Green House Blog

An Outing To Enjoy The Season Reflects True Empowerment

Kris Angevine with house pup, Lexi

 

One of my proudest moments as a Guide for the Penfield Green House homes was when one of the Shahbazim (self-managed team of direct care staff), Wendy, texted me and said “Hurray!  We made it!” … I didn’t know what she meant and I was at our legacy building about 20 minutes away so I couldn’t just pop over to clarify the news.  The therapeutic recreation specialist for our Green House homes, Mimi,  has an office across from me, so I moseyed over to her and asked her if she knew what Wendy could mean?   Mimi said “Nope, I don’t know anything.” So, I texted Wendy back and asked her “Made it where?  What are you all up to?” She replied, “Check Facebook!”

photo on Facebook of elders riding to their Naples adventure

I didn’t have time to check the site, as I was rushing off to another meeting so it was an hour later before I was able to close the loop.  As it turned out,  all 10 elders, the Shahbazim and a Nurse were buying grape pies in Naples, NY which is about 2 hours away.  The team planned the whole thing, scheduled the van, grabbed the credit card, and even got the other House to come over and check on Lexi, the house dog, because this was her first time on her own.  On their way home, they stopped for lunch, and enjoyed the iconic fall scenery in upstate NY.  It was beautiful, well executed, and neither the “boss” or “activities” knew anything about it.

True empowerment at its best!

Wedding Celebration Honors Generations

Chelsea Jewish Foundation is an innovative organization that has infused meaningful life across all of their communities.  In addition to Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home, they also operate the groundbreaking Leonard Florence Center for Living that includes 10 Green House homes in a high rise structure, serving elders, short term rehabilitation and those living with MS and ALS.  

The Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home’s first wedding in its 96 year history took place on Friday, July 10, 2015. Rose Stetson, a 91 year old resident, truly wanted to see her son Kevin get married and her son couldn’t imagine his mom not being present. What better place for a wedding than Rose’s home at Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home? Kevin and Sharon were married by Sharon’s father, who became a Life Minister and officiated the ceremony. The bride’s daughter, Lexie, was the maid of honor and Rose’s grandson, Tim, was the best man. All in all, it was a wonderful family affair on a beautiful July day.

Stetson-wedding-CJNH
Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home first wedding with Kevin and Sharon Stetson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose-Stetson-with-grandchildren
Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home resident Rose Stetson, 91, and her great-grandchildren.

A Son Expresses The Need for Green House homes in Every Community

A son’s personal experience shapes his support for bringing The Green House model to Maplewood Nursing home, in Cheshire County, NH.

As someone whose father greatly benefited from living in a Green House cottage, I feel compelled to lend my voice in support of the concept as the proposed alternative to the deteriorating Maplewood nursing facility which now serves many needy elders of Cheshire County.

Paul JenkinsMy father was a well-educated, highly respected writer and clergyman who, in his final years of life, had the misfortune to develop Lewy Body Dementia, a disease that resembles a devastating combination of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life to watch this highly articulate man robbed of his joy, his speech, and, eventually, his mind.

When it became evident to our family that my mother could no longer care for my father in their home, we were blessed with the opportunity to be part of a Green House community in Holland, Michigan. The Green House concept is light years ahead of the type of care that has typically been given in places such as Maplewood Center. Maplewood has been a valued and effective facility for many years, but it simply cannot compare to a Green House setting. Green House residents live in private rooms with private baths. They are always treated with respect and dignity. They are referred to as “elders” rather than “patients.” Living, recreating and dining among a small community affords them with companionship that is so vital to their continued health. Family members are always welcomed at meals and other activities.

Before my father entered the Boersma Cottage, he was sinking deeper and deeper into depression, withdrawing from life, and was rapidly losing his desire to live. What struck me as miraculous is that, within a few weeks of his arrival, he started to regain his sense of humor and even had a playful quality about him that had been lacking in recent months. It is true that, because of his dementia, he was no longer fully the man I had known and loved. But the person that he became in his final months was well cared for and enjoyed a quality of life that, in my experience of such care – which is quite extensive – is unparalleled. My only regret is that he didn’t come to a Green House home earlier so that he might have enjoyed even more of its benefits. In the end, his death was a good one and for that I will always be grateful.

The Green House concept is, I believe, at this time the best way to provide quality of life for those in need of long-term care. It respects the dignity of the person and values the gifts that they still bring to the lives of others.

It’s time for Cheshire County to embrace this truly remarkable approach.

The Rev. Mark A. Jenkins

Rector, St. James Episcopal Church, Keene

Talk about Green House Core Values during National Nursing Home Week® 2014

Are you interested in spreading the word about the Green House model and bringing Green House homes to your community? You’re invited to join Green House adopters and enthusiasts across the country next week during National Nursing Home Week® to educate your local communities and policymakers about The Green House difference.

This year, the American Health Care Association is using the Hawaiian theme, “Living the Aloha Spirit,” for National Nursing Home Week. According to their website, this aloha spirit means that “… the people of Hawaii are encouraged to treat others with deep care, respect and humility, leading to individuals creating a better world.” The Green House model’s core values of Meaningful Life, Empowered Staff, and Real Home, align closely with this year’s theme and we are excited to invite communities across the country to see the difference that our model offers.

Want to get involved next week? Click the Calendar of Events below for details.

 

Contact Meaghan McMahon at (mmcmahon@capitalimpact.org) with your questions or to share success stories, photos and letters.

The Green House Annual Meeting and Celebration

The Green House Project is excited to host The Fifth Annual Green House Meeting and Celebration, an exclusive opportunity for organizations who have adopted The Green House Project.  This year’s meeting will be held on September 5-7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Building on an important value of The Green House concept, this year’s theme, “Meaningful Life, Meaningful Engagement”, will highlight the impact organizations are having on the lives of the people who are living and working in their Green House homes.  

The Green House Project is eager to use this platform to acknowledge the four Green House Projects that are open and thriving in the great state of Michigan.  From Pinecrest in the Upper Peninsula to Porter Hills, in Grand Rapids, our host city; from the Villages of Redford in Detroit’s outskirts to Resthaven on the the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, we honor all of the homes where elders and persons living with disabilities can live lives of meaning and engagement in homes where they are well known.  

This meeting and celebration as always been a time to honor the commitments that Green House organizations have made to the model and the initiative,  and the hard work to make this vision a reality.  We hope this experience provides our network with the opportunities for learning, growth, replenishment and fun!

The opportunity to visit Porter Hills will give adopters a chance to how The Green House model is lived on another campus, and there will be plenty of time for networking and relationship building amongst peers throughout the conference.  This venue will be bustling with best practices, and lessons learned from all phases of Green House development and sustainability.  Education and growth are key features of The Green House model, and there will by thoughtful sessions by Dr. Bill Thomas, founder of The Green House model and international change agent, dementia care expert Teepa Snow OT/R, and many others.   

This meeting brings together Shahbazim, Guides, CEOs, Clinical Support Team members and Elders to share their knowledge and everyday experiences. 

If you can’t attend this year’s meeting, or if you are not a Green House adopter, but are interested in the agenda, don’t worry– there will be interactive opportunities throughout the meeting!  We will be livestreaming from our website: Dr. Thomas’ keynote (9/6/2012, 9:00a), Teepa Snow’s keynote (9/7/2012, 8:30a).  We will also be updating our facebook page throughout the conference and will be using hastag: #GHP12, to tweet exciting news and photos. 

Thank you for your support and energy to further The Green House Project, and our quest to create “Meaningful Engagement and Meaningful Lives