By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on August 6th, 2015
The Green House Project was highlighted as an innovator and thought leader during the 2015 Pioneer Network Conference. The Pioneer Network is a convener of organizations who are moving away from institutional models of long term care to more consumer-driven models that embrace flexibility, self-determination and a belief that elders are meant to thrive. During the stimulating days of educational sessions, representatives from the national Green House initiative, and Green House organizations from around the country spoke on various topics to help move the field forward.
Debbie Wiegand, Rhonda Wolpert and Rob Simonetti shared design lessons learned in their session, “Build This, Not That, Lessons Learned from a Decade of Green House Experience.” Since the first home opened in 2003, there have been variations in layout and design. Through a formal Design Survey, The Green House Project asked every Green House adopter what works and what doesn’t for building design and regulatory challenges, and what strategies worked to overcome perceived regulatory code barriers. Also, insights from newly completed THRIVE research help us understand how the design contributes to sustainability, from operating cost and quality of care perspectives. Listen to this webinar that Debbie and Rob did to help those interested in changing the paradigm of long term care, build environments that support a new way of life.
Susan Frazier, Marla DeVries and Cheryl Van Bemden took audience members “Into The Black Box of Green House homes”. Here they talked about the impact of decision making to reinforce or erode culture change. Utilizing new insights from The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare (THRIVE), a collaborative of top researchers created to learn more about what contributes to higher quality in nursing homes, this session explored the factors impacting problem-solving in long-term care organizations that lead to reinforcement or erosion of an empowered workforce, and person-centered models. Participants explored the four factors that the research determined to most greatly impact sustainability, while discovering organizational strengths and growth opportunities to create a slip-resistant change.
Tammy Marshall, Lori Grossman and Miriam Levi shared their experience of implementing person-centered care principles across Jewish Home Lifecare, a large organization with multiple sites. Tammy Marshall facilitated a second session with Sonya Barsness. They spoke about the importance of research to support “culture change” and “person-centered care.” They shared research that is being done at Jewish Home Lifecare, and how others can access research, translate it to those who need it most, and identify opportunities for additional research.
Finally, the team from Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh shared a special session called, “Honoring the Spirit Within Through Namaste Care: An End-of-Life Program for Persons with Dementia”. Namaste Care takes its name from the Hindu word meaning “to honor the spirit within.” The program was developed for elders with advanced dementia and strives to maintain their highest quality of life. It includes simple and practical ways for care partners to create opportunities for connection, meaning, and joy.
This conference is always an energy boost, knowing that the movement to transform long term care, and what it means to age, is growing, evolving and gaining momentum. The Green House Project is honored to be a leader of culture change and will continue to pursue evidence based excellence, that is based in deep knowing relationships, meaningful life and empowerment for all.