By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on January 13th, 2017
In Rebooting The Nursing Home, Beth Baker shares the deep human stories that describe The Green House model and shaped her visit to Lebanon Valley Brethren Home. These Green House homes are a part of a “growing movement to transform nursing homes from medicalized institutions to places that feel much more like home.”
Resident choice and autonomy, a homey environment, and well-trained and invested staff are hallmarks of the Green House and similar models that are slowly and fundamentally changing long-term care for Americans who otherwise could be forced into traditional nursing homes.
Lebanon Valley Brethren Home has experienced the model’s benefits from a business perspective, as well. CEO, Jeff Shireman shared that after the capital investment, operating costs have been comparable or even lower than their traditional nursing home. This cost savings is directly correlated with the comprehensive paradigm shift of the model and fully leveraging the role of the versatile worker (known as a shahbaz), “What you must do as a leader is to support [the shahbazim] and empower them and hold them accountable,” says the Green House Project’s Senior Director, Susan Ryan. “That is where you’ll see the efficiency.”
This article paints a warm picture of a day in the life of a Green House home, and the elements that make it a viable model that is changing the landscape of long term care.
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on January 11th, 2017
An intentionally built environment is crucial to support the success a person-directed home. ProBuilder Magazine highlights innovation in senior care with a focus on the comprehensive transformation of The Green House model. Green House “has three core values,” says senior director Susan Frazier Ryan, “real homes, meaningful life (culture) and empowered staff (organizational change/human architecture, all of which help an elder live the best life.”
This article features innovative Green House homes, including St. John’s, the first
community integrated Green House homes as a model to influence future developers as they look to meet the needs of an aging population,”In 10 years, the first of the 77 million baby boomers will turn 80. That’s the age, say those involved in senior housing, where the intersection of the built environment and health is critical.”
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on December 19th, 2016
While 2016 was an impressive year with more than 200 homes open and operating in 30 states, we expect to see that momentum continue in 2017! It will be a year where we will see our first PACE Green House homes open in Michigan…and the first Green House homes will be opening in Rhode Island, where Saint Elizabeth Home broke a 20 year moratorium on new nursing home beds.
Here’s a quick look at how the year is shaping up for Grand Openings and Groundbreaking ceremonies:
Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, Detroit, MI
The first PACE Green House Homes in the country–this development is part of the Thome Rivertown Neighborhood in Detroit, MI
Clark Lindsey Village, Urbana, IL
1st home opens in January, 2nd home
Cottages of Lake St. Louis, Lake St. Louis MO
1st home opens Jan 23rd with homes opening sequentially through Spring
Belle Meade Rehabilitation, Paragould, AR
Saint Elizabeth Home, East Greenwich, RI
2 AL homes
2 AL homes
Buckner – Calder Woods, Beaumont, TX
Jewish Senior Life, Rochester, NY
VMRC, Harrisonburg, VA
5 homes (in addition to their 3 existing)
3 homes open early fall (September) and 2 homes open 6 weeks later
West Vue, Inc.,West Plains, MO
Cave City Nursing Home, Cave City, AR
Southern Administrative Services, Little Rock, AR
By Lori Gonzalez / Posted on December 12th, 2016
Lori Gonzalez is a PhD researcher at the Claude Pepper Center of Florida State University who studies alternatives to traditional nursing care and social inequality. She spoke at The 9th Annual Green House meeting about how she discovered The Green House model, and her passion to spread its message.
“Of those who were surveyed, most frail elders reported that they would choose death over a nursing home.” This was one of the first studies that I came across when I started working as a researcher at the Claude Pepper Center at Florida State University. As I delved deeper into the research literature regarding quality of care and quality of life in long-term care it became clear why the elders in the survey would say such a thing. Study after study reported resident lack of autonomy, lack of privacy, and lack of dignity. The physical environment in many nursing homes resembles the hospital instead of home. Staff and resident schedules are rigid. Unhappiness and dehumanization abound. Although the problems are well documented in the literature, few solutions are offered.
Eventually, I came across the early research on The Green House Project. Not only were Green House homes the comprehensive answer to a complex problem, but the research showed that they were effective in reducing many of the ills facing both elders and staff in the traditional nursing home. Since then, I have been following The Green House movement and advocating for the model as an independent researcher. For example, my op-ed that appeared in the Tampa Bay Times earlier this year argues that Florida, during its temporary lift of the moratorium on new nursing home bed construction, has the opportunity to build more livable, human-scale residences like Green House homes instead of the traditional, large-scale institutional model.
I have also been documenting a story of elder empowerment at the Woodlands of John Knox Village (JKV) Green House homes in Pompano Beach, Florida. When the community’s rehab facility needed replacing, several elders used their vote on the board to bring The Green House model to JKV. It took several years, lots of back and forth, but in the end—it was the elders who insisted that The Green House model was what they wanted, that according to their research, it was right for their community. I had the honor of touring the beautiful, bathed in natural light, full of life homes, and the honor of speaking with elders, guides, direct care staff, and the CEO—it is a place where elders truly rule.
I will continue to try to help spread the model because The Green House Project provides the type of long-term care that elders want and deserve.
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on December 9th, 2016
2016 has been an amazing year for Green House adopters who represent some of the most innovative organizations in healthcare. At the recent Green House Annual Meeting, this video highlighted some of the awards and honors that our adopters have received this year.
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on November 30th, 2016
The energy is always electric when Green House adopters are together. “As a national initiative, amazing things happen when so many changemakers are in the same room,” shares Senior Director, Susan Ryan, “The opportunity for rich discussion, relationship building and thoughtful questions is irreplaceable. ” That was certainly the case as over 250 Green House adopters gathered at The 2016 Green House Annual Meeting—Beyond Better.
Hosted in New Jersey, attendees were able to visit two open Green House homes, Morris Hall Meadows and Green Hill. Representing 30 states and over 200 open homes, the growing Peer Network is one of the greatest values of participating in this initiative. Green House stakeholder, John Grace, said, “It was nice to attend an intimate gathering where “practical application” is the theme of the day.”
Pre-Conference workshops provided role specific opportunities to explore areas that research proves are vital to the sustainability and success of the model, such as coaching and empowerment. Senior executives joined President of Center for Innovation, Inc., the sponsor of The Green House Project, Scott Townsley, to discuss the strategic trends impacting healthcare, and how The Green House model must continue to evolve in order to lead the way to a better tomorrow.
Marc Middleton, CEO of Growing Bolder, opened the meeting with an inspiring message that what the mind believes, the body embraces, and a call to believe in the potential of elders! This multimedia presentation thoroughly dismantled the myths of aging, and set a tone of possibility for the rest of the meeting.
With breakout sessions focused on key operational topics like convivium, spirituality, team building and hiring, adopters left the conference with a full ‘toolbox’ of new skills and ideas to enhance their homes and organizations. An original spoken word piece, called, “I Am Green House”, brought the crowd to their feet, as a shahbaz, a nurse, a family member and an elder shared what it really means to live this movement everyday.
This year, intensive sessions were offered as opportunities to take a deep dive in areas of dementia, coaching leadership and bringing Green House values into the legacy home. Hot topics, real discussion, and an impetus to keep growing, resonated throughout the conference. The “Inner Circle” was a unique networking space for attendees to meet their peers and help to co-create the future. Reciprocity of active learning and shared experience is making a difference and changing the world.
Sustainability is crucial in the work that we do, and a quality benchmarking resource was presented to attendees with a tangible charge to never stop improving. Exciting results are being discovered as the evidence-base for The Green House model grows.
The conference closed with Ashton Applewhite, anti-ageism advocate and author of This Chair Rocks, an Manifesto Against Ageism, sending a passionate appeal to fight ageism in all its forms. With humor and personal stories, Ashton served as the perfect way to end the conference feeling challenged and inspired.
“THE POWER OF THE MOVEMENT IS YOU!” says, Susan Ryan, to an empowered audience of Green House adopters. The national initiative is able to push the envelope of what is possible because of the innovative and excellent work of Green House adopters and those stakeholders who are changing what it means to age.
Next year marks the 10th Annual Green House Meeting. Held in Florida, with host site, John Knox Village, this meeting continues to grow in meaning and scope, as Green House adopters truly go, Beyond Better!
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on November 10th, 2016
An estimated 200 people attended the ceremony November 3rd to officially cut the ribbon on the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation! JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow, MA has been working hard to develop the two Green House homes for short-term rehabilitation which are expected to open in December.
Among those attending included Congressman Richard Neal and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. A number of JGS board members and staff were also on hand for the celebration.
Each home will provide rehabilitation for 12 people and are the first Green House rehab homes in western Massachusetts. Green House Senior Director, Susan Ryan, congratulated the team at JGS Lifecare and officially welcomed them to the Green House family.
Read more about the event:
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on October 27th, 2016
Saint Elizabeth Community in Greenwich, RI broke a 20 year moratorium on new nursing home beds with their development of 4 Green House homes that will provide both long term care and short term rehabilitation. Learn more about their project and progress in this news report.
By Jemi Mansfield / Posted on September 21st, 2016
Jemi Mansfield is the Guide for The Green House homes at Cedar Sinai Park, and the Director of Spiritual Life for the organization. Cedar Sinai Park opened their first Green House home in July 2016, and the self managed work team created a beautiful welcoming ritual to make sure that the elders felt special and loved as they moved into their new home. The below story is an account of what can happen when a team is empowered to make decisions that bring value to their role, their home and those whose lives they touch.
Right from the start, the self managed work team (called shahbazim) in our Green House home knew they wanted to have a small gift waiting in the bedrooms as the elders moved in – something special and personalized to really make it feel like home. Jane, a shahbaz, recalled that when she and her husband went away for their 40th anniversary the hotel surprised them not only with champagne and
chocolates in their room but also a banner hanging in the lobby. “It was unexpected and so touching,” she said. That and similar experiences shared by others laid the foundation for a gift bag filled with goodies awaiting residents. A list of personal care items was compiled: shampoo, lotion, toothbrush and paste, shaving gear for the gents, etc. – and the Shahbazim took off on an impromptu shopping trip to Dollar Tree, which was a highlight for Carol during the practicum weeks. “I liked that we worked together to plan the list and then shop,” she said. “Nothing went into the basket that we didn’t all agree upon – a real team effort.” They also bought welcome cards, which were personalized for each resident and signed by the entire team. On July 25th, move-in day, each gift bag was festooned with a cheery balloon and placed in a prominent spot alongside an African Violet plant for each resident: a reminder of the roots of the Eden Alternative to bring living things into each home.
Everyone knew that the goodie bags were going to be a hit, but the star of the welcome gifts is really the blanket. Jane had hit upon the idea during a brainstorming session – that each resident should be given something uniquely theirs to keep and enjoy in the house. She suggested a crocheted lap blanket, made by volunteers. The group jumped on the notion immediately but acknowledged that, at less than two weeks to opening, they faced a lack of time to pull together a project of this size. Nicole, a member of the self managed team, mentioned that her son, who has autism and touch sensitivity, has a favorite type of blanket that she buys at Costco. “It’s beyond soft,” she explained. “It offers him comfort and warmth, and that’s what we want our residents to experience.” She brought in a sample the next day, and the group of Shahbazim were sold: it truly was the softest blanket in the world.
The finishing touch was to personalize the gift. Each resident’s blanket was embroidered with his or her first name and the date of move in: July 25, 2016. The blankets were presented to the elders by the Shahbazim at the first dinner, as they enjoyed “convivium” (good food with good company) around the big table where meals are served together. Tony, a shahbaz, created a lively atmosphere as he led all in a boisterous round of the “Name Game”, welcoming each elder to their new home.
As new residents eventually move in, they will receive their own blanket, emblazoned with their name and move-in date to denote their place in the household. As Alisa, another shahbaz, pointed out, “This is a fresh start for our residents. A new setting, a new chapter, a new home. It’s right that they should start this chapter with something new and truly theirs.”
In the days that followed, we received a sweet note from Maureen, whose sister is among the first residents (the Alpha House Twelve, we lovingly call them). The note reads, “To all you dear people who gave Pam such a wonderful welcome to her new home. Last Monday, July 25, was a red letter day which we will always remember when we look at her beautiful new blanket and all the lovely bag of presents, card, balloon and flowers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do for Pam. You are truly wonderful!”
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on September 20th, 2016
Washington County Nursing Home celebrated the grand opening of their four Green House homes on September 13th. This new development represents a complete replacement for the former county nursing home and was a project that had been on the drawing board for many years.
County Commissioner Lea Ann Laybourn echoed those feelings, “We are so delighted to have so many people and distinguished guests share our celebration of this day. This has been a seven year dream brought to a reality. When we started the project of building the homes, we were met with many obstacles. But with perseverance and prayer, the homes became a reality, thanks to the talented, determined and energetic enthusiasm generated by many persons involved in this project.”
Senior Director of The Green House Project, Susan Ryan told those attending, “This is a chance to practice life a new way in the new homes. It is a chance to allow the residents to live, grow and thrive. I challenge the residents of Washington County to go into this with a full heart and with dedication, as the best is yet to come. This is a great opportunity for Washington County and for the residents of the county.”
Read more about the events that day in this story provided by the Akron News-Reporter.
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on September 16th, 2016
It was a beautiful day on September 11th for a special ground blessing at the Ave Maria Home where they are building an additional five Green House homes.
Over the past three and half years they have been raising funds to build the homes which will cost approximately $10 million.
The new homes will be built on their existing property and across the street from their existing four Green House homes. Senior Director of The Green House Project, Susan Ryan, told those attending the event that she was so pleased to share in the joy of the celebration and expressed how grateful she was for leaders like Ave Maria Executive Director, Frank Gattuso, who embraced the idea that life can be different and became part of the national Green House movement.
The goal is to break ground in July 2017 for these homes. We wish Ave Maria the best in this new development!
To hear more of Susan’s comments at the ceremony, play the video clip below:
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on September 10th, 2016
While Elders have been enjoying living the Green House Cottages of Carmel for several months—the official Grand Opening ceremonies took place on August 25th.
In May the first Elders in Indiana moved into the Green House homes…three are now open and when all six cottages are complete they will be home to 72 Elders.
The cottages are dedicated to care in three different areas: long-term, memory care and short term rehabilitation. We welcome our new members to the Green House family of adopters and wish them much success!