White House Conference on Aging Launches Regional Forums- We Need Your Voice!

By / Posted on January 29th, 2015

In a blog post earlier this month, Executive Director Nora Super began to outline the goals and events that will occur as a part of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA). The WHCOA happens only once every decade, so you don’t want to miss this opportunity to have your voice heard! The regional forums, announced this month, will provide a venue for the public to discuss issues in the aging field that are most important to them including: retirement security, healthy aging, long-term services and supports, Elder abuse and supporting caregivers.

More specific details of the forums are to follow but the locations and dates are the following:

Tampa, Florida (February 19th)

Phoenix, Arizona (March 31st)

Seattle, Washington (April 9th)

Cleveland, Ohio (April 27th)

Boston, Massachusetts (May 28th)

According to the WHCOA website, “The regional forums are co-sponsored by AARP and being planned in coordination with the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, a coalition of more than 70 of the nation’s leading organizations serving older Americans.  While participation is by invitation, all of the events will be live webcast to engage as many people as possible.”

We encourage all Green House adopters and culture change advocates to engage in the regional forums by watching the webcast and using social media during that day and the weeks leading up to the event.  Stay tuned for details and ideas to assist you with that process!  In addition, consider having an event at your Green House homes or in your community during the same time that a regional forum is occurring and invite local legislators and press to attend. The more Green House buzz near each regional forum, the more national attention we will receive as others recognize that now is the time to push for radical changes in aging and long-term care!

 


Bill Thomas' Second Wind Tour– an inspired look at the future of aging, wellness and growth

By / Posted on February 13th, 2014

Dr. Bill Thomas, internationally recognized expert on aging and founder of The Green House model, is bringing a radical new approach to growth and aging through a national “non-fiction” theatrical tour produced in partnership with AARP’s Life Reimagined, Capital Impact Partners, and more than three dozen sponsor organizations, including THE GREEN HOUSE® Project.

Inspired by Thomas’ new book examining the baby boom generation’s reluctant generational second coming of age—“Second Wind:  Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper and More Connected Life” (named by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the Top 10 Social Science books of 2014)—the Second Wind Tour will bring a unique “non-fiction” theater experience blending the spoken word, innovative set design, film, and music to 25-cities in the spring of 2014.

“The Tour is really a companion to the book’s ‘second wind’ theme in that it challenges the conventional narrative of decline in mid-life and beyond,” Dr. Thomas said. “I want people to see, hear, feel, and connect to the power that arises from finding a ‘second wind’ in life.”Audiences will be taken on a holistic exploration that draws on a deep well of evidence-based approaches to growth, change, aging, health, and wellness. The goal of the tour is to start a new conversation that reframes “life after adulthood” as an exciting stage of human growth and development—a time for challenging received attitudes toward aging.

For more information about the tour and tickets, visit  The Second Wind Tour Website or contact Margaret Stansbury at The Green House Project, mstansbury@capitalimpact.org, 703-647-2311.

 

 

 

 

 


Senate Bill 1562: Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2014

By / Posted on February 6th, 2014

Keeping track of what is happening in Congress is no easy task- but here is some news that will interest all of us because it affects elders across the country. Last September, Senator Bernard (“Bernie”) Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965 and funding for its programs for FY2014-FY2018.

The Older Americans Act established the United States Administration on Aging (AoA) as well as state aging agencies that provide a comprehensive network of community based services for older adults that allow them to live meaningful lives in their homes and communities.  The Act is comprised of seven titles that are primarily funded by the AoA except for Title V, a senior employment opportunity program, funded by the Department of Labor. Included in the OAA is the long-term care ombudsman program, nutrition services, grants for Native Americans, support services for caregivers, employment opportunities for older adults, elder abuse prevention programs and transportation assistance.

If you’d like to learn more about the Older Americans Act and the bill to reauthorize it please visit:

The National Council on Aging

AARP Policy Institute

National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities


AARP Foundation and Weinberg Foundation Invest to Extend Green House Model to Low-Income Seniors

By / Posted on July 12th, 2013

New collaborations build on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s $10 million
program-related investment in THE GREEN HOUSE® Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2013

CONTACT:
Leslie Lipsick, 415-901-0111, llipsick@fenton.com
Christine Clayton, 609-627-5937, media@rwjf.org

Princeton, NJ — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) efforts to bring high-quality skilled nursing care to low-income seniors got a boost recently as both AARP Foundation and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation announced new investments in The Green House Project. The new commitments bolster the national loan fund for Green House homes that RWJF helped to establish in 2011 with a 10-year, $10 million low-interest credit facility.

AARP Foundation unveiled a new $2.5 million program-related investment (PRI) in innovative housing options for the vulnerable, 50+ population, including The Green House Project. The Weinberg Foundation simultaneously agreed to formalize and grow its existing grant program for skilled nursing facilities that both adopt The Green House model and serve low-income populations. The Weinberg Foundation has committed to a minimum of $8 million in capital grants for Green House residences this fiscal year alone.

Though the three foundations’ investments differ in their details, they share the common goal of bringing a higher and more personalized standard of care to aging Americans in every community. The three also share a joint belief that innovative financing is a vital tool for giving lower-income communities the capital required to develop truly excellent, affordable long-term care options.

Unlike traditional nursing homes that have a more institutional feel, Green House homes are designed from the ground up to look and feel like a real home. In an effort to provide more personalized and dignified care, only six to 12 elders live in each home, and every resident has the comfort of a private room and bathroom, along with the freedom to set his or her own daily routine. Even the care in a Green House home is different, with a small team of trained universal caregivers meeting the majority of needs of the residents. Research shows that a Green House home’s intimate layout, combined with its innovative staffing model, provides residents with four times more personal and social contact than typical nursing homes.

“The Green House Project delivers on a bold vision of better, more dignified care for elders that is spreading widely in communities across the country,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We are thrilled to have the AARP and Weinberg Foundations join us in investing to spread the impact of this powerful model to all seniors, regardless of income.”

AARP Foundation: Leveraging Investment Instruments to Drive 50+ Housing Innovation

With the use of program-related investments, AARP Foundation aims to create new models of housing that are scalable and replicable, and to increase the sheer number of affordable and adequate housing units available for low-income Americans over 50. With at least 13 million Americans in low-income, 50+ households struggling to find affordable and/or adequate housing, AARP Foundation identified housing as an area ripe for impact investing.

In addition to funding the replication of The Green House model, led by NCB Capital Impact, the $2.5 million investment will also support Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc. and ROC USA. The former will use the investment to help finance the creation of affordable rental and rural housing for low-income seniors. The latter will use it to empower owners of mobile homes, a vulnerable and aging group, to cooperatively purchase the land on which their homes are located.

“All of these projects aim to build, retrofit, or purchase safe and affordable housing that not only helps older residents avoid high housing cost burdens, but also addresses their need for community—either by helping them age in place or create a new community based on a non-institutional model,” said AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins.

Weinberg Foundation: Expanding on an Early Investment in Culture Change

During the last five years, the Weinberg Foundation has made six capital grants for Green House homes, totaling just over $5.5 million, including some of the most innovative adoptions of the model. During that time, the Weinberg Foundation has seen demand for small home nursing models like Green House soar. At the same time, millions of vulnerable older adults have been unable to access the quality, skilled care they need—whether due to limited incomes, high costs of care, or isolation.

To fulfill its vision that every older adult has the opportunity to lead a life of dignity and independence, no matter their ability or income, the Weinberg Foundation has agreed to formalize and expand its Green House development grants program, committing to a minimum of $8 million in capital grants for these residences in the 2014 fiscal year. Among other requirements, applying providers must serve at least 60 percent Medicaid-eligible individuals, with 70 percent preferred, and be open to people of all beliefs.

“All older adults deserve the chance to lead meaningful, engaged lives and to maintain their independence for as long as possible,” said Donn Weinberg, Weinberg Foundation trustee and executive vice president. “Through the combined total of more than $13 million in capital grants already made or planned, the Weinberg Foundation hopes to extend the Green House and other culture-change models to more of our most vulnerable older adults so that they can continue to live robust, healthy lives.”

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Increasing the Impact of a Long-Time Investment

Since 2002, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $20 million, primarily to NCB Capital Impact, to develop, test, and evaluate The Green House model. In 2011, the Foundation made a new $10 million program investment to build on its existing support of Green House, with the goal of helping the model achieve greater reach and impact than its current presence (146 homes across 24 states).

Specifically, the PRI lowers the cost of financing Green House projects that serve low-income individuals and low-income areas. NCB Capital Impact serves as administrator for the loan fund and seeks investors to leverage RWJF funding in any one project by a ratio of 4-to-1. The investment was part of RWJF’s larger $100 million “impact capital” commitment designed to help the Foundation and its grantees leverage funding from multiple sources and spread innovative solutions that improve health and health care for all Americans.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the U.S. and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual’s ability to meet those needs, with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and our hometown communities including Maryland, northeastern Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Israel, and the Former Soviet Union. For more information, please go to www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.

About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.

About NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a Congressionally chartered, District of Columbia, non-profit community development finance institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance nationwide to help make high-quality health care, healthy foods, housing, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.825 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. www.ncbcapitalimpact.org

About The Green House Project
The Green House Project is a radically new, national model for skilled-nursing care that returns control, dignity and a sense of well-being to elders, their families and direct care staff. In the Green House model, residents receive care in small, self-contained homes organized to deliver individualized care, meaningful relationships and better direct care jobs through a self-managed team of direct care staff working in cross-trained roles. Green House homes meet all state and federal regulatory and reimbursement criteria for skilled nursing facilities. http://thegreenhouseproject.org/
###


AARP Foundation Invests in Green House homes

By / Posted on June 21st, 2013

Contact:

Hillary John

(202) 434-2560 | media@aarp.org | @AARPMedia

AARP Foundation Invests $2.5 Million in Innovative Housing Strategies to Help Vulnerable 50+ Population

Washington, D.C. – AARP Foundation is pleased to announce $2.5 million in investments to fund three housing organizations that serve the vulnerable, 50+ population. The Foundation’s new impact investment instrument will serve as a valuable funding source for these organizations while at the same time spark housing solutions for low-income people age 50 and older. Each investment will create or preserve homes for residents who are measurably low-income and over 50 years of age.  The investments will leverage market-rate financing to multiply impact.

AARP Foundation’s Program Related Investment (PRI) aims to create new models of housing that are scalable and replicable; that result in an increase in affordable and adequate housing to fill the gap in surrounding rural housing and rental housing; and finally, to increase the number of affordable and/or adequate units of housing.

“As people age, their need for safe and affordable housing grows more critical.  For vulnerable older Americans housing upkeep is a challenge to maintain, particularly in these tough economic times,” said AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins. “By utilizing this ‘new’ instrument of impact investment, AARP Foundation will be a catalyst for organizations to leverage these funds and make sure more families can find a way back to stability.”

At least 13 million people who live in low-income, 50+ households struggle with unaffordable and/or inadequate housing.  The Housing Impact Area of AARP Foundation seeks to win back opportunity for the struggling 50 and older population by helping to preserve adequacy and affordability within current homes; increasing the supply of adequate and affordable housing; raising awareness of housing needs of the low-income 50+ population; and building thought leadership ideas on the subject through various research techniques.

The national organizations that were selected by AARP Foundation include the following:

·   NCB Capital Impact will use the investment from AARP Foundation to bring to scale The Green House Project’s innovative nursing care model, which offers an alternative approach to the traditional nursing home. Elements of Green House homes including their small scale, unique staffing model, and home-like layout, restore the dignity and sense of wellbeing to elders in need of nursing care.  This model is very exciting because of the potential for broad-scale market adoption across a variety of geographic and demographic markets, as well as a wide range of income levels. The AARP Foundation funds will bolster support to The Green House Project, also generously supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Weinberg Foundation.

·      An investment with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc., to help fill the financing gap in the creation of affordable rental housing, rural housing and livable communities with a focus on low-income seniors. In addition to housing, Enterprise also invests in federally qualified health centers to provide and expand community-based health services for low- and moderate-income individuals.

·      The third organization, ROC USA®, will use the AARP Foundation investment to empower owners of manufactured homes, a vulnerable and aging group, to cooperatively purchase the land on which their homes are located.  This serves a unique but growing niche in that manufactured housing is the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the country.  www.rocusa.org

“All of these projects aim to build, retrofit or purchase safe and affordable housing that not only helps older residents avoid high housing cost burdens, but also addresses their need for community either by helping them age in place or create a new community based a non-institutional model,” added Jenkins.

 About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.

XXX


Provider Magazine Highlights Flexible Funding for Green House homes

By / Posted on May 31st, 2013

Provider Magazine tracks the pulse of the industry and serves as the leading source of business and clinical news for long term and post-acute care professionals.  Long term care providers know that the demands of the consumer are changing.  So why do many nursing homes still look the same way they did 20 years ago?  One barrier to transformation may be in the ability to find, “low-cost, flexible financing sources”.  New financing programs are being created to remove this barrier, and to support Green House home development.

In 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading health foundation, made a $10 million Program-Related Investment (PRI) in NCB Capital Impact and The Green House Project to make it easier for more providers to obtain flexible financing and build Green House homes.  In making this investment, the foundation saw a unique potential for The Green House model to address the nation’s growing shortage of affordable, high-quality long term care options for low-income elders.
As an initiative of NCB Capital Impact, The Green House Project has also been able to leverage the financial expertise of this group, “Because NCB Capital Impact is enlisting additional investors—like the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and AARP Foundation—to leverage RWJF funding in any individual project by a ratio of four to one, the total financing opportunity is actually substantially larger than the foundation’s initial investment.”  These resources are creating opportunities for long term care providers to meet the demand of their customer for small, real home environments.
The Green House model has a proven track record for delivering high quality care at roughly the same cost as a traditional nursing home.  Additionally, consumer research found that caregivers would be willing to drive further and pay more to have this type of home as an option for their loved one.
Because the RWJF and NCB Capital Impact loan pool needs to be entirely distributed by 2014, interested providers should begin exploring the option as soon as possible. To find out more about tapping into RWJF and NCB Capital Impact financing for Green House projects, contact Maura Porcelli at (703) 647-2311 or mporcelli@ncbcapitalimpact.org.
 


AARP Texas urges state officials to ease financial restraints and urge developers to build more Green House homes

By / Posted on May 9th, 2012

Sagecrest Alzheimer's Care Center in San Angelo, Texas

via Texas AARP

“The state supports a culture change” in institutional care that would allow more Green house homes in Texas, says Chris Traylor, commissioner of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

Elders and family members are extremely pleased with the care offered at the Sagecrest Alzheimer’s Care Center in San Angelo, Texas, a Green House home project.  Many wish there were more homes being built, but money is the issue.  Texas Medicaid reimbursement is among the lowest in the country, and two-thirds of Texas elders in nursing homes get help from Medicaid.  AARP Texas advocacy manager, Amanda Fredriksen, says those rates largely determine “what Texas nursing homes look like.”

Read more about a Medicaid reimbursement rate that would encourage more Green House homes in Texas…and then tell us what YOU think!

 


Alternatives to Long Term Care Focus on the Elder

By / Posted on January 31st, 2012

AARP‘s Caregiving Resource Center posted an article to address the, “90 percent of Americans prefer to stay home as they age”. There are alternatives  to traditional long term care that focus on the growth of the elder in their later years, and their well being rather than their decline:

Much like the Eden Alternative, The Green House Project caters to the life of the older adult rather than to their health needs only. The idea behind this project is to provide our loved ones with an excellent quality of life enriched by relationships with qualified staff who choose to work in an environment focused on enriching the life of the older adult. Taking the sterility out of long-term care, the Green House Project provides a warm environment with a focus on community, relationships, well-being and happiness — where there is a true “heart” to the home.

 

The opportunity to age in community with the needed resources, including skilled nursing care, allows the elder to remain connected to the place and people that they have loved throughout their lives, and changes the paradigm of long term care. The AARP article highlights, The Eden Alternative, The Green House Project, and The Village models as alternatives to Long Term Care that are changing the landscape of what it means to grow old.

To read the full article, and gather additional resources, click here.