported workforce.

Elder justice is important given that seniors, particularly the oldest older Americans, can be vulnerable to financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect. The Elder Justice Act was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, and we need to realize its vision of protecting seniors from scam artists and others seeking to take advantage of them.

Recently, Green House Project, Chief Operating Officer, Susan Frazier, met with WHCOA Executive Director, Nora Super, and Communications Director, Michele Patrick.  During this meeting, they talked about how The Green House model highlights so many of the key areas addressed in the conference objectives, especially, Healthy Aging and Long-term services and supports.  The Green House Project plans to be visible and involved in all of the activities surrounding WHCOA, and will amplify the voice of the elders and staff who are living this innovative model every day.

The Green House Project is an innovative model of skilled nursing care that offers high quality care and saves Medicare and Medicaid dollars. In an era of budget deficits and a growing aging population, our country needs to identify effective models that can save money and yet offer choice, quality and independence to our nation’s seniors. After viewing this short video you will have a sense of the model and how it differs from large, traditional, institutional-style nursing homes. In his recent book, Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande examines the loneliness, helplessness and boredom so often experienced by those living out the end of their lives in long-term care institutions and he argues that this should not be the norm in our country. He writes that Green House homes are “…designed to pursue that idea that a life worth living can be created…by focusing on food, homemaking, and befriending others.”

Nora Super and her team have been invited to visit Green House homes as they travel the country and learn more about the issues that are important to various consumers, policy makers and stakeholders.  To learn more about the local, state, regional and policy events as well as other ways to be involved, visit http://whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/

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A Special Day in New Jersey: Six Green House Homes to be Developed

There was a special kickoff celebration October 14th to highlight the construction of six Green House homes in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Darlene Hanley, CEO for the St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall (Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing) welcomed local officials and members of the press to review the development plans for the organization.

Susan Frazier, The Green House Project COO, was a featured speaker at the event.  Work is already underway at the site, which will be called Morris Hall Meadows.  The first homes are expected to open late spring 2015.

Welcome to the Green House family and congratulations to all!

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Join us at the Leading Age Annual Meeting and Expo

We hope you join us in Nashville at the Leading Age Annual Meeting and Expo October 19-22. The meeting “connects thousands of aging services professionals who are facing the same triumphs and challenges that you face every day.”

Come see us at booth 2331 where you will have a chance to win Atul Gawanded’s new book, Being Mortal, which highlights The Green House model as a place to live a meaningful life. Additionally, we are co-guitar-slider.jpghosting the Reception for Person Centered Care Leaders, along with the Eden Alternative, LifeBio, It’s Never 2 Late and Penner Spas. And on Wednesday, October 22, from 1:30pm – 3:00pm you will have a chance to hear us speak in a breakout session called Green House homes: Challenges and Opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you there as we re-define age.

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Favorable Time for Financing in Senior Housing Market According to Provider Magazine

Having come through the recession more intact than many other sectors, the environment for development is especially favorable right now for senior housing, according to experts.

In a recent edition of Provider Magazine, Imran Javaid, managing director, healthcare real estate, commercial and specialty finance, Capital One Financial Corp., explains, “A lot of players recognized that [seniors housing] had performed really well in the recession,” says Javaid. “The demographics are positive, but also important is that it held better in the recession than some other classes they’d typically lend to. They really recognized that it is more resilient to recession and downturns because it’s needs-driven.”

Because of the positive performance over the last 5-6 years, there are more financing options, favorable terms and low interest rates available, but experts predict that the current state is time limited, “If you have a plan that five years from now will be absolutely necessary [to implement], do it now,” says Javaid. “Accelerate the timeline, and do it now. Expand or upgrade a facility now, don’t wait for five years from now when you might have a very different environment.”

 

Financing for Green House homes comes in a variety of forms.  In addition to commercial loans, Green House homes have being developed using bonds and government backed loans, as well as non-traditional loans. Through our partnerships with RWJF, AARP Foundation and The Weinberg Foundation, we are able to provide special financing for organizations serving low income elders.  To learn more about financing opportunities, visit The Green House website

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Project Update: Occupancy Faster Than Anticipated for First Green House Homes in Minnesota

It’s the kind of issue that all marketing directors are happy to manage—an unexpected “rush” of Elders that want to move in ASAP to your new Green House homes!  Well that is precisely what happened at Water’s Edge in Mankato, Minnesota.

Since the first Elders moved in this past August…there has been a whirlwind of activity to welcome Elders into their new homes and to make sure that all hiring and training is accomplished on time.  In fact, during the first week of opening their first home, they moved in 9 Elders!  “We certainly hadn’t planned it that way,” said Director of Operations, Brooke Olson, “but it’s not a bad problem to have so many Elders want to move in when you first open your doors!”

Water’s Edge is comprised of three assisted living Green House homes, each with 12 private bedrooms.  They are operated by Grace Senior Services.  The owners, Brad and Heather Bass have long been committed to serving Elders in their community.  They opened their first adult day service in their home more than 18 years ago.  They currently have several senior housing cooperatives, and adult foster care program, two assisted living communities and now the new Green House homes at Water’s Edge.

The second home is nearly full, so training and hiring will begin for the third home very shortly.  The plan for Water’s Edge had always included a position for Marketing and Elder Enrichment, but they were not going to fill it until much later.  However, with the pace of occupancy, they decided that the role was going to be needed much sooner.  In September, they welcomed Rachel Carpenter to their team.

We congratulate Water’s Edge on their success and wish them only the best moving forward!

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