Green House Blog

How They Made the Mold

We had a trip down memory lane and the inside scoop from two innovative

The first Green House home in Tupelo, MS.

leaders on the most recent Elevate Eldercare episode. Susan interviewed the creator and founder of The Green House Project, Dr. Bill Thomas, MD, and the CEO of Methodist Senior Services (MSS), Steve McAlilly. MSS pioneered the first Green House homes on the campus of Traceway Retirement Community in Tupelo, Miss., in 2003.

It almost didn’t happen at Traceway. MSS had dedicated funds, to the tune of 12 million dollars, to build what would have been a pretty traditional facility. Emboldened by the vision Bill cast, Steve persuaded the board to take a leap of faith. We often talk at Green House about building the bridge as we walk across it. I guess that DNA harkens back to when Traceway “made the mold,” to quote Bill.

Among our favorite questions at Green House are: “Would you have it at home?” and “Would you do it that way at home?” These questions were birthed years ago as the Tupelo team wrestled through what should go into those first homes.

There is this constant pull between Real Home, a Green House core value and an institutionalized way of doing things, which we call institutional creep and often refer to it as the institutional dragon always lurking just outside the home. Bill said, “it is always, always, always easier to do things the usual way…. The pressure to conform to the traditional system is enormous and it never lets up.” But pushing the easy button doesn’t ultimately get us to how Steve describes Green House homes: “a vessel that enables life and living and loving and learning together.”

More than just a history lesson on Green House homes, the conversation moved us to consider how to not waste a pandemic. I love that Steve said, “It is a sin to not do as much as we can as fast as we can; the real sin is apathy. The sin is accepting the status quo and not acting to change it.”
The pandemic has shed a light on long-term care and rather than vilify “traditional” nursing homes we need to seize this moment to do something different. Both Mary and I resonated with what Bill described as, “big house, small life, small house, big life.”

When it comes to the deep knowing of elders, reciprocity, interdependence, building community, and autonomy and control, smaller is better. I think there is opportunity for any long-term care organization to consider how they might take bigger sections of their homes and make them smaller.

On our podcast I got to share one of my favorite books, “Community: The Structure of Belonging” by Peter Block. Whether you work in long-term care, are a part of a church, social group, or a neighborhood, there is application to you. Bottom line—we need to be intentional about creating community. It doesn’t just happen.

In 2008, Block wrote that we live in an age of isolation. That is even more true in this pandemic era. What Thomas, McAlilly, and Block teach us is that we can author a different future for our elders and for ourselves if we seize upon this opportunity to shift the paradigm once again.

For even more insights and takeaways, take a listen to the original interview and then join Mary and me for, “Let Me Say This About That.”
>>Listen HERE on Apple Podcast
>>Listen HERE on Spotify
>>Listen HERE on Stitcher

A Nurse Says, “Safety Third”

We could entitle the latest “Let me say This about That,” Nurse-Speak for Dummies as Mary Hopfner-Thomas, my co-host, and I (two non-nurses) unpack the conversation between two nurses, Green House Senior Director Susan Ryan and Tammy Marshall, chief experience officer at Thrive Senior Living. Tammy said, “There is a way of knowing that nurses have…that is unique to our profession…it is the gift of this time, because it is addressing the invisible needs of a person.” Their discussion, on episode 3 of Elevate Eldercare, echoes a guest column in McKnight’s in which Tammy said that nurses will see us through the pandemic. The focus of the conversation was not on the technical skills of nurses, but rather how to couple the technical skills with the human element—to see each person and support their individual needs, the task of nurses and non-nurses alike. 

Tammy Marshall, chief experience officer, Thrive Senior Living

As Tammy shared, COVID-19 has given us a magnifying glass and exposed the good things as well as the challenges in economics, leadership, long-term care, and basic humanity. 

Mary and I reflected on their conversation as a discussion in contrasts: Pathogenic vs salutogenic, adaptive vs technical leadership, and certainty vs ambiguity. I was fascinated to learn new terms from Tammy and then dive deep into the origins and applications in today’s world. Pathogenic is the treatment of the disease and it’s the most common way healthcare is delivered in our Western society. But Tammy reminded us that the U.S. is the most flagrant user of pathogenic model with regard to COVID-19. It would appear we keep using the same method and expect different results. Isn’t this the definition of insanity?

I was fascinated by Tammy’s mention of salutogenesis, so I did a deep dive into it. I learned that Microsoft Word does not recognize as a real word, as evidenced by the red squiggles appearing each time I type the word. Salutogenesis is defined as the “origins of health.” It was coined by Aaron Antonovsky in the 1979 book, Health, Stress and Coping. The chief question in the salutogenic model is “what makes people healthy?” Tammy answered this with a harken back to the basics of nursing a la Florence Nightingale: good nutrition, fresh air, sunlight, sleep, and movement. 

Mary was particularly struck by the simplicity and yet brilliance of this basic approach, and we agreed that a good question we can all ask is, “What would Florence do?” Imagine if long-term care providers approached care by seeking to answer the question, “What is the most healing environment for each elder?” and “How might things be different?” These questions move us into what Tammy described as “adaptive leadership.” It’s about asking the right questions and believing there is more than one right answer. It pushes us toward creativity. 

As Tammy described the steps she and her team took communicate with elders and staff, she noted that “we crave certainty.” COVID-19 has given us a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity. What is open or not open, how do we best stay safe, will schools open or not, should we or shouldn’t we do X, when will this end? I loved how Thrive Senior Living developed a compulsive communication strategy to give as much certainty as they could, with a measure of openness and transparency.

As part of our discussion on surplus safety, Mary and I shared one of our favorite Atul Gawande quotes from his book, Being Mortal: “We want autonomy for ourselves and safety for those we love.” As Tammy notes, safety needs to come in third, not first, as is the case in so many nursing homes. That discussion got me thinking—I’m blessed to be a grandmother to a wonderful almost one-year-old. A couple weeks ago I babysat her, and she crawled to her favorite end table with the coasters she loves to bang on the table. She was standing, but not quite an independent walker. She lost her balance, fell, and hit her toothless gums on the table. There was a looong silence before the heart wrenching wail. And there was blood. Never, ever, ever did I want I my precious granddaughter to experience pain or injury. But I do want her to walk independently, to gain confidence in herself, to know that if something happens, I will be there to love and support her. My job as grandma is to love her, foster her growth and development, and keep her safe. Safety third. 

How can we get more comfortable with that kind of an approach with elders? I know there are so many things about how the one-year-old and the frail 90-year-old are different. And yet, they, like all of us, may not be as different as we want to believe. In my opinion, safety third could be a gamechanger in long-term care. The Green House Project’s Best Life approach to supporting elders living with dementia calls this embracing the dignity of risk. 

On “Let Me Say This About That,” I introduced Tammy as a thinker and as someone who challenges me to think. She certainly delivered on that account and I hope Mary and I will likewise challenge you to think deeply about these important topics. In fact, you may want to go back the original Elevate Eldercare podcast and listen to the Susan and Tammy discussion one more time!

Listen to the podcast here:

Apple Podcast): https://lnkd.in/dxMNKrB

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/elevate-eldercare

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6Exvwt070aeATvAC0uxFmo…

Marla DeVries is director of resource development for The Green House Project and cohost of “Let Me Say This About That,” the Friday Recap of the Elevate Eldercare podcast.

Dementia-ism, Grace, and the Value of the Outdoors

In our Friday recap of this podcast, “Let Me Say This About That,” Marla and I take a wonderful journey to further explore what Dr. Wright would like to accomplish. We discuss how he will use his voice and why we see his 25 years of experience as a way to help pave the path toward a better lifestyle for all elders.

A tragic and overwhelming loss of more than two dozen elders at a nursing home in Virginia due to COVID-19 propelled its medical director to use his voice to educate the media—and to crystalize his goals for a unique community designed for elders living with dementia. Dr. James Wright is that medical director. I believe you’ll be impressed by his passion and determination to set the record straight and his candid explanation that we live in “a society that feels that they can ignore their elders, warehouse their elders, especially those that are poor, especially those that have dementia.” Strong words, but he is ready to be the advocate that uses a devasting situation to significantly enhance the life of elders, especially those living with dementia. COVID-19 for Dr. Wright was a back-handed gift to provide that sense of urgency for him.

He has three distinct principles that guide his vision, and some may surprise you. Why would outdoors be on the list? And why might he suggest that federal/state surveyors, often the group of people who only seek out what is not being done correctly, be the group that should become mentors and guides to support the staff at nursing homes? Can you imagine welcoming surveyors to your community instead of being concerned about their arrival? Oh…and what about community integration at a community for people living with dementia? We are not talking about just childcare on campus, or a café, but what about a brewery and lots and lots of open acreage? Not what most would envision when thinking about a community to support the growth and care of elders…especially those with dementia. However, you might find yourself asking “Why not?” They are all part of Dr. Wright’s vision for the future.

In addition to exploring the meaning of grace, Marla and I delve into the devaluation of elders living with dementia. Dr. Wright, who also has a degree in theology (a nice combination for a medical doctor wouldn’t you say?), took time to explain how society values youth and power and undervalues the poor, the dependent, and those with dementia.  

As we examine the stigma of dementia, we discuss what Dr. Wright calls the last acceptable form of prejudice: “dement-ism.” 

So, grab some coffee or tea and take a listen to both podcasts. Episode 3 is the interview with Dr. Wright and episode 4 is the “Let Me Say This About That” recap that offers insights from Marla and me. I believe you will find it enlightening.

>>Listen HERE on Apple Podcast

>>Listen HERE on Spotify

>>Listen HERE on Stitcher

We Thought It Was Time for a Podcast that Elevates Eldercare: So We Made One!

The Green House Project has launched a podcast! It’s called Elevate Eldercare and we hope you will listen, as well as subscribe, so you can hear it each Wednesday and Friday on your favorite platform (Apple, Stitcher, or Spotify). On Wednesdays, Senior Director Susan Ryan brings enlightening,  Marla and Mary
provocative, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations with thought leaders who offer diverse perspectives aimed at elevating eldercare.

On Fridays, Director of Resource Development Marla DeVries and Project Manager Mary Hopfner-Thomas present “Let Me Say This About That,” a quick and witty recap episode that we asked Marla and Mary to explain here:

Marla: “Clifton Keith Hillegass is a hero of mine, even though I was unaware of his name until today (thank you Google). However, I was very familiar with his work. Clifton, a college graduate who worked at a campus bookstore in Nebraska in the 1950s, met Jack Cole, the publisher of the Canadian study guides, Cole’s Notes. Cole suggested to Hillegass that American students would welcome a U.S. version of his eponymously named publication. In 1958, CliffsNotes launched with 16 Shakespeare study guides. He sold 58,000 copies that first year.

“In the late 1980s CliffsNotes was a lifesaver to this high school student. I loved the bite-sized summary and identification of key themes. Certainly, there were times I didn’t read the original work, but often, oh okay, sometimes, I read the book and reviewed the CliffsNotes, as they helped me think through things on a deeper level.

“So, with a nod to Clifton, we are happy to bring you “Let Me Say This About That,” a CliffsNotes version of our newly launched Elevate Eldercare podcast. Each Wednesday, GHP Senior Director Susan Ryan brings us a captivating interview with a thought leader as they discuss relevant and often provocative topics. Each Friday, Mary and I highlight key aspects of the discussion; things that stick out to us as especially important.

“I love words and often look up their definitions, so you’ll likely hear me throw in some vocab review as well. We will also add in some additional facts, bits of our own research, and things we’ve learned in our combined 44 years in long-term care, such as key aspects of the Green House model and how they can be applied to other settings.”

Mary: “So, if you’re wondering why our Friday CliffNotes episodes are called ‘Let Me Say This About That,’ I can assure you it was not in the initial list of potential names: ‘Reflection Friday,’ ‘Rising Up,’ ‘Like It Is,’ and ‘In Our Words’ were among the contenders. For me, the title is all about passion concerning a topic. In fact, I am inclined to emphasize the words this and that for the title.

“My colleagues are well aware of how I use the statement when we are in a team meeting discussing options about a certain topic. I will start off by saying, ‘well, let me say this about that!’ And to be honest, often I say it with a little attitude. It’s my way of highlighting what I see as the issue and what I see as an option to improve the situation.

“When I emailed Marla to suggest it as one name for the podcast it was almost done in jest. Yet, now when I think about it the name resonates. The show reflects our passion about what hits in the Wednesday episodes, and we want to share that with our audience.”

Marla: “I don’t have the broadcast experience my friend Mary does. But my roots are deep in advocacy, cutting my teeth as a long-term care ombudsman. And I love how Susan describes the podcast as an opportunity to speak up and speak out about real issues. I hope we do that.

“Although we don’t have the answers and it’s not a polished, perfect presentation, we will raise the issues and wrestle through complicated topics. In addition, we will keep our eye on practical ways to take action, in ways that we might not only think differently, but also do differently.

“We will also have some fun along the way. Mary and I enjoy working together, we are quick to laugh, and we both have a passion for transforming eldercare—one person and one system at a time. We hope you enjoy, ‘Let Me Say This About That,’ and join us in wrestling through these timely, thought-provoking, and action-invoking issues.”

Listen to the original Elevate Eldercare podcast each Wednesday then join us on Fridays for “Let Me Say This About That.”

Listen here on Apple Podcast:
https://podcasts.apple.com/…/elevate-eldercare/id1524700411…

Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/53ldGsdYWxd6W6eD8xz4kx

Listen on Stitcher here: https://www.stitcher.com/podc…/elevate-eldercare/e/76428729…








Guest Column in Tampa Bay Times: Nursing Homes Need New Vision

via: Tampa Bay Times

Change is often a complicated process, however the results can be amazing. 

Lori Gonzalez, a research faculty member at the Claude Pepper Center at Florida State University has written a guest column shared by the Tampa Bay Times expressing her desire for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to be an agency that makes a change that will have amazing results for those needing nursing homes in the future.  

As states realize that deteriorating nursing homes combined with an aging population mean that new nursing homes need to be constructed, they are faced with an option—build more of the same traditional, large nursing facilities or construct innovative homes that allow elders to live full and enriched lives.

Although Certificate of Need (CON) programs restrict the supply of new nursing home beds in 36 states, some states have lifted the moratorium on new construction as the demand has outgrown supply. For example, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration is currently reviewing CON applications and has approved the construction of 23 new nursing homes, and the expansion of 23 current nursing facilities, totaling close to 3,000 beds. The agency can approve CONs for a maximum of 3,750 beds between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2017. Nine of the new construction approvals are for large facilities that plan to have 120 beds or more, while one of the approvals is for a 180 bed facility. These “new” facilities will be similar to the traditional nursing homes that have prevailed over the past 50 years, with little design change despite the persistently negative views of nursing homes by the public and the people who are most likely to need to live in one.

greenhill exteriosThere are alternatives to the traditional model. The Green House model, born out of the nursing home “culture change” movement in 2003, is one such alternative. Today, almost 200 Green Houses operate in 27 states across the country. Licensed as skilled nursing facilities, Assisted Living Facilities or adult group homes, Green Houses are groups of homes, each with 10­ – 12 elders living in each one.

Click here to read the entire column








JGS Lifecare Holds ‘Topping Off’ Ceremony for New Green House Rehabilitation Homes

For immediate release April 13, 2016

JGS lifecare logo

LONGMEADOW, MA— JGS Lifecare celebrated a major milestone today in the construction of the new Sosin Center for Rehabilitation with the ceremonial “Topping Off” of the steel structure. Construction workers, employees, residents, physicians, community members, elected officials, members of the Board of Directors, donors, and veterans gathered April 13 as the beam was hoisted atop the roof-line of the new rehab center, which is located next to the Leavitt Family Jewish Home at 770 Converse Street.

“JGS Lifecare is transforming the patient experience by delivering leading edge patient-centered care in innovative new facilities,” said Marty Baicker, FACHE, president and CEO, JGS Lifecare. “Partnering with The GREEN HOUSE PROJECT, we will implement the small house model of care in the Sosin Center, replacing hospital-like environments with real homes and greater engagement with those we serve.”

Research shows that a real home environment has significant benefits such as reduced medication use and re-hospitalizations, greater socialization and interaction with care givers, which can lead to faster recovery.

The ‘Topping Off’ ceremony is a long-standing tradition in construction, held when the highest beam of steel is placed atop a structure during construction. A small fir tree was also affixed; symbolizing the building will be everlasting. The American flag that was given to JGS Lifecare as a keepsake of the building’s benefactor, George Sosin, was attached to the beam and ceremoniously raised by officers of the Longmeadow Police. Sosin was a dedicated JGS Lifecare volunteer and supporter until his passing in 2013. His gift of $3 million represents the largest contribution in the 103 year history of JGS Lifecare. The building is named in Sosin’s honor as a testament to his unmatched philanthropic commitment.

Designed by Perkins Eastman, an industry leader in the planning and design of elder care facilities and short term rehabilitation programs, the two-story 24,000 square foot Sosin Center will contain two self-contained homes for up to 24 people. A dedicated team of staff will provide care and make the decisions that are important to daily life. Everything in this environment is designed to prepare patients to go home, because it feels like home, featuring private rooms and bathrooms, an open kitchen and family-style dining areas. Michael’s Café will connect the Sosin Center to the Leavitt Family Jewish Home, bridging old to new and honoring the late Michael Frankel, a former Chair of the JGS Lifecare Board of Directors, and ardent supporter of Project Transformation – A New World of Care.

“Evidence shows that people recover faster in a smaller community where they have direct opportunities for engagement with their physical therapist, with their physician, with their direct care givers, said Anne M. Thomas, vice president residential health, JGS Lifecare. “Because they are in a rehab setting, because they’re getting their rehabilitative services needs met in a small community, they actually encourage each other to get better.”

The eight-foot long ceremonial beam that was raised was placed in the lobby of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home March 16, 2016. Hundreds of people, including residents, patients, physicians, visitors, employees, board of directors, community and committee members, signed the beam and made their mark on history. This morning, several more honored guests added their signatures, including Springfield Mayor Domenic R. Sarno, Longmeadow Town Manager Stephen Crane and Longmeadow Select Board Chairman Richard Foster. In his remarks, Mayor Sarno spoke of his warm regards for the lifecare services we’ve provided his family, and praised JGS Lifecare for efforts to transform the care we provide.

“People are excited. They’re enthusiastic. They can really see the opportunities that Green House will bring to how we care for our elders, and they want to be part of it,” said Susan Kimball Halpern, vice president of philanthropy, JGS Lifecare. “We are creating innovative and important programs that will change outcomes for our residents and patients for generations to come. It’s something the community can be very proud to be part of.”

Construction of the $11m+ Sosin Center project, part of the $20m Project Transformation projects, is supported in part by a $9m Project Transformation Capital Campaign. Project Transformation will introduce the Green House/small house model of care in the Sosin Center, followed by renovations in this model of two sub-acute units in the nursing home. Future plans will carry the model throughout the nursing home. The Sosin Center will be the only Green House certified facility in western Massachusetts. Construction is expected to be complete in late summer, opening in September 2016.

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About JGS Lifecare: JGS Lifecare is a leading health care system serving seniors and their families. JGS Lifecare services include nursing home care, home health and hospice care, assisted living, adult day health care, rehabilitation services, palliative care, music therapy and subsidized independent living.

 

About the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation: Now under construction, the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation will bring the Green House model of care, a more homelike setting for people undergoing rehabilitative care, to JGS Lifecare. The 24-bed short term care/rehabilitation building will be connected to our existing nursing home by a promenade that will include Michael’s Café, a new kosher coffee shop and cafeteria. The Sosin Center is scheduled to open in September 2016.

 

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.








Personalized Care Creates Real Homes for Elders

kiplinger_horizontalThe Green House model “goes to the idea that regardless of age people still have a chance to have a meaningful life where they can experience joy and create value,” Scott Brown, Director of Outreach, The Green House Project says.  In a recent article Kiplinger Retirement News editor, Susan Garland, visits two Green House organizations, Leonard Florence Center for Living and Eddy Village Green and shares her experience with this innovative model:

It’s a common refrain that adult children hear from their parents: “No matter what, promise that you’ll never put me in a nursing home.” These seniors obviously have not visited a Green House, a unique alternative to the traditional nursing facility.

By highlighting the comprehensive transformation that occurs when an organization implements The Green House model, Garland is able to show that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that the cornerstone of the model’s effectiveness is the deep relationships that form as a result: “In the traditional nursing home, you don’t have time to develop the relationships that you have in these homes,” says James Farnan, administrator of Eddy Village Green. “When you have the same group of people taking care of the same group of elders, you get to know what they like and don’t like.”

old and young hand
old and young hand

 

To read more stories and experiences from these Green House homes, read the full article here>>








Better Together: Caring Across Generations Campaign

“By 2030, twenty percent of our population will be over the age of 65. And by 2050, there will be 27 million people in this country who will need assistance with everyday living. As a nation, we cannot afford to not have a plan for this.”

This is how Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), challenged the audience to consider the reality of our Elder Boom during her Age of Dignity book talk last week at the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C.

According to Ai-jen, one plan that will provide stability and protection for the most vulnerable among us is the creation of a national care grid to increase creative solutions and choices for those in need of long-term care. Some examples of innovative organizations that will make up the fabric of this grid are Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), Villages and Green House homes.

As co-director of Caring Across Generations , Ai-jen encouraged the audience to recognize the importance of building a national movement to improve care.  She explained that we must protect what we have built so far and work together to create what we will need in the future.

Are you interested in joining this movement to transform care? Visit our Support the Movement page today and learn how to take action by becoming a part of the Caring Across Generations campaign.

 








The Atlantic proclaims, “A Better Nursing Home Exists…”

Steve, demonstrating the technology, that gives him independence

“Living in a Green House is the only reason I continue to live a vital and productive life,” Steve Saling, recently told The Atlantic, “It doesn’t matter if you are an elder or disabled, people want to live with dignity and respect, make their own decisions and direct their own care.”

In her in-depth article, Alana Samuels explores the history of Leonard Florence Center for Living and The Green House Project. She describes the challenges and triumphs that come from shifting the paradigm of long term care, and unlocking the human spirit. “This is not a nursing home with residential trappings,” Saling emphasizes, “It is my home that happens to provide skilled nursing services.”

Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Foundation

Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Foundation, has found success operating Green House homes, saying that there are efficiencies that make Green Houses, in some ways, less expensive to run. Still, it is not the bottom line that is driving Mr. Berman’s desire to transform the nursing home, but rather the human component, “The whole purpose of doing the renovations is to make the nursing home into a place that people want to spend time, rather than a place that mostly focuses on meeting regulations and controlling costs.”

To read more about how The Chelsea Jewish Foundation is transforming nursing home care across their organization, read the full The Atlantic article>>

Nurse and elder interacting in a Green House home








Eight over Eighty, Celebrates Elders and Raises Funds for Green House homes in Manhattan

Green House adopter, Jewish Home Lifecare, raises funds for person-directed care as it celebrates 8 remarkable elders who are over the age of 80

manhattan-3

The annual benefit gala hosted by New York City’s Jewish Home Lifecare, a 167-year-old elder care provider, is most definitely not the same old, same old. It is, in fact, an event unlike any other.

PatJacobson-large
Pat Jacobson, a long time board member for JHL is one of the honorees

Called “Eight Over Eighty” and slated to take place on Wednesday, March 11, at the Mandarin Oriental New York, the event will pay tribute to eight New Yorkers who, in their 80s and 90s, continue to live lives of remarkable achievement, vitality and civic engagement.

The second annual “Eight Over Eighty” will honor author and photographer ARLENE ALDA, cabaret artist BARBARA CARROLL, actor JOEL GREY, graphic designer MILTON GLASER (of, among many other things, fame), volunteer extraordinaire PATRICIA (PAT) JACOBS, and business people and philanthropists CHARLES M. DIKER, IRWIN HOCHBERG, and RITA & FRED RICHMAN.
(The first event, in 2014, honored an equally impressive line-up of octogenarians and nonagenarians: actor DOMINIC “UNCLE JUNIOR SOPRANO” CHIANESE; gay rights trailblazer EDIE WINDSOR; power couple and developer of 1 World Trade Center KLARA & LARRY SILVERSTEIN,; DICK EISNER, founder of one of the country’s largest and most successful accounting firms; EMILY & EUGENE GRANT, philanthropist and real estate developer; and JOAN WACHTLER, a tireless champion of the aging.)

“This event reflects the changing times we live in – times that will see 30 percent of the U.S. population reach 80 or older by 2030,” says CEO Audrey Weiner. “It also goes right to the heart of what Jewish Home Lifecare is all about: celebrating the vitality of older adults, honoring their lives, and respecting their individuality.”

Jewish Home Lifecare is one of the nation’s largest and most diversified nonprofit geriatric care institutions. Each year it provides 12,000 elders with healthcare services and long-term living options suited to their individual needs. Those options include short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing care, semi- and fully-independent-living residences, and day programs on three campuses, in The Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester. Through its telemedicine program and its extensive home healthcare network, Jewish Home also enables thousands of New Yorkers to age in place.

The money raised by “Eight Over Eighty” will go to support Jewish Home’s person-directed approach to eldercare, an approach epitomized by the long-term care residence being developed for the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Called The Living Center of Manhattan and slated to break ground later this year, the 414-bed structure will be the first GREEN HOUSE® home manhattanin New York City and the first to be built in a major metropolitan, high-rise environment.

The Living Center will have 22 of the Green House model’s trademark small, nurturing households, each with 12 private bedrooms and baths clustered around a large, homey shared living and dining space. Dedicated staff will prepare meals and arrange activities, outings and special events according to residents’ wishes, and provide whatever assistance they need with dressing, dining and other daily tasks. Medical personnel will be centralized elsewhere in the building, providing ongoing monitoring and care as appropriate.

The result will be a long-term care environment that offers residents the privacy, dignity and autonomy every human being deserves as well as the comfort and support of a small, close-knit community. The residents, by living in a place reminiscent of the New York City homes in which they spent much, if not all, of their adulthood, will be able to stay connected to the lives they have lived and the familiar surroundings in which they have lived them.

manhattan_2Jewish Home Lifecare has already implemented the Green House philosophy to eldercare at its Westchester branch, known as the Sarah Neuman Center. There, 26 elders are comfortably and happily settled in two of what will be seven Green House model inspired homes known as Small Houses.  “The Green House model is the future not only of Jewish Home Lifecare, but of long-term care for all older adults,” says Weiner. “There is no other model that actively recognizes the personhood of the men and women we are privileged to care for and that enables them to take the lead in their own lives.”

Click on these links to learn more about Jewish Home Lifecare’s Living Center in Manhattan and Small Houses in Westchester, or contact Tammy Marshall, Director, Green House Project, at Jewish Home at TMarshall@jewishhome.org.








The Wall Street Journal Exposes Common Myths of Aging

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal exposes many common myths of aging. Some of these myths have become so common, they could easily be mistaken for the truth. Have you ever heard someone say, “depression is a normal part of aging” or “cognitive impairment is inevitable with age”? This article clears the air for six big myths about aging.  You can read more here.

For many people, the myths of aging may have come from observing what Dr. Thomas calls the three plagues of long-term care: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.  Fortunately, the culture change movement is showing us what aging is really all about – another stage of growth and development for all people.








The New York Times Features the Green House Model

Word traveled quickly last week after The New York Times published an article by Jane Brody entitled, “The Green House Effect: Homes for the Elderly to Thrive.” It took only several days after the piece was published to our Facebook page for over 16,000 people to see the article, many of whom liked or shared Brody’s insights with their own social networks.

The author creates a clear and powerful image of the Green House model and its core values with support from interviews with Dr. Bill Thomas and Steve McAlilly, CEO of Mississippi Methodist Senior Services in Tupelo, MS. By showing readers that Green House homes provide Elders with a nurturing and respectful environment where they can continue to thrive, Brody exposes the “medicalization of old age” that many of the 1.5 million Americans living and working in nursing homes experience each day.

Today, nearly 2,000 Elders across the nation are living in Green House homes in partnership with caring Shahbazim, clinical support teams and families. The swell of national recognition that we have received over the past year is a clear indication that the Green House model is well positioned to experience rapid growth and adoption in the new year as Americans embrace the power of meaningful life, real home and empowered staff as they age.