Green House Blog

The GREEN HOUSE Project Showcased in #ElderCareChat Discussion on Innovations in Senior Care

#ElderCareChat recap - OurParents.comThe GREEN HOUSE Project was pleased to join the April 25 #ElderCareChat, with Director of Operations Debbie Wiegand serving as an expert panelist. Wiegand engaged participants in an informative Twitter conversation about innovations in senior care while also describing how The GREEN HOUSE Project has come to be recognized as the leader in creating high-quality, cost-effective, and sustainable, human-scale alternatives to the traditional nursing home.

The hour-long #ElderCareChat put the need for innovative solutions in context, with Wiegand explaining how an aging population is driving the need for more senior care options. The topic was inspired by a recent blog post that discussed how the Green House model has become a catalyst for change in the field of long-term care. The model’s emphasis on creating a “real home” environment, with a look and feel that is residential rather than institutional, has gained considerable attention in the skilled nursing care space.

The Twitter session, which generated more than 3.4 million impressions and nearly 400 tweets, gave the 25 participants the opportunity to share their thoughts on a variety of topics, including what they perceived to be the major trends in senior care. One participant identified a movement toward more person-centered care. Another mentioned the need for a social/cultural change with regard to how we look at aging. In addition, several participants cited technology as having an increasing impact on senior care solutions.

In conjunction with an aging population, Wiegand sees an increasing demand for more innovative memory care solutions. “Correlated with the increasing number of elders is the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, and the need for high-quality models that focus on the whole person, rather than the traditional biomedical model that focuses primarily on decline and disease,” Wiegand tweeted, adding that a Green House program called “Best Life” was created to equipment caregivers with the knowledge and skills needed to help elders living with dementia thrive.

Wiegand also stressed the importance of frontline professionals building meaningful relationships with elders and their families. “Changing demographics exacerbate staffing challenges in nursing homes,” she observed. “Without the availability of quality jobs that offer expanded roles and opportunities for growth, the long-term care industry is at great risk for worker shortages.”

The chat also included a discussion of the advantages of smaller, more residential living spaces for elders. Wiegand explained that Green House homes are designed to create warmth and foster “intentional community.” “Smaller is better,” she tweeted, “meaning less square footage, which helps to support elder mobility, familiarity and access to all spaces of home, and reduce costs of construction.”

A chat participant observed that smaller, more intimate environments allow for better relationships with caregivers, tweeting, “The social, family atmosphere of residential living spaces eliminates the institutional stigma that is often associated with eldercare.”

Participants were highly receptive to innovative solutions being introduced to the long-term care space. As one senior care professional tweeted, “The day we stop innovating is the day we need to find a new job!”

“The GREEN HOUSE Project is all about relationships and deep knowing,” Wiegand concluded. “We embrace technology, but never at the expense of the human touch and connection.”

For those wanting to learn more, the GREEN HOUSE Project will host a webinar on workforce issues at 1 p.m. ET May 3. Register now.

In addition, The GREEN HOUSE Project is presenting opportunities to visit Green House homes and take a deep dive into the model at the following locations:

Feel free to peruse the transcript of the 4/25/18 #ElderCareChat session.

#ElderCareChat is presented by A Place for Mom‘s OurParents.com in conjunction with sister sites SeniorAdvisor.com and VeteranAid.org as a forum to share resources, experiences, and expertise in eldercare. Stay tuned to @OurParents Twitter handle for information regarding the next #ElderCareChat.

Green House Featured on Panel at Ziegler CFO Workshop

Small House Nursing Homes is a trend that providers are recognizing as a solution to the growing workforce crisis, the pursuit of high quality at a lower cost and consumer demand.  Green House Senior Director, Susan Ryan, was invited to the Ziegler/LeadingAge 2018 CFO Workshop join a panel with Otterbein, and discuss, “Keys to Operating Successful Small House Models” .

The data presented during this session stemmed from the recently updated financial survey of Green House partners by Terri Metzker of Chi Partners.  In this survey, she explored the essential elements to achieve viability through comprehensive culture change.

To learn more about how Green House homes are faring in comparison to national trends and the importance of leadership to create sustainable results, please download the full webinar>>

Improving the Long Term Care Workforce with Strategies that Work

In the opening session of our “Workforce” series, Robyn Stone, Senior Vice President for Research at LeadingAge provides an overview of the demographics, trends, and challenges of the workforce in Elder care. Robyn begins by urging listeners that as providers, we must invest in our workforce to produce the high quality of care we are promising to Elders and families. Our sector will be the center of many jobs in the future and therefore, investing in our workforce is a key component to overall organizational success.

Given the broad and multidisciplinary nature of our field, our workforce meets at the intersection of the medical, social, and environmental sectors. While this creates a dynamic work environment, it also creates challenges when recruiting and retaining quality clinical, administrative, and management positions. Specifically, Robyn urges the importance of frontline professionals who deliver 60-80% of care and are the “eyes and ears” of our communities. Frontline professionals are critical to building meaningful relationships with Elders and families and are essential to the success of an organization when cultivating an Elder-centered culture.

Robyn highlights long-term trends and the importance of building a competent workforce to meet the changing demographic. A rise in care needs, particularly in the 85+ population coupled with the pending workforce shortage of frontline professionals has created an emerging gap in care services. Additional trends include more ethnically and racially diverse older adults and an increase in highly educated older adults with greater access to technology and health literature. Lastly, Robyn discusses economic disparities between cohort groups and the growing group of older adults that will not have the resources to access services they may need in the future.

What are the challenges to workforce development? Robyn discusses that across all jobs and occupations, our sector is continually undervalued when compared to peers in other healthcare settings. She suspects ageism is the catalyst for a lack of attention and investment in public policy, education, and reimbursement rates to support a quality workforce. “We need to have policies that actually incentivize our service systems to be investing and supporting a quality workplace.” At the organizational level, growth in quality supervisors, in-service trainings, career mobility, and competitive compensation and benefits are critical components to building and maintaining a strong workforce.

In closing, Robyn shares public policy, education, and workplace solutions to support the workforce of the future. Specifically, she advocates for tying Medicare & Medicaid reimbursement directly to workforce development, developing quality clinical placements to attract students to our field, and creating innovative career ladders that support organizational retention.

 

To listen to the webinar, please visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3609958745640052481

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Two Green House Homes in Lima, Ohio Culminates Years of Planning by Board Members

In recent years the board of trustees for the Lima Convalescent Home has been working hard to create more private rooms for their elders.  On April 6th that vision became a reality as they broke ground for two Green House homes that will provide beautiful homes with private bedrooms for 24 Elders AND will ultimately mean more private rooms in their existing nursing home.

The new homes will be called “The Greens at Lima Convalescent Home” and will be part of their established community.  The project is estimated to cost over $1 million and is slated to open by Spring of 2019.  Board members made their decision to move ahead with the Green House model after seeing the Green House homes in Bluffton, Ohio.

“It truly is a vision for how care can be provided in this community in wonderful ways,” said Lima Mayor David Berger. “This kind of leadership in our community is what made Lima Convalescent what it is today.”

 

Green House Senior Director, Susan Ryan, explained to those at the event that The Green House Project is a movement that de-institutionalizes, destigmatizes and provides care to elders to help them live meaningful lives.

“They will be known for who they are and not just their diagnosis and they will be able to live life and not just be defined by their care needs,” said Ryan. “Hold fast to your visions and values that have guided your journey so far. I can tell you that a year from now I will come back and I will see beautiful homes where I see grass today and I can assure you that the best is yet to come.”

 

Lima Convalescent Home was the first nursing home in Lima when it opened in 1958 and is the only one that is a non-profit.  The Executive Director for the Lima Convalescent Home is Joy Reichenbach.

Click here to read more about this story from LimaOhio.com

Lima Groundbreaking Ceremony Brings Back Fond Memories of a Father Who Participated in The First Groundbreaking 60 Years Ago

“He was a very powerful influence in my life”, that’s how Betsy Winget remembers her father, Glen Webb.   He was on the first board of directors when the decision was made that Lima needed to build a nursing home for their community.  In 1956, he was part of the original groundbreaking ceremony that was captured in this black and white photo that now is proudly displayed in the hallway at the Lima Convalescent Home.

Betsy was honored to attend the ceremony and said, “It choked me up to be there”.  Betsy explained that both her father and mother felt strongly about giving back to the community and were very active in several initiatives over the years to support Lima.  Her father was a member of the Lima Memorial hospital board and would work hard for the school levies.  “If there was something to be done, there was my Dad”.

Betsy’s father ultimately became a resident at Lima Convalescent before he passed, and ironically the Lima Convalescent Home even played a role in Betsy’s career.  When she was about 25 years old she was looking for a different job and met the administrator at the Lima Convalescent Home who wanted to hire her.  “Never in a million years did I think I would be working with elders” explained Betsy.

Betsy Winget

However, working with elders has indeed been her career and she is currently the Executive Director of Senior Citizens Services, Inc. where they are passionate about keeping elders healthy and active.

When Betsy first heard about the development of Green House homes in Lima, she decided to check it out first hand and traveled to Bluffton for a visit.  “I think they are awesome” and a great new option for elders in our area.

We applaud the work of Betsy’s parents over a half century ago and applaud the continued community work Betsy continues to do in Lima!