For the first time since Rhode Island imposed a moratorium on additional nursing home beds nearly 20 years ago, a state approved project is getting underway in East Greenwich. Saint Elizabeth Home broke ground on October 27th and will build four Green House homes.
“It has been a long road to get to today,” said Steven J. Horowitz, President and CEO of Saint Elizabeth Community. “We first heard about Green House homes in 2006, but it all began in earnest for our organization in 2009 when we took a group of our nursing home resident on an overnight beach vacation to Cape Cod.” Horowitz says, “This showed us how quality of life for nursing home residents could greatly be enhanced through smaller home environments and empowered/cross trained employees.”
Each home will have 12 Elders and will be built next to the existing Saint Elizabeth Home. They will include private bedrooms and bath, along with a common hearth and dining area and open kitchen. There will be a front porch and back patio area for easy access by the elders.
At the ground breaking, Saint Elizabeth Home Chief Operating Officer Matthew Trimble said, “the unfortunate consequence of the moratorium was the stifling of innovation.” In 2010 legislation was passed that would allow for beds from skilled nursing facilities that closed, or that were taken out of use, to be held by the RI Department of Health for potential future use. It opened the door for innovation and the team at the Saint Elizabeth Home was more than ready to present their ideas!