Green House Blog

The White House and The Green House Tour the Leonard Florence Center for Living

This week, representatives from the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) and THE GREEN HOUSE ® Project visited the Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCL) in Chelsea, MA. The Center is the first urban Green House skilled nursing community in the country. Nora Super, Executive Director (WHCOA) and Rachel Maisler, Deputy Communications Director (WHCOA) traveled from Washington to see, first hand, how The Green House model supports a successful aging and good jobs.  Senior Director of The Green House Project, Susan Frazier and Director of Outreach, Scott Brown, were in attendance; Betsy Mullen, COO of the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates LFCL, directed the visit.WHCOA Tour picture May 2015

The visit began by spending time with a group of elders who were celebrating National Senior Health & Fitness Day.  Amidst songs and dancing, it was clear that these people are living life to the fullest.  Winnie Murphy, who is 105, told the group she loved living at the LFCL because there “was always something to do and people to visit.” In fact, Winnie is engaged in meaningful activities every day; she goes to the salon to get her hair done about once a week, relaxes with a drink at the monthly Pub Hour, plays bingo as often as possible and attends a daily exercise class.

A key focus of the visit was to highlight the increased quality of life that elders and staff experience in The Green House model.  Because of the high rise setting, the ground floor of the building has become a “main street” of sorts.  The group spent time in the café, deli, spa and outdoor patios as well as the residences where elders receive long-term care and short term rehabilitation.  It was gratifying to see Ms. Super’s reaction to each elder having a private bedroom and bathroom, and the sense of comfort and belonging that one feels in the open floor plan with accessible kitchens and dining areas in every home.  Clearly, this revolutionary model of living made a tremendous impact upon the visitors, which will hopefully lead to tremendous impacts in policy to support the spread of this model across the country.

An added plus: the WHCOA team sent a camera crew to video-tape the tour. We are hopeful that this footage will be featured at the White House Conference on Aging, to be held in Washington, DC on July 13.

Get into the Act with LeadingAge

The Older Americans Act (OAA) authorization has been expired for the last four years. The services and programs that are receiving funding under the Act are in desperate need of increased resources to fund the nearly 12 million older adults in this country that wish to remain in their homes and local communities. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the OAA, LeadingAge has asked its members and supporters of Older Americans Month to contact their elected officials and ask that they fund, renew and protect OAA services.

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LeadingAge has provided the following message that can be delivered to lawmakers:

“The Older Americans Act is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. As a constituent, I urge Senator/Representative_____ to fund, renew, and protect the Older Americans Act by restoring appropriations to at least the fiscal year 2010 levels, passing a bipartisan reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, and removing the continued threat of across-the-board sequestration cuts. Thank you for your consideration.”

Looking for more ways to get involved? Visit the LeadingAge Advocacy website page.

Reflections on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering those who died while serving in the armed forces in the United States.  We thought who better to offer their reflections on this special day than the veterans who live in Green House homes.  The below was written by Mr. Robert Foster and Mr. Randy Cook.  Supported by Mr. James Tucker and Mr. Delbert Foltz.  Freedom Green House Home, VA Iliana Healthcare System, Department Of Veteran Affairs, Danville IL.

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“Memorial Day…

Gives me the opportunity to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our American Armed Forces who made this wonderful country of ours what it is today, the greatest country on earth, The United State of America.

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Danville National Cemetary

Unfortunately, many of our brave Americans have given the ultimate sacrifice for us and this great nation. We must always remember the valorous efforts they put forth in making America the land of the free and the home of the brave.  This day also gives us the opportunity to remember our loved ones who served our nation. I remember both his father and brother who were both combat veterans and have since passed, but also how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to honorably serve my country.  Memorial Day is day that as I have gotten older understand the true purpose of this holiday and the meaning of remembering those who have sacrificed their lives for our countries freedoms; making me proud to be an American.”

To learn more about Green House Projects for Veterans click here.

 

Highlighting Shahbaz, Darlene Scott at Porter Hills Green House homes

Empathy, compassion, honor and respect are just a few of the qualities required in those working with elders in THE GREEN HOUSE® homes. These qualities are extremely evident in Darlene Scott, a Shahbaz at the Porter Hills Green House homes in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

2Darlene has worked at Porter Hills since 1998 when she was hired as a certified nursing assistant in the Health and Rehab Center. After a short period of time, she was promoted to Unit Clerk and continued to prove she had the personality and skills needed to build strong and trusting relationships with residents. This ability to connect with those she served opened the door to a position as an activity coordinator.

While in this new role, Darlene took advantage of many educational opportunities to develop and hone her skills. This included becoming a Certified Eden Associate1

When Porter Hills decided to build two Green House® homes, Darlene was encouraged to consider working as a Shahbaz. “When I was presented with the opportunity to be a part of Green House® homes I thought, this is it, this is living out everything I have been trained to do. I had retained my CNA license which meant I qualified, so I decided to pursue this role that embodied my passion for elders.”

Darlene has worked as a Shahbaz since September of 2009 and enjoys the person-centered approach and the strong relationships developed. She has seen first-hand the impact that this unique approach to skilled care has on elders in the home.

“We had an elder who moved in with late stage dementia. She was high acuity, didn’t walk or talk, and was total care. Her son brought her here and told us that the doctor had said she had 6 months to a year left to live. The son wanted his mom to have the best care possible and he knew that it would be through the Green House® homes at Porter Hills. His mother had already been receiving care but he wanted her to have the ‘best of the best’. She moved in and initially didn’t talk and needed to be coaxed to eat. One day, I was leading a time of discussion and questions and asked about favorite colors. As we were going around the room hearing each elders’ answer, she raised her head and said, ‘my favorite color is yellow’. After that day she began to feed herself again and communicate. To me that signified living because with a lot of elderly people, eating is the last thing they have control of. Not eating can be their way of saying ‘I’m done’. For her to show that she was going to feed herself and was going to live again was a defining moment for me. I realized in that moment, that the concept of the Green House homes was not just a theory. This works, this is where people want to come to continue living no matter what stage of life they are at.”

3Darlene’s primary role in the home is to protect, sustain, and nurture the elders living there by providing assistance with activities of daily living and meeting other needs as required. “We are given the time and atmosphere to develop relationships with the elders and their families. It’s a wonderful place to work. This is a great community and Porter Hills is a great organization. Having The Green House homes and supporting them as a business, Porter Hills shows that we are here for elders, we are here for the geriatric population, and we are here to provide them with the best services and the best life that they can live.”

The rewards are not only felt by the elders in the community. “When you walk out of the door, despite the ups and downs, you know that you have made a difference. These elders could be living anywhere and not getting the care and relationships that they have here. But, they are HERE and we can give them that. It’s very rewarding.”

A Special Milestone Celebrated for the First Skilled Nursing Green House Homes in Florida

john knox tree threeAs many of you know celebrations and rituals hold a special place in the philosophy of the Green House model.  It’s important to take time to honor special goals that have been achieved.  John Knox Village did just that in late April when the community celebrated the tree topping ceremony.  It’s a tradition in the construction industry when a building’s structure has reached its maximum height.

Elders and Community leaders were all on hand when the Christmas Palm was placed atop their seven story building, called The Woodlands, which will include 12 Green House homes.john knox tree four_topping of tree

john knox tree top twoGuest speakers included City of Pompano Beach Mayor, Lamar Fisher who said “John Knox Village has become the leader in healthcare in Pompano Beach.  It is the largest healthcare provider and employer in the city.  The Woodlands will continue this leadership.  It will be the pinnacle of our cultural change.”  Mr. Fisher made those comments during an earlier groundbreaking event for the project.

The construction of the building is being led by The Weitz Company which has offices in South Florida.

IMG_0632The Woodlands is a $34-plus million project and is expected to open the middle of next year.  Each of the top six floors will have two Green House homes with a total of 144 private bedrooms and bathrooms for the Elders.

We congratulate all of those involved with the project and look forward to the grand opening of this very special development!

Nurses Organization of Veteran Affairs (NOVA)

Gerontological Nurse, Green House Guide and RN Supervisor, Ann Wagle, from the VA Illiana Green House homes in Danville, IL will present a poster on “The Role of Nurses in the Green House home” during the NOVA 2015 Annual Meeting this June in Washington D.C. The poster will outline the impact of the Green House model on Veterans, families and staff. It will also describe actions that support and propel cultural transformation within long-term care in the VA system.

In her poster proposal Ann described how Green House homes are currently serving Veterans across the United States and future plans for the Danville campus:

“VA Illiana was the first VA in the nation to adopt the Green House model, although at least five additional VA sites have either opened Green House homes or are under design/construction, including VA’s in Chicago, Milwaukee, Tomah, Tuscaloosa, and Lexington. At VA Illiana, two more Green House homes are currently under construction, and an additional two homes are in the design phase, resulting in a total of 60 beds within the total of 100 long-term care beds at VA Illiana. One of these new Green House homes will include Veterans with short-stay skilled care needs.”

This presentation will be an excellent compliment to the recent THRIVE research results on the role of the nurse in Green House homes that The Green House Project has been sharing with our Peer Network of adopters.

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CARE: Dedicated to Improving How We Age

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing created the Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE) in response to the rapidly expanding care needs of our aging population. The center works toward transformation by using “…nursing leadership, discovery, education, and practice…” to support happiness, health and security for all older adults.

In a recent online post by the CARE team entitled, “What Makes a Green House Home? How You Decide Matters,” the author considers the persistence and commitment necessary to take the philosophical tenets of culture change and put them into practice.

The post describes how UW-Madison School of Nursing Associate Dean Barb Bowers, PhD, RN, FAAN and research manager Kim Nolet, MS have conducted research that analyzes the “lived experience” that the Green House model now has after more than 10 years as the pinnacle of culture change.

“By interviewing 166 staff members at 11 Green House homes, Bowers and Nolet identified patterns of problem solving as important to the erosion or reinforcement of the Green House model over time.”

The researchers found that along with the architecture of the Green House home, it is collaboration across the organization and between nurses and Shahbazim that allows the significant benefits of this model to be realized.

Both Bowers and Nolet are a part of The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare (THRIVE). Interested in learning more about the THRIVE initiative? Take a look at this recent blog post which discusses the importance of the soon to be published THRIVE research results.

 

 

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CLARK-LINDSEY VILLAGE REDEFINES WELLNESS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA

Committed to radically changing the delivery of nursing care for people living with dementia

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Arlington, Virginia (May 5, 2015) — Clark-Lindsey Village, a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community located in Urbana, Illinois, will be working with The Green House Project, a not-for-profit that is part of Capital Impact’s Community Solutions Group, to develop the first Green House homes in the state not located on federal land. Clark-Lindsey plans to open two certified Green House homes in 2016.

Committed to promoting wellness on their campus, the Clark-Lindsey board made a decision to ensure that their mission extended to all residents, including those living with dementia, “We want to be a place for residents, family members, employees, and the community to grow, socially, intellectually, physically and spiritually. Pursuing The Green House core values of meaningful life, real home and empowered staff will deepen our efforts,” says Kristy Stoker, Green House guide. The new Green House homes will house up to 12 elders and have been designed from the bottom up to look and feel like a real home.

Research shows that a Green House home’s intimate layout, combined with its innovative staffing, provides four times more personal and social contact than typical nursing homes. In an effort to create culture change across the campus, Clark-Lindsey will work with The Green House Project to bring Green House principles into their legacy nursing home as well.

“Clark-Lindsey Village is helping to change the face of long-term care. Our choice to partner with The Green House Project came from the knowledge that they would help support us in our small home journey and, when needed, to help challenge us to re-think our traditional practices within our existing campus. We have appreciated the support they have provided as we work towards aligning our existing culture of excellence with the Green House values,” said Deb Reardanz, CEO, “In addition to the impact that Green House is already having on our campus, it’s also a great privilege to be a leader in the state of Illinois. We are excited to be part of the team that will help clear the regulatory challenges that sometimes make it difficult to move beyond the traditional institutional approach for providing skilled nursing care.”

Clark-Lindsey Village is part of a larger effort nationwide to dramatically improve the way aging Americans receive long-term care. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Capital Impact Partners, The Green House Project has developed 173 homes in 27 states to date.

“Regardless of ability, every aging American should have the opportunity to receive high-quality care with dignity,” said Scott Brown, Director of Outreach for The Green House Project. “By choosing The Green House model, Clark-Lindsey Village is affirming their mission to provide elders with the greatest needs new options to help them lead robust and meaningful lives,” continued Brown. “We look forward to partnering with their organization, and expanding access to new and meaningful care options for people living with dementia”

About The Green House Project
Based in Arlington, Virginia, The Green House Project promotes an alternative to the traditional, institutional skilled nursing, replacing it with an innovative new model that balances quality of life with quality of care. In the Green House model, large nursing facilities are replaced with small, self-contained homes that include private bedrooms and baths, home-cooked meals and access to the outdoors, while meeting all skilled nursing regulatory and reimbursement criteria. Incorporating the core values of meaningful life, real home and empowered staff, The Green House model creates a higher quality of life, improved medical outcomes, and greater caregiver satisfaction. There are currently more than 170 Green House homes in 27 states. The Green House Project is an initiative within Capital Impact Partners’ Community Solutions Group, and received initial funding through grants from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To learn more, visit our website at www.thegreenhouseproject.org

About Clark Lindsey Village: Clark-Lindsey, East Central Illinois’ premier retirement community, is situated on 28 acres bordering Urbana’s Meadowbrook Park. Clark-Lindsey is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community located on the edge of the beautiful University of Illinois campus. For more than 30 years, they have provided residents with exceptional service that has earned them an outstanding reputation throughout the state. As the only Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Champaign County. On one campus you can find independent living in The Villas and The Village apartments, and you can find Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Care and Renewal Therapy Center within Meadowbrook Health Center. There are 16 villas and 132 Village apartments, 17 assisted living rooms, 58 long term skilled care beds, and 25 short-term rehab beds.

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/
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Contacts:
Rachel Scher McLean, The Green House Project, 703-647-2345, rmclean@capitalimpact.org
Kristy Stoker, Clark Lindsey Village, 217-344-2144 , kstoker@clark-lindsey.com