Green House Blog

7th Annual Green House Conference in November – A Time to Connect

At The Green House Annual Meeting, organizations gain strength from each other around implementing and sustaining this model.  Connecting to share lessons learned and best practices of this paradigm shift in Long Term Care is one of the most valuable parts of being a trademarked Green House home.

This year’s conference for Green House adopters will take place November 17-19, at the historic Peabody Memphis Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Our theme, Leading with Heart and Soul, is ideal for this magnificent mecca where musical legends combined soul with talent and passion to become the pioneers for American musical genres…much like The Green House Project has pioneered the transformation of long-term care.

 

TIME FOR A ROAD TRIP!

The Green House Annual Meeting & Celebration can be a wonderful time for a road trip!  That’s right…why not drive to the conference and miss all the hassle of flying these days?  Well, that is exactly the decision that was made by team members last year from the Green House Homes at Willow Ridge in Blufton, Ohio.

 

Their new Guide, Barb Lawrence, shared the following memories from the trip:

Last year, four Shahbazim (Paula, Tammy, Terry, and I), one nurse (Coral), the Guide (Rhonda), and the Fund Development person (Doug) rented a van and drove to Boston for the Green House Annual Conference.

Paula and Terry were from one team, and Tammy and I were from the other team at Willow Ridge.  The 14-hour van ride allowed for much bonding opportunity.  We shared about our personal lives as well as our experiences thus far working in the Green House homes.  We played trivia games that we found on our phones, we enjoyed the beautiful landscapes of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts, and enjoyed one another’s company.  We texted folks back home (we’re not there yet!), we listened to music, and some read books.

Mid-way through the trip, Doug said, “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?  The good news is that we are half-way to Boston!  The bad news is that we are ONLY half way to Boston!”

Once we got to Boston, Doug and Rhonda had to find a parking garage that would be tall enough to fit our 12-passenger van.  Boston buildings are small!

Leaving Boston was equally as challenging.  Since we left in the middle of the night (3:00 AM), many of the exits off of the highway were closed, and there were very few signs giving direction – it took over 45 minutes just to get out of the city!

The team is again taking a road trip to this years conference in Memphis and Barb is quick to point out that “it’s only half the distance to Boston!”

 

Every Home Has A Story

At a recent conference attended by our Green House Guide, Rhonda Wolpert, she heard Dr. Bill Thomas explain how important it is that a home has a story. At our Home Blessing, Laura Voth and Doug Luginbill shared the initial stories of the first two Green House homes in Ohio. House A, or 101 Willow Ridge Drive, has become Betty House and is named after Betty and Dallas Bash. Betty lived at Mennonite Memorial Home for 25 years. Dallas lived there for 3 years as well. During those 25 years Betty, Dallas and their family modeled the commitment, dedication, and love that makes family relationships successful. We pray that this same spirit of love and commitment will grace Betty House long into the future. House B or 103 Willow Ridge Drive is named Frieda House after James and Frieda Basinger. James and Frieda grew up in Bluffton and attended Bluffton University. Their careers took them to various locations throughout the country and they retired in Bisbee, AZ. While they never lived in Bluffton after college, the Basingers did not forget their family and friends in Bluffton. For three years Frieda made a $1000 gift at Christmas-time with the instruction, “Make the resident’s lives brighter.” Frieda passed away in 2009. It was only then that we discovered Bluffton University and Mennonite Home Communities were named as the sole recipients of their estate, each receiving over $500,000. This was the gift MHCO needed to move forward with Willow Ridge. We pray that the lives of the elders at Frieda House will always remain bright.

Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio shares "5 P.E.A.R.L.S of Green House Living"

Check out the progress on construction!

Our Project Implementation Team (PIT) was given the instruction to develop “Three Key Messages” that would help explain succinctly what our Green House homes are all about.  We did our best to narrow it down to three but couldn’t quite do it.  So, with ideas from the PIT and the Communication Work Group, I developed these five messages.  Hopefully the use of the acronym “PEARL” can help us all remember the key messages.  We have shared the 5 PEARLS with staff, contributors to our New Vision: Transforming Elder Living campaign, and recently shared it with our local Chamber of Commerce.  It is also available to the public in our current facilities.

 Five P.E.A.R.L.S of GREEN HOUSE Living

Preferences: In a Green House home, elders rule! Actively involved in the decisions regarding their care and daily activities, elders have freedom of choice regarding many activities throughout their day.

Environment: Home is where the hearth is. Each Green House home provides private bedrooms with full bathrooms surrounding a common hearth room complete with fireplace, sofas and recliners. A front porch, back patio and large back yard provide opportunities to visit with neighbors and enjoy God’s creation.

Accessibility: Financial barriers are minimized. Green House homes will be home to elders who pay privately as well as those receiving Medicaid.  The ratio of those paying privately and those receiving Medicaid will be similar to the ratio at Mennonite Memorial Home.

Relationships: Caregivers are empowered! Encouraged to utilize their training, instincts and relationships with each elder they serve, the Shahbaz (Green House term for caregiver), nurses and household care team grow in dignity, confidence and self-worth. This relationship of respect and compassion transforms the institution of nursing care into a household of love.

Life: Live with meaning! Just as one’s own home provides purposeful living, so the Green House homes provide opportunities to engage in meaningful activities. Bible studies, conversation around the table, birthday celebrations, swapping recipes, visiting with family, relaxing with a cup of coffee, reading a book, playing games and many other activities and events keep the “living” in life.

Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio shares “5 P.E.A.R.L.S of Green House Living”

Check out the progress on construction!

Our Project Implementation Team (PIT) was given the instruction to develop “Three Key Messages” that would help explain succinctly what our Green House homes are all about.  We did our best to narrow it down to three but couldn’t quite do it.  So, with ideas from the PIT and the Communication Work Group, I developed these five messages.  Hopefully the use of the acronym “PEARL” can help us all remember the key messages.  We have shared the 5 PEARLS with staff, contributors to our New Vision: Transforming Elder Living campaign, and recently shared it with our local Chamber of Commerce.  It is also available to the public in our current facilities.

 Five P.E.A.R.L.S of GREEN HOUSE Living

Preferences: In a Green House home, elders rule! Actively involved in the decisions regarding their care and daily activities, elders have freedom of choice regarding many activities throughout their day.

Environment: Home is where the hearth is. Each Green House home provides private bedrooms with full bathrooms surrounding a common hearth room complete with fireplace, sofas and recliners. A front porch, back patio and large back yard provide opportunities to visit with neighbors and enjoy God’s creation.

Accessibility: Financial barriers are minimized. Green House homes will be home to elders who pay privately as well as those receiving Medicaid.  The ratio of those paying privately and those receiving Medicaid will be similar to the ratio at Mennonite Memorial Home.

Relationships: Caregivers are empowered! Encouraged to utilize their training, instincts and relationships with each elder they serve, the Shahbaz (Green House term for caregiver), nurses and household care team grow in dignity, confidence and self-worth. This relationship of respect and compassion transforms the institution of nursing care into a household of love.

Life: Live with meaning! Just as one’s own home provides purposeful living, so the Green House homes provide opportunities to engage in meaningful activities. Bible studies, conversation around the table, birthday celebrations, swapping recipes, visiting with family, relaxing with a cup of coffee, reading a book, playing games and many other activities and events keep the “living” in life.