Dr. Bill Thomas: Creating Real Home with Increased Acuity

By / Posted on February 25th, 2015

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.