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.

john knox tree three
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.

john knox ribbon cutting
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

John Knox Village to Open Florida’s First Skilled Nursing Green House Homes

As THE GREEN HOUSE® Project celebrates its 10th anniversary, South Florida prepares to open its first skilled nursing Green House homes.  The project was highlighted in an article in the Sun Sentinel.

Kitchen rendering (RDG Planning & Design/Courtesy / November 15, 2013)

John Knox Village, in Pompano Beach, will start construction on the homes in the fall of next year.  While John Knox Village will be Florida’s first skilled nursing Green House homes, “experts predict it won’t be the last. That’s because these new-styled nursing homes, and other places like them, offer the privacy, independence and amenities that aging baby boomers are going to demand when they get to the point they require long-term care.”

John Knox Village is a continuing care retirement community, which will house the 7-story “urban stacked Green House homes.”  “There will be two units — each with their own front doors and staff, and functioning as an independent nursing home — on each of the six floors above the building’s ground-level common area. The units will feature 12 private rooms with baths, a large communal living space and an open-area kitchen where all meals are prepared and eaten.”

Jane Lowe, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has supported and championed The Green House Project over the last ten years, says that “Just because you are older, frail and need a lot of support doesn’t mean you need to live in a hospital-like setting.”  And this philosophy is taking Florida by storm, as more and more long-term care communities are focusing on patient-centered care.

For more on the John Knox Village Green House project, or to read the whole article, click here.

John B. Thompson, a resident of John Knox Village, and Harvard Graduate class of  ’59, wrote an essay for his 55th reunion about his experience at John Knox Village. Click here to read what he has to say to his classmates about the Green House® model.