Green House Blog

The Woodlands at John Knox Village, Resident Initiated Green House homes

john knox exterior construction
Construction of The Woodlands at John Knox Village

The Woodlands at John Knox Village in Pompano Beach, Florida is the first Green House project to be initiated by the residents themselves. My wife, Twylah and I, live at John Knox Village and were instrumental in bringing this model to our community. When the organization began discussing plans to build a new nursing home, the residents had a simple request; we wanted private rooms with private baths. However, as we researched more, we discovered The Green House model, and realized that privacy was only the beginning.

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John Knox Residents

Twylah immediately got excited about the concept. I was not as convinced. I questioned if the program was financially wise, and if our village could afford it. I had doubts as to the quality and efficiency of preparing meals in each home, and how worthwhile it would be for us to pay outside Green House “experts” who might dictate plans and organizational structures not appropriate for John Knox Village.

In 2011, I suggested that Twylah and I visit some existing Green House homes. I felt it unfair for me to reject the concept in ignorance, so we arranged our summer vacation to include requests to visit Green House homes across the country.

Our trip’s first visit was to Buckner Westminster Place, in Longview, Texas. I remember when we entered the home, thinking, “Wow, this doesn’t look like a nursing facility at all!” Visiting with their leadership and hearing of their success began to alter some of my concerns.

The Green House Cottages of Wentworth Place, Magnolia AR
The Green House Cottages of Wentworth Place, Magnolia AR

Continuing our trip, we drove to Magnolia, Arkansas, where we were welcomed at The Green House Cottages of Wentworth Place. Twylah’s enthusiasm grew, and after conversations with leadership and administration, I began to consider “why would we want to re-invent the wheel, this seems to be a proven model.”

Both of us were impressed by the testimonials of Shahbazim (versatile workers who serve as care staff) and Guides, who raved about the quality of care they were able to provide in this new model, “I never would want to work in a traditional style again” seemed to be a recurring theme.

By our fourth visit to The Green House Homes at Traceway in Tupelo, Mississippi, I found my concerns regarding the cost, the food, and the organization had been resolved. The value of working with The Green House Project was clear and we were certain that we could trust them to guide through this transformation.

All of our research paid off. We could adopt the proven elements and core values of The Green House model and still create homes that would reflect the culture of Florida and John Knox Village. John Knox leadership agreed and decided to become a trademarked Green House organization. In every way, we has benefited from working with The Green House Project on this quest. Their training and guidance is unsurpassed. After much hard work, the organization opened 12 Green House homes of 12 elders each, in a seven story building on May 26th, 2016.

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Ribbon Cutting for The Woodlands at John Knox Village

As the first Green House nursing home in Florida, we hope that we are establishing a trend in the state toward person-centered care. How grateful we are to live at John Knox Village, an organization that really listens to its residents, and ensures that, as our needs change, we will receive top notch care in a wonderful home.

To learn more about The Woodlands at John Knox Village, we invite you to visit the web at http://www.woodlandsjkv.com

Cedar Sinai Park Makes Oregon the 30th State to Open Green House homes

Sandra Simon, CEO
Sandra Simon, CEO, Cedar Sinai Park

Oregon became the 30th state to open Green House homes as Cedar Sinai Park celebrated the grand opening of their first long term care homes.  “The Green House project creates an environment that doesn’t just feel like home – it IS

their home,” says Cedar Sinai Park, CEO, Sandra Simon. “It is built on the premise that each resident should be able to make the decisions that shape how they live each precious day. The Green House model is a natural progression of our philosophy at Cedar Sinai Park to treat everybody with love, honor and respect. This is the future of aging services, and we are proud to create the first Green House home in Oregon.”

The Green House Project has spent over a decade creating its new vision for the future of elder care and research shows, they have potential to deliver better outcomes than

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Kitchen in Green House home

traditional nursing homes.

Simon continues, “Green House homes combine the best of a real home setting with skilled care, giving elders the freedom to live life on their terms rather than conform to the rhythms of the institution.” The model is built on core values that include:

 

  • Meaningful life focused on personal choices,
  • Consistent, compassionate, highly trained and empowered staff
  • Advanced, research driven medical services in a real

Senior Director, Susan Ryan commended the organization,  “It says something when a community can be a part of a radical transformation like The Green House model.  It says, that we are progressive, and we are creating an age friendly society.”

To learn more about Cedar Sinai Park, visit their website: http://cedarsinaipark.org/dignity-by-design/ 

 

Maggie Calkins, Long Time Friend of The Green House Project, Named Executive Director of Mayer-Rothchild Foundation

The Green House Project would like to congratulate long time friend and collaborator, Maggie Calkins, on her recent appointment as Executive Director of the Mayer-Rothchild Foundation. Calkins has contributed greatly to the field of culture change in long term care, and brings more than 25 years of experience as a researcher, consultant, and educator to the foundation.

Maggie CalkinsOriginally established under the will of Hulda B. Rothschild as The Hulda B. & Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation, it was led by Dr. Rob Mayer for 35 years. The name was changed to honor Rob after his death last year, “We will continue to follow Rob’s inspiring approach and work to build networks of communities and organizations to collaborate in both creating incentives and identifying pragmatic solutions to the challenging issues that face our elders today, so that the elders of tomorrow will be able to live deep and meaningful lives” Calkins says.

For the past five years, the foundation has focused on codes, guidelines, regulations, and funding research that needed to be done in order to create better lives for elders and those working closest to them. The Green House Project’s pursuit of real home was furthered by their advocacy with CMS to update fire safety codes and allow for a more residential environment. We are grateful to the work of this foundation, and Maggie’s leadership to further person-centered practices.

Living the Good Life: Sharla Lee

Living

 

“Living the good life” is a blog series celebrating the lives of people living with dementia in Green House homes.  In Green House homes across the country, elders are creative, resourceful and whole people who have a valuable story to share.

 

Sharla Lee lived a colorful life as a performer, gracing many stages and breaking many hearts. Legend has it that she was even asked out on a date by baseball superstar, Joe DiMaggio. When cognitive impairment made it unsafe for her tshahbaz and elder standing and embracingo live on her own, this talented pianist may have faded away, but thanks to Baptist Retirement Community Green House homes in San Angelo, Texas, her star continued to shine bright.

Always the professional, Sharla would wake up at 5:00a every morning in her Green House home in order to practice the piano. She loved to play for the elders during the evening meal, choosing to eat later, after her performance. In Green House homes, the day is centered around the individual elders’ natural rhythms and preferences. The small size enableelder woman and child at pianos the home to run smoothly based on deep knowing relationships rather than task oriented schedules. As a musician, Sharla’s preferred schedule was different than that of others living in The Green House home, and by honoring that, her personhood remained intact despite dementia.
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Sharla brought joy to others in The Green House home, through her music, and also by being an engaged member of the household. She was made an “honorary shahbaz”, the name given to direct care staff in Green House homes, because she was always willing to help by rolling napkins, setting the table and befriending the other elders in the home. Reciprocity, the ability to receive and also give care, is a key element of Green House homes. As humans, we need to feel a sense of purpose. It may seem like a simple thing, but the value of sharing your gifts with others is something that can’t be overstated.elder man and woman eating on terrace 2

elder woman reading curled in chairMae West once said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Sharla Lee dazzled audiences in San Francisco supper clubs, on cruise ships and thankfully, in her Green House home as well. By knowing Sharla’s story, and creating opportunities for her to shine, her Green House family made sure that Sharla lived “the good life”.

 

Groundbreaking is Celebrated for Cottages of Lake St. Louis in Missouri

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July 6, 2016

For immediate release:

A groundbreaking ceremony was held today in Lake St. Louis, Mo for Cottages of Lake St. Louis!  State Rep. Justin Hill, Karen Vennard, Lake St. Louis Board of Alderman President, several Lake St. Louis Aldermen, and values business partners joined the festivities and ceremonial shoveling of dirt. DSC_0219

The ownership team of locally owned and operated Cottages of Lake St. Louis includes Focused Senior Communities, led by Al Beamer, IronRock Real Estate, led by Tom Hillman, Dr. Joseph Gira, and Barth Holohan.  Cottages of Lake St. Louis is financed through St. Louis Bank, built by GS & S General Contractors, designed by The Lawrence Group, engineered by Horner & Shifrin, with interior design by Invacare Interior Design.

Cottages of Lake St. Louis will be the first Green House homes in Missouri.  It is a whole new approach to Short Term Rehabilitation and innovative Skilled Nursing.  We are Skilled Nursing, differently.  Cottages of Lake St Louis will be built to resemble a traditional residential neighborhood.  A home away from home.

DSC_0215THE GREEN HOUSE® PROJECT in in 30 states and has spent over a decade creating a new vision for the future of elder care. The Green House model delivers better health and satisfaction outcomes than traditional nursing homes. And by creating a real home environment and providing elders with dignity, autonomy and choice, Green House homes provide people with the best quality of life possible.  The Green House model delivers high quality care. Close relationships with elders means that health issues are identified and treated earlier. And the calm, familiar, real home atmosphere in Green House homes improves the well-being and functioning of elders with dementia.

Our Values include:

  • Meaningful life focused on personal choices,
  • Consistent, compassionate, highly trained and empowered staff
  • Advanced, research driven medical services in a real home.

Construction has begun on a 5.2-acre site at 2885 Technology Drive, the southeast corner of Technology Drive and Feise Commercial Drive in Lake St Louis (near the Hwy. 364/I-64 interchange). The Cottages are 6 comfortable homes, each with a dining room, cozy family room with fireplace, den, spa and an open kitchen surrounded by 10 private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Each Cottage has a large landscaped patio with lush gardens and walking paths around the community.  State of the art therapy, nursing and activities services are an integral part of our total wellness plan. DSC_0198

This Green House Model for those needing skilled nursing for rehabilitation or skilled long-term care is new to the area, but has an amazing positive and proven reputation based on a decade of research. You can learn more at http://www.TheGreenHouseProject.org  In our homes the schedule of each Elder is decided by the Elder, not a calendar on the wall, beginning with natural awakening each morning. Our goal is to facilitate the Elders’ independence and ability to pursue their interests. Elders in each home share meals at their common table where family members are also encouraged to join.  Staffing ratios are among the best in the area, allowing for greater interaction and deeper relationships between Elders and caregivers.  This model gives Elders the ability to be a part of life in the home, planning, suggesting and/or engaging in activities and meals, or, sitting and chatting with the staff while they prepare the meal in the home.  It’s natural.  It’s common sense, and it works.  Our goal is to see every Elder live each day to the fullest.

Join us in the excitement by visiting our website www.CottagesLSL.com or following us on Facebook!  Grand Opening is expected to be mid-January 2017.

Media inquiries can contact Christie Tutschulte, VP Care Management at (314) 960-1285 or email Christie@CottagesLSL.com.

About Focused Senior Communities: The leadership team at FSC believes Skilled Care needs to change.  Old “nursing home” standards don’t meet our needs anymore.  FSC owns, operates and consults in the Senior Housing Industry.  Our experienced team has a wealth of knowledge in Senior housing and development.  We are excited and honored to bring the Green House Model of Skilled Nursing to Lake St. Louis in January 2017.

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 and meaningful relationships between residents and care staff.

Living the Good Life: Dr. Lemuel Rogers

Living

 

“Living the good life” is a blog series celebrating the lives of people living with dementia in Green House homes.  In Green House homes across the country, elders are creative, resourceful and whole people who have a valuable story to share.

Dr. Lemuel Rogers

“Without connections to the world that nurtures our human spirit, we hasten decline” -Susan Ryan, Senior Director, The Green House Project
dr r portraitOur lives are a rich tapestry of interests and experiences, woven together across time.  Sharing and celebrating our unique stories ensures that our personhood is preserved, even as our needs change.  Dr. Lemuel Rogers, was the epitome of dignity; a dapper, intelligent man with a great smile and beautiful singing voice.  He was well known in the community as a respected doctor, and leader of his church.  Meaningful life is a core value of The Green House model.  The means that a person must be deeply known, and have the power to maintain their identity through connections and engagement.

For Dr. Rogers, that meant being respected and acknowledged for the expertise and reputation that took a lifetime to build.  In the home, he preferred to be called “Doctor”, and frequently perused medical journals with former St. John’s medical director, Al Power.  Staying connected to the community that he loved, shahbazim (care staff) supported Dr. Rogers to attend the annual African-American Health Symposium, a church event dr r fraternitydedicated to him and his wife, Gloria.  Being honored for one’s gifts is essential to living the good life.

Work hard, play hard.  Dr. Rogers was also an active member in his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. His fraternity brothers were frequent visitors at The Green House homes, bringing joy and beautiful music. Dr Roger’s loved to sing and was able to share his talents with others in his home.  See the below video of Dr. Rogers singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”.

 

Often, those living with dementia become known solely by their diagnosis.  The beautiful tapestry gets lost amidst the behaviors and medications. In a Green House home, however, the value is placed on WHO that person is, and WHAT will support them in living the good life.  Dr. Rogers was serious, but had a great sense of humor.  dr. r group shotYou really felt like you’d done something special when you made him laugh. When children would come to visit, he would shake their hands very formally when he met them and they loved it. His dementia was pretty advanced by the time he moved to The Green House home, but when a doctor talked with him, or his church or fraternity visited, he always sat up a little straighter, shone a little brighter, and rose to the occasion in conversation. The man just…exuded dignity.