Green House Blog

New Veterans Affairs Director supports more Green House homes for vets

 

 

 

 

Via commercial-news.com

“My motto is: ‘Put the veteran at the center of everything you do, and you won’t go wrong.’”

While that statement was made by Emma Metcalf, the new director at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Illinois, it could easily be made by anyone involved with the Green House Project.  Put the elder at the center of everything you do—it’s the foundation of the Green House model.

In fact, Metcalf plans to continue the expansion of the Green House homes in Danville.  Two 10-bedroom homes have opened and three more have been approved.  Ground could be broken this fall.

“I’m in learning and listening mode,” says Metcalf.  “The staff knows their business.  My job is to provide leadership.”

Learn what else is being planned for the care of veterans and let us know what you think!

The Green House Project contributes to life safety regulatory improvements

Recently, CMS announced important life safety regulatory changes that will support the creation of home in long-term care settings. All of these changes have been approved by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and are effective immediately. It is important to note that elder/resident safety and quality of life were held as top priorities throughout the process of revising the regulations. Among the changes are:
• Allowing open kitchens
• Allowing permanent seating groupings in corridors
• Allowing gas fireplaces in common areas
• Increasing the amount of wall space that may be covered by decorations
Positive collaboration
These changes are the result of three years of collaborative work by a taskforce known as the National Long-Term Care Life Safety Taskforce organized by The Pioneer Network. The taskforce consisted of individuals representing CMS, state survey agencies, provider associations, architects, researchers, culture change and life safety code experts.
The Green House Project was represented on the Taskforce by Robert Jenkens, Director. The stated goal of the group was to remove “unintended barriers to quality of life” found in the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code which is the standard used by CMS to regulate long-term care settings. These barriers came in the form of regulations that prevent the design of homes for elders/residents in certain ways that honor human needs, culture and preferences. Designing homes for the people who will live in them is a philosophy that is fundamental to The Green House model’s foundational principle of “creating home”.
What is “creating home”?

Creating home is a key culture change principle which holds as a top priority that long-term care environments must be viewed first as homes for the people who live in them. This contrasts the traditional medical model philosophy which held that long-term care settings were to be designed for the efficient delivery of care with little regard for the humanity and individuality of those who live and work there.

Better for everyone

These recent improvements to life safety code will better equip long-term care providers to successfully create home for the elders/residents they care for. While the new regulations are less prescriptive and more flexible, they do not compromise safety. Having increased flexibility to create homes that honor individuality, culture and meaningful engagement equips providers with the ability to accomplish more for the hard work they do and improve the quality of live for elders/residents in the process.

Clinical Support Spotlight: April is Occupational Therapy Month

What do National Peach Cobbler Day, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, and Occupational Therapy (OT) Month have in common? If you guessed that they’re all celebrated in April- you’ve got it! While delicious cobbler and our former president are by no means insignificant, The Green House® Project is particularly eager to acknowledge the OT profession and the dozens of clinical support team members that support growth and meaningful lives for Green House elders each day of the year.

In What Are Old People For?, Dr. Bill Thomas identifies habilitation as “the effort to bring forth existing but latent potential within a person or group of people. It is distinguished from rehabilitation– a term that presumes a defect to be rectified or a brokenness that must be prepared.” Similarly, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) defines the OT profession as one which “helps people engage in living life to its fullest.”  With parallel efforts to reframe society’s declinist perspective on aging, it isn’t surprising that many Occupational Therapy practitioners are drawn to the holistic, person-centered approach supported by the Green House model.

Andrea Tyck began her career as an OT Assistant and is currently the Wellness Director and future Green House Guide at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Pomona, CA. “Amidst the loss that elders face, our role is to help people move forward- to see beyond loss and support continued growth,” says Andrea.

Andrea Tyck began her career as an OT Assistant and will be the future Green House Guide at Mt. San Antonio Gardens

 

Just as Eden Principle #6 recognizes that “meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit”, Occupational Therapy is designed to support activities that are meaningful and purposeful for each individual. “Occupational Therapy is not just about enhancing function,” explains Andrea, “but it is supporting development for a larger purpose. In deeply knowing individual interests and rhythms of the day, OT interventions are more effective at meeting personal goals.”

While long corridors, tight schedules, and departmental silos can serve as barriers in traditional long-term care “facilities”, the Green House model is designed to support individual growth in an environment that is more than homelike– it is home. Opportunities for purposeful activities abound in a small environment that supports intentional community and meaningful engagement. What better reason to maintain or regain abilities at mealtime than the smell of a home-cooked meal and an opportunity to share convivium with your friends and family? This month, be sure to set an extra place at the table and show appreciation for the role of Occupational Therapy practitioners as care partners, mentors, and cheerleaders for elders, staff, and families. (You might as well celebrate with peach cobbler for dessert, while you’re at it!)

For more information, visit the American Occupational Therapy Association

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

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’!

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.

Elders rule in Green House homes; setting a trend for traditional nursing homes

Via DemocratandChronicle.com

“The medical model is not good for the human condition.  We need quality of life to thrive.”

That’s how Rose Marie Fagan, co-founder of the National Pioneer Network describes how Elders should be at the center of their care and well-being.  Green House homes provide that quality of life for Elders to thrive. 

77-year-old Sal Speranza, who helped plan the St. John’s Green House homes, couldn’t agree more:

“This is getting away from the institution thing,” said the 77-year-old, this is the thing of the future.”

Let us know what you think!

Collaborating for a "Sustainable" Future

The future demands that we work together to create viable and sustainable programs.  The world is a dynamic and ever-changing place, with an imperative to do more with less.  In order to achieve these outcomes, the charge is there to innovate and collaborate—pooling our resources and strengths, to evolve our communities. 

Recently, in New Orleans, The Green House Project team had two different opportunities to interact with thought leaders who are impacting the future.  First, we participated in  a round table discussion with Strategic Development Partners, where we joined a diverse group from healthcare, education and finance to contemplate the vision for sustainable, livable communities.  Next, during the AHCA-NCAL Independent Owners conference, the focus on quality as an economic imperative, sparked many substantive conversations about the role The Green House Project can play in long term care innovation.

 The concept of sustainable development was a continuing theme throughout the week,  but what does “sustainable” mean in this context?  The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to the “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection. By investing in local culture and shifting thinking from “who are you building it for“, to “who are you building it with”, the potential is there to create value and a perpetuating impact for the community.

Through an initiative on quality, AHCA CEO, Mark Parkinson, imparted that to survive in this changing health care environment, providers need to diversify and adapt.  Sustainability is multi-fold, in order to be financially viable, the organization must have a keen focus on quality.  Parkinson said, “Quality is not just the right thing to do, it is an imperative to survive and be reimbursed in the future”.  AHCA is focusing on hospital readmissions, anti-psychotic drugs, staff retention and resident satisfaction as benchmarks to determine quality.    

The time in New Orleans, taught The Green House Project team many lessons about sustainability.  To survive and thrive, there must be a focus on the social, financial and environmental impact of innovation.  Ongoing benchmarking and data collection is necessary to ensure that there is an evidence base for the good work that is being done, and that our resources are being used effectively.  Most importantly, sustainable development requires participative discussion, and inclusion of many different stakeholders.  By bringing those “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” to the table, the end product has the power to create that integrated force for success!

Collaborating for a “Sustainable” Future

The future demands that we work together to create viable and sustainable programs.  The world is a dynamic and ever-changing place, with an imperative to do more with less.  In order to achieve these outcomes, the charge is there to innovate and collaborate—pooling our resources and strengths, to evolve our communities. 

Recently, in New Orleans, The Green House Project team had two different opportunities to interact with thought leaders who are impacting the future.  First, we participated in  a round table discussion with Strategic Development Partners, where we joined a diverse group from healthcare, education and finance to contemplate the vision for sustainable, livable communities.  Next, during the AHCA-NCAL Independent Owners conference, the focus on quality as an economic imperative, sparked many substantive conversations about the role The Green House Project can play in long term care innovation.

 The concept of sustainable development was a continuing theme throughout the week,  but what does “sustainable” mean in this context?  The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to the “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection. By investing in local culture and shifting thinking from “who are you building it for“, to “who are you building it with”, the potential is there to create value and a perpetuating impact for the community.

Through an initiative on quality, AHCA CEO, Mark Parkinson, imparted that to survive in this changing health care environment, providers need to diversify and adapt.  Sustainability is multi-fold, in order to be financially viable, the organization must have a keen focus on quality.  Parkinson said, “Quality is not just the right thing to do, it is an imperative to survive and be reimbursed in the future”.  AHCA is focusing on hospital readmissions, anti-psychotic drugs, staff retention and resident satisfaction as benchmarks to determine quality.    

The time in New Orleans, taught The Green House Project team many lessons about sustainability.  To survive and thrive, there must be a focus on the social, financial and environmental impact of innovation.  Ongoing benchmarking and data collection is necessary to ensure that there is an evidence base for the good work that is being done, and that our resources are being used effectively.  Most importantly, sustainable development requires participative discussion, and inclusion of many different stakeholders.  By bringing those “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” to the table, the end product has the power to create that integrated force for success!

Keep Evolving

Live, Grow and Thrive. Three words that describe what we want every elder to experience in a Green House home. Three words that reflect the opportunity to learn, experience, and make positive developments in our lives. Something I believe we all want to encounter. So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the same could be said of the Green House model itself…we are always looking for ways to improve our product.

That was just one of the thoughts expressed by Green House Chief Operating Officer, Susan Frazier during a recent interview on the program, Senior Matters with Nadir Wright. “We will keep evolving this model. It’s one where there is on-going learning and growing, so that we can lead—or as I call it, a revolution to radically challenge and change traditional long term care.”

In fact, the host of the program referred to the Green House Project as a “beacon of hope and change.”

As you may know, the elder is at the center of everything we do. In a Green House home, you matter as an individual. As Susan explained, “It’s all about choice, power and control for the elder.”

Listen to the complete interview and find out why “words matter”, and the three components that are critical elements for the Green House home.

The Green House Project at AHCA Independent Owners Conference in New Orleans

The Green House Project is looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the  AHCA-NCAL Independent Owners Conference. 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 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. Recent research shows that Green House homes significantly improve quality of life and care, create better direct care jobs, cost the same or less to operate than traditional nursing homes, and save the healthcare system costs associated with avoidable hospitalizations and pressure ulcers.
Come See Us
1) Sponsor table: information and resources about our latest research, our partners and the growth of this initiative
2) Conference Session: Thursday, March 15 at 3:00p, Speakers: Robert Jenkens, The Green House® Project and John Ponthie, Summit Health Resources
Come and listen to a successful Green House® provider tell of his experiences in developing and operating a Green House® and learn about the following: 1) Consumer demand for Green House® based on surveys and focus group testing; 2) Financial viability of Green House® projects, including operating results, comparative business cases, and adopters’ experiences; and 3) The workflow of direct-care, clinical, and leadership staff and its impact on outcomes, operational efficiency, optimal resource allocations, and worker satisfaction.
3) IPad App: Search GHP in the App Store, to download the app and explore this evidence-based model and its proven financial, clinical and regulatory success

Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio shares "5 P.E.A.R.L.S of Green House Living"

Check out the progress on construction!

Our Project Implementation Team (PIT) was given the instruction to develop “Three Key Messages” that would help explain succinctly what our Green House homes are all about.  We did our best to narrow it down to three but couldn’t quite do it.  So, with ideas from the PIT and the Communication Work Group, I developed these five messages.  Hopefully the use of the acronym “PEARL” can help us all remember the key messages.  We have shared the 5 PEARLS with staff, contributors to our New Vision: Transforming Elder Living campaign, and recently shared it with our local Chamber of Commerce.  It is also available to the public in our current facilities.

 Five P.E.A.R.L.S of GREEN HOUSE Living

Preferences: In a Green House home, elders rule! Actively involved in the decisions regarding their care and daily activities, elders have freedom of choice regarding many activities throughout their day.

Environment: Home is where the hearth is. Each Green House home provides private bedrooms with full bathrooms surrounding a common hearth room complete with fireplace, sofas and recliners. A front porch, back patio and large back yard provide opportunities to visit with neighbors and enjoy God’s creation.

Accessibility: Financial barriers are minimized. Green House homes will be home to elders who pay privately as well as those receiving Medicaid.  The ratio of those paying privately and those receiving Medicaid will be similar to the ratio at Mennonite Memorial Home.

Relationships: Caregivers are empowered! Encouraged to utilize their training, instincts and relationships with each elder they serve, the Shahbaz (Green House term for caregiver), nurses and household care team grow in dignity, confidence and self-worth. This relationship of respect and compassion transforms the institution of nursing care into a household of love.

Life: Live with meaning! Just as one’s own home provides purposeful living, so the Green House homes provide opportunities to engage in meaningful activities. Bible studies, conversation around the table, birthday celebrations, swapping recipes, visiting with family, relaxing with a cup of coffee, reading a book, playing games and many other activities and events keep the “living” in life.

Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio shares “5 P.E.A.R.L.S of Green House Living”

Check out the progress on construction!

Our Project Implementation Team (PIT) was given the instruction to develop “Three Key Messages” that would help explain succinctly what our Green House homes are all about.  We did our best to narrow it down to three but couldn’t quite do it.  So, with ideas from the PIT and the Communication Work Group, I developed these five messages.  Hopefully the use of the acronym “PEARL” can help us all remember the key messages.  We have shared the 5 PEARLS with staff, contributors to our New Vision: Transforming Elder Living campaign, and recently shared it with our local Chamber of Commerce.  It is also available to the public in our current facilities.

 Five P.E.A.R.L.S of GREEN HOUSE Living

Preferences: In a Green House home, elders rule! Actively involved in the decisions regarding their care and daily activities, elders have freedom of choice regarding many activities throughout their day.

Environment: Home is where the hearth is. Each Green House home provides private bedrooms with full bathrooms surrounding a common hearth room complete with fireplace, sofas and recliners. A front porch, back patio and large back yard provide opportunities to visit with neighbors and enjoy God’s creation.

Accessibility: Financial barriers are minimized. Green House homes will be home to elders who pay privately as well as those receiving Medicaid.  The ratio of those paying privately and those receiving Medicaid will be similar to the ratio at Mennonite Memorial Home.

Relationships: Caregivers are empowered! Encouraged to utilize their training, instincts and relationships with each elder they serve, the Shahbaz (Green House term for caregiver), nurses and household care team grow in dignity, confidence and self-worth. This relationship of respect and compassion transforms the institution of nursing care into a household of love.

Life: Live with meaning! Just as one’s own home provides purposeful living, so the Green House homes provide opportunities to engage in meaningful activities. Bible studies, conversation around the table, birthday celebrations, swapping recipes, visiting with family, relaxing with a cup of coffee, reading a book, playing games and many other activities and events keep the “living” in life.