Mirasol Green House Homes, Loveland, CO

By / Posted on December 19th, 2012

Mirasol Green House Homes, Loveland, CO
Operating: 0
In development: 6 Individual Homes
Square Feet per Home: 7800

Description: This Green House Project is the third Phase of a 25 acre development created by the Housing Authority of the City of Loveland.  The Green House homes occupy approximately five (5) acres of the Mirasol Senior Community and provide a continuum of housing opportunities for seniors. The Mirasol Senior Community is an “affordable” development offering apartment rentals, duplex rentals, and single family home ownership to those individuals 55+ who wish to thrive in an exciting and dynamic environment. The Green House Project completes the last piece of the housing continuum by offering a home to elders who require more assistance with their everyday lives.

The Mirasol Community residents are supported by a centrally located Event Center offering programs and services to all subscribing residents. The Event Center provides an exercise room and physical conditioning classes, a coffee bistro with continental breakfast, life enhancing seminars through various senior service organizations, a computer/copier/fax center, a small conference room, and a hair styling salon. Additional senior programming provided to the residents includes a variety of social events, special day trips and outings, transportation for shopping and medical appointments, and a full time staff available to assist any senior resident with life’s challenges.

Organization History
As the developer of Mirasol, the Housing Authority of the City of Loveland has created a strong partnership with Vivage Quality Health Partner, a nationally-recognized long-term care management company with a 32-year history of successfully managing elder care homes in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest areas. With the Housing Authority’s extensive experience constructing and managing over 1200 affordable housing units and Vivage’s commitment to The Green House principals of care, The Green House homes on the Mirasol Senior Campus become an integrated part of the Community’s mission and elder housing.

Consisting of six (6) Green House homes, each with 10 bedrooms, the Mirasol Green House homes provide over 46,800 total square feet of living space. The resident elders enjoy the comfort of the latest in energy conservation technologies and environmentally clean air as each home has been designed to incorporate some of the most advanced products available in today’s market.  Additionally, the Mirasol campus provides a comforting environment for elders with a significant amount of outdoor space and access to over two miles of wheel chair accessible trails.

 The partnership with Vivage not only guarantees the elders an incredible living space, but ensures their care will be provided by some of the most dedicated and committed staff members in the country. The Vivage staff has adopted the concept of The Green House principals and provides management and staffing to more than 1,800 elders throughout the Rocky Mountain States. Their senior staff is highly engaged with other professionals throughout the United States and continuously works toward enhancing the care and programs offered to elders. Key to the success of Mirasol Green House plan is the Vivage staff constantly evaluating their work to improve and supported by an extensive training and career development program. The Vivage staff “integrates” into each home and provides both physical and mental support to their elders.

Financing for the development of this “affordable” Green House Project requires a variety of public and private resources. The underlining financial instrument is New Market Tax Credits offered through the Internal Revenue Service as a means to encourage a combination of residential and commercial/institutional development. But in order to provide for delivery of “affordable” care, a strong partnership needs to be created matching public grants from the State of Colorado, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, and the City of Loveland with private philanthropic funds available from corporate sponsorships committed to providing Green House modeled care. It is only through this combination of funding sources that the Housing Authority is able to offer such high quality affordable housing and services to the most deserving members of our community and deliver on our mission – “To provide quality care, compassionately respectfully, for individuals living in our homes. We are dedicated to working together with them, their families, our communities, and our staff, to provide a nurturing environment.”

For More Information About the Mirasol Green House Homes & Senior Community:

Moofie Miller, Director of Housing
(970) 635-5935
mmill@lovelandhsg.org
The Housing Authority of the City of Loveland
Loveland, Colorado 80538


The Green House ® Residences at Brooks Rehabilitation

By / Posted on December 11th, 2012

The Green House ® Residences

Jacksonville, FL

Operating: 0; In development: 2; Square Feet per Home: 8000

Brooks Rehabilitation, a non-profit health system serving the North East Florida region for over 35 years, is proud to announce the development of two 12-person Green House homes to add to its existing continuum of healthcare services.  Brooks Rehabilitation currently consists of the nation’s busiest freestanding Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF), 26 outpatient clinics, one of the region’s largest Home Healthcare Agencies, a 68-bed five-star rated Skilled Nursing Facility, a 100-bed Skilled Nursing Facility (under development), a 61-unit Assisted Living Facility (under development) and a Clinical Research center.

The Green House ® Residences at Brooks Rehabilitation will provide specialized care to individuals with Alzheimer’s or other Dementia-Related Disorders.  The homes will be licensed with the Extended Congregate Care – Assisted Living Facility license which will allow Brooks to provide a high level of personalized care to each of the elders. Each home will be centered on creating a community that supports the most positive elderhood and work life possible, and will embody the Brooks core values of teamwork, integrity, service, accountability, innovation and excellence at every level.

To learn more about The Green House® Residences visit:

http://www.bartramlakes.org/

Sponsoring Organization Mission

To advance the health and well-being of persons requiring rehabilitation through superior outcomes, service, education and research

To learn more about Brooks Rehabilitation, visit:

http://www.brookshealth.org/ or http://www.brooksrehab.org/

Contact

Danielle McGrath
Director of Marketing for Aging Services
Danielle.Mcgrath@Brooksrehab.org
1-855-306-3387
(Toll Free)


Highlighting the VA Illiana Health Care System on Veteran's Day

By / Posted on November 9th, 2012

In honor of Veteran’s Day, The Green House Project wants to give a shout out to the VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) in Danville, Illinois.  This team never lost sight of their dream: bringing a real home environment to their Community Living Centers (CLCs).  For six years staff at VAIHCS worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality.  Finally in December 2011, they opened their first Green House home, and then the second home one month later.  Over the next year, two more Green House homes will open. 

This week, the team was notified that they received the 2012 Under Secretary for Health’s Award for Innovation in VA Community Living Centers.  This award is given to a VA that has shown real leadership and innovation in veterans’ care.  The organization receiving this award has shown change in the following areas: work practices, care practices, environment of care, leadership, and government and community relationships.

This award is a testament to the determination and passion of all the individuals involved in this effort.  A comment from one veteran who said, “I never thought I would be living in a home again” or a staff member who stated that “I look forward to coming to work and I am in no hurry to leave at the end of my shift” is all the proof they need to know this initiative was worth it.


VA Illiana Health Care Campus Shares A Balloon Launch To Remember

By / Posted on September 25th, 2012

“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…”

-President Abraham Lincoln in The Gettysburg Address, 1863

Abraham Lincoln’s speech is a reminder of the sacrifice so many have made for our freedom.  It certainly influenced Drusilla (Dru) Ford in her decision to work with veterans at the Freedom House on the VA Illiana Health Care (VAIHC) campus in Danville, Illinois.  Furthermore, serving veterans is a way for Dru to honor her father who fought in World War II.

Across the VAIHC campus, it is important that every veteran is honored and remembered for their service to this country.  When someone passes away, the American flag is draped across his or her bed and personal mementos are displayed in the room.  Family, friends and staff have time to reflect, grieve and celebrate with each another.  “When someone passes away” stated Dru, “it truly feels like I have lost a family member.” 

Building strong, intimate relationships with each veteran is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job as a Shahbaz.  In her own family, it is a ritual to launch balloons shortly after an individual passes away.  She presented this idea to both Green House homes and on July 4th, the first balloon launching ceremony commenced.  Veterans shared stories and sang God Bless America.  It was such a memorable experience that the veterans asked that this become a standing ritual in both Green House homes.


Embracing Elderhood Changes Lives Across Generations

By / Posted on September 20th, 2012

By Laura Beck on September 13, 2012

At last week’s Green House Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich., I had the opportunity to introduce Green House adopters to Embracing Elderhood, an Eden Alternative initiative that brings volunteers, age 16 and older, together with Elders through the power of story

There is an African saying that equates the passing of an Elder to the loss of a library.  This proverb is the inspiration behind Embracing Elderhood and the notion that to truly care for someone, you must have a deeper understanding and appreciation of who they are.  On November 15th and 16th, The Eden Alternative will offer Embracing Elderhood Guide Certification to Green Houses and other organizations to help make legacy creation  an integral part of their community culture.

Part life story and part gift in the form of whatever an Elder wishes to offer future generations, legacies highlight and celebrate Elders as unique individuals, provide meaningful engagement for all, and answer important questions about our own lives.

When Elders are encouraged to share their legacies, we strike a blow against any potential sense of helplessness and isolation and reclaim their vital societal role.  In a healthy human community, this precious balance between giving and receiving across generations is essential. Every effort to weave Elders back into the social fabric of our communities – even one relationship at a time – is another step toward promoting a vision of Elderhood as a valued phase of human development, rather than just the decline of life.

Organizations tell us all of the time that they already ‘do’ Elder stories.  What we’ve learned, though, is that legacy creation, at its best, is much more about the process, than it is the outcome.

Years ago, I had the opportunity to talk to some young people who’d been handed a list of questions and told to sit with an older stranger and get some answers.  These youth shared later that they had no idea why they were there and why they were doing this.  The Elders, in turn, stated that they didn’t know why they were being asked all of these personal questions.  Without a sense of purpose behind their actions, neither walked away touched in any particularly meaningful way.

Knowing WHY an Elder’s legacy has value is the first vital step toward successful legacy creation.  Given the right tools and perspective upfront, participants are often surprised by how deeply they are positively affected by the experience in the end.

Meredith, a 12th grade Embracing Elderhood Recording Partner from Charlottesville, VA, said, “This experience has completely changed the way I think about being an Elder. It helped me to understand that Elders don’t just live in the past. They still have the desire to learn, great senses of humor, and important lives to live.”

Meredith, like all volunteer Recording Partners, began her Embracing Elderhood journey in a 1-day training that introduces participants to culture change ideals.  Through the scope of the Eden Alternative’s Ten Principles, Embracing Elderhood Guides  teach Recording Partners person-directed concepts and techniques designed to create meaningful partnerships with their Elder Storytellers.  The interactive workshop emphasizes the power of story, the impact of ageism, redefining Elderhood, balancing “being” and “doing,” and appropriate communication and companionship building skills.

Recording Partners also learn how to drive an online template for legacy creation, which is just prescriptive enough for them to focus their attention on the relationship they are building with their Storyteller, while leaving room for creative license.  From there, each Recording Team, composed of a Recording Partner and a Storyteller, receives on-going mentorship from their Embracing Elderhood Guide, who is prepared to support each team’s legacy creation process.

Dr. Bill Thomas suggests that “acknowledging and embracing the idea of Elder-richness and strengthening the exchange between the generations can improve quality of life for all ages.” While the participation of youth tends to pique most people’s interest in Embracing Elderhood, Recording Partners can be as young as 16 and as old as they want to be.

This, coupled with the fact that any kind of organization can begin an ongoing Embracing Elderhood initiative, offers flexibility and the opportunity to help create a new vision of aging that calls on everyone to play a part in bringing it to life.


Creating A Safe Place For Older Adults Who Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender

By / Posted on August 29th, 2012

Kate Waldo and Debbie Wiegand, Project Guides at The Green House Project

It is hard to believe there is a group of older adults who are less likely to use health services, visit their local senior center and be open about their lifestyle when living in a nursing home or assisted living facility.  However, this is the reality for most older adults who are  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT). 

Kate Waldo, Project Guide at THE GREEN HOUSE ® Project discussed this issue at The Pioneer Network 12th National Conference in Jacksonville, Florida.  She talked about ways aging providers can improve services and support for LGBT older adults.  To say support for this population is inadequate would be an understatement.  So why is this happening? There has been a long history of discrimination, stigmatization and persecution of this population.  The LGBT older adults we are currently serving have lived through heinous treatment, from electric shock therapy as the standard “treatment for homosexuality” to losing their jobs and children for being gay.  It is no wonder many individuals have waited until late life to come out or continue to hide it.    

As health care providers, we cannot be satisfied with services that are not meeting the needs of one of the most vulnerable populations.  To learn more, contact the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.


The 6th Eden Alternative International Conference

By / Posted on June 5th, 2012

One of many celebrations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conference lobby was buzzing with excitement as individuals gathered for the 6th Eden Alternative International Conference.  Even as a newcomer to this event, it was evident that everyone was deeply connected both personally and professionally.  It felt like a large family reunion, and in no time, I was swept up in all the enthusiasm and camaraderie.

I have been pondering how to capture my experience but have found it very difficult to neatly package three powerful and enlightening days into one blog.  I anticipated I would meet extraordinary people, but I never imagined every person I met to leave such a lasting impression.  For instance, I met Connie Goldman, a former staff member of National Public Radio and life-long advocate of changing society’s perception on aging.  “We all want to live a long life,” she stated during the conference. “However, no one wants to age.  What people don’t understand is that being older is the best time of your life or at least it can be.”  I realized I was surrounded by people tirelessly working to make this a reality.

The conference was packed with educational sessions, panels, an exhibitor booth, and plenty of convivium and celebration.  Information ranged from international growth to intergenerational opportunities.  The conference also illuminated how the Eden philosophy and principles thrive in The Green House model.  It was a reminder that relationships are the basis of the work we do and will continue to guide our work in the future.


It Takes a Lot of Planning to Be Spontaneous

By / Posted on May 25th, 2012

According to Allen Power’s recent blog post, spontaneity is key to meaningful engagement.  He writes:

I have often said the above words with regard to creating a long-term care environment rich with spontaneity. While there clearly are benefits to programmed and therapeutic activities, much of the joy in life comes from the ability to respond to the needs and desires of the present moment for each individual. But it’s a hard thing to do.

Our community Green Houses have been open for 10 weeks. I stopped by on Wednesday to visit an elder who was close to the end of his life. During my visit, I saw some great things going on.

After ringing the doorbell, I was greeted by Bridget, one of the Shahbazim. Inside was a tableau of normalcy. One gentleman had just arisen and was having breakfast at 10 AM. Another was watching Rachel Ray cook up something sinful. Another woman sat nearby, but was facing the window because “watching the food is too tempting”. We chatted for a few minutes, and then she said, “If you’ll excuse me now, I’m going to nap a little.” She did request a song on the piano that I didn’t know, but I was able to get her to join in on “Pennies from Heaven”.

Another gentleman was looking rather restless, moving back and forth around the dining room with his walker. As I sat watching, another Shahbaz, Brenna, came up to him and invited him to walk outside in the garden. He enthusiastically agreed and off they went.

Bridget told me that they had bought some seeds and plants to start their gardens, now that the weather was warmer. Last week, the house at 65 Sonoma met to brainstorm  a list of possible names for their gardening group. This week they voted. The winning name: Growing Alive At 65. Indeed.

All this time, my friend, who had a couple of serious infections, was receiving superb nursing care in his room from Polly. When that was completed, I was able to go in and visit with him. He was weak, but very glad for the “house call” from his former doctor. There had been a lot of discussion as to whether he could return to the community Green House home after his complicated, 5-week hospital stay, but they ultimately agreed to bring him back. He was very grateful to be able to finish his days there and everyone made him feel comfortable and welcome in spite of his illness. He passed away peacefully early the next morning.

At 65 and 75 Sonoma Drive, we have people who are sick and well, people who can walk and who cannot, people who live with dementia and people who do not. All live together in these houses. We care for people of all stripes. The principles don’t really change if you truly want individualized, person-directed care.

We have our struggles; it hasn’t all been easy, and we will continue to struggle with this new way of life. But on that morning, I saw them conquer one of the most elusive goals in long-term care, even in Green House homes: creating normalcy. Nice work!

Next week, Polly, Patricia and Kris will be representing our community Green House homes at the Eden International Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, along with Carol, Maria, Theresa and myself, who are based at St. John’s Home. We look forward to sharing more stories.

 Tell us what you think!  Read more posts like this on Allen Power’s blog at changingaging.org.


White Oak Cottages at Fox Hill Village Opens Their First Green House Assisted Living Home

By / Posted on April 2nd, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Located on the Fox Hill campus in Westwood, Massachusetts, the White Oak Cottages Green House homes are a new concept in assisted living memory care.  “The White Oak Cottages are homes where people want to live and work,” states Christopher Warner, Guide. “And where all are protected, sustained, and nurtured.”  Protect, sustain and nurture, three simple words, are driving a national effort to reframe the way we care for our Elders. 

The White Oaks Cottages will open their first Green House assisted living home this month.  The combination of environmental changes, such as private rooms with an abundance of light and an organizational philosophy built on autonomy and choice, will support the special needs of individuals with dementia.  “When a person enters a White Oak Cottage home,” continues Mr. Warner “we focus on what is possible and positive within each individual.”  The Green House Project is honored to partner with and celebrate the success of an organization that truly embraces and exemplifies those three essential words.  

Click here to find out more information about the White Oak Cottages.


Dr. Bill Thomas hosts a virtual launch party for his new book 'Tribes of Eden'!

By / Posted on March 27th, 2012

Dr. William Thomas, founder of the Eden Alternative and Green House Project, is hosting a virtual launch party for his new book, Tribes of Eden.  “I can’t tell you how excited I am for the official paperback release of my newest novel Tribes of Eden on April 2, 2012,” he writes on his Changing Aging blog. “Nearly eight years in the making, this book is inspired by and dedicated to the REAL tribes of Eden — thousands and thousands of people around the globe who make up The Eden Alternative and broader culture change community.”

If you are a Green House adopter or a member of The Eden Alternative, join Dr. Thomas via webinar for a reading from Tribes of Eden. This is a rare opportunity to get an insider’s look at the real people and places integral to the history and vision of The Eden Alternative.  A Q&A session with the author will follow.  Furthermore, every organization that hosts a book launch party will get an autographed copy to give away.

Changing Aging offers the following synopsis:

“On the run after America’s sudden and utter collapse, a family finds sanctuary in the heart of a community thriving “off the grid.” But when the lure of a virtual new world order divides the family, the elders of the community recognize that humanity’s fate rests with a chosen girl and a surprising alliance between the least powerful — the young and old.”

First Read: The Tribes of Eden from Kavan Peterson on Vimeo.


Dr. Bill Thomas hosts a virtual launch party for his new book ‘Tribes of Eden’!

By / Posted on March 27th, 2012

Dr. William Thomas, founder of the Eden Alternative and Green House Project, is hosting a virtual launch party for his new book, Tribes of Eden.  “I can’t tell you how excited I am for the official paperback release of my newest novel Tribes of Eden on April 2, 2012,” he writes on his Changing Aging blog. “Nearly eight years in the making, this book is inspired by and dedicated to the REAL tribes of Eden — thousands and thousands of people around the globe who make up The Eden Alternative and broader culture change community.”

If you are a Green House adopter or a member of The Eden Alternative, join Dr. Thomas via webinar for a reading from Tribes of Eden. This is a rare opportunity to get an insider’s look at the real people and places integral to the history and vision of The Eden Alternative.  A Q&A session with the author will follow.  Furthermore, every organization that hosts a book launch party will get an autographed copy to give away.

Changing Aging offers the following synopsis:

“On the run after America’s sudden and utter collapse, a family finds sanctuary in the heart of a community thriving “off the grid.” But when the lure of a virtual new world order divides the family, the elders of the community recognize that humanity’s fate rests with a chosen girl and a surprising alliance between the least powerful — the young and old.”

First Read: The Tribes of Eden from Kavan Peterson on Vimeo.


Green House Homes Are Coming to Ohio

By / Posted on January 27th, 2012

On a cold day in mid-December, staff from Mennonite Memorial Home in Bluffton, Ohio gathered for a much anticipated Green House kick-off meeting.  Laura Voth, CEO, could hardly hold back her tears as staff shared how they were feeling about reaching this milestone.  “Because we have been at it for so long, it was so exciting,” she exclaimed.  “The kick-off meeting signifies that change is really coming and this is a very positive thing.”

Encountering several setbacks and obstacles throughout this journey has not deterred this organization from moving forward with their goal of building two Green House homes.  Although they already deliver excellent person-centered care, the Green House model further raises the bar. “It is a transformation from the old way of delivering care into a better way,” stated Voth.  Every time she drives by the homes under construction, the significance of the change strikes her.  The small size of the homes is drastically different from the larger buildings that so many are accustomed to seeing.  For staff and the Bluffton community at large, it is really sinking in that the Green House model is so different.