Green House Blog

Missouri’s First Green House Community Opens

It’s another first for The Green House Project, as Missouri is welcomed into the list of innovative states to offer a Real Home to elders who need skilled care.  The Cottages of Lake St. Louis, located in the western suburbs of St. Louis, opened the first of six cottages in January 2017. Now, residents of the “Show-Me” state will get to see firsthand what skilled nursing looks like when its designed — from the inside out — to be a home.

Al Beamer, CEO of the Cottages of Lake St. Louis, says people are struck by how different the community is from a traditional nursing home before they even step inside.

A Home…

Cottages of Lake St. Louis, CEO, Al Beamer

“When people think about nursing homes, they expect to see a large facility designed to house hundreds of residents,” says Beamer. Instead, the Cottages of Lake St. Louis is six cottages built alongside one another on a residential street. Each cottage is a stand-alone home that houses only 10 elders. “What surprises them most is that Green House homes are truly homes,” continues Beamer. “We are very deliberate in saying each cottage is a home — not ‘like a home.’”

This means no medicine carts rattling down long hallways, no big lights flashing above residents’ rooms, no large institutional kitchens and dining areas. In a word, the Cottages are “cozy.”  Each elder has a private bed and bath. This supports their dignity and privacy — but privacy does not mean isolation.

A Community…

Relationships are at the core of Green House communities.  “There’s one big kitchen table in each cottage, so everyone eats together,” says Christie Tutschulte, vice president of care management for the Cottages of Lake St. Louis.  This encourages the natural social interactions that happen around a family table. The elders in each cottage decide what they want to eat, and they see their meals prepared in an open kitchen so they can enjoy the smells and sounds of a busy kitchen.

The focus on relationships extends to those between the staff and the elders. A small, self-managed team of educated, universal caregivers is dedicated to caring for the elders in each cottage. Because this team works in only one cottage, they get to know their elders on a personal level. This helps them see health changes and reasons for concern much sooner than in a traditional nursing home, allowing for earlier interventions and better health outcomes.

In many ways, each cottage is its own little family — and this is exactly how this family owned and operated business wants it.

A Family…

Al Beamer and his wife, Kathy, are the CEO and chief financial officer, respectively. Their daughter, Christie, is vice president of care management, and son, Matt, is vice president of operations.

Christie, who graduated with a master’s in Gerontology, says living in the community makes opening the Cottages of Lake St. Louis personal for her and her family, “Our kids go to school here, we go to church here, we have built our home and our lives here — and we really want to make a difference in our community.”

All of the namesakes at the groundbreaking

Family is so important to the business that five of the six cottages are named after the Beamer’s grandchildren: Ava, Ella, Grace, Harper and Kris.

“When it came to naming the cottages, my husband, Al, and I hit upon an idea that we feel really speaks to the ideals that we are trying to provide for our elders and our family,” Kathy explains. “We believe that it is important to build relationships across the generations, and to value the gifts within each of us. In this spirit, we chose to name each cottage after one of our five grandchildren and the sixth cottage to honor the late mother of our director of development.”

As with all Green House communities, you won’t find any of the institutional markers of a traditional nursing home in the Cottages of Lake St. Louis — yet they still meet all state regulations for skilled nursing facilities. In fact, the Cottages provide a much better nurse to elder ratio. While state regulations require skilled nursing facilities to provide 208 nurse hours per 60 elders per week, the Cottages of Lake St. Louis will provide more than 500 nurse hours per 60 elders per week.

the first elder to move in with her family

The Cottages of Lake St. Louis are opening gradually. The first two of the six cottages have opened, and the remaining four will open by the end of March. This staggered opening is intentional, says Christie, “We are so excited to welcome our first elders, but we want to do it right and get to know each person.”

To learn more about the Cottages of Lake St. Louis, visit www.cottageslsl.com or call 636-614-3510.

Naming Ceremony Carries Special Meaning for Missouri Green House homes

cottages_logo_finalOur family strives to to do meaningful things together and our decision to open Missouri’s first Green House homes, Cottages of Lake St Louis, has been the ultimate endeavor in camaraderie.  These six, skilled nursing homes of 10 elders each, will be built on a beautiful site in suburban St Louis.  When it came to naming the cottages, my husband, Al, and I hit upon an idea that we feel, really speaks to the ideals that we are trying to provide for our elders and our family.

We believe that it is important to build relationships across the generations, and to value the gifts within each of us.  In this spirit, we chose to name each cottage after one of our five grandchildren and the 6th cottage to honor the late mother of our Director of Development, and long time team member.  I brought paint samples to them and had each choose their favorite color and had signage made up for the cottage porches proclaiming the names.DSC_0229                                                                                                                             At the groundbreaking ceremony in July, we surprised the grandchildren as we unveiled the cottage names.  They were thrilled, and to further include them, we will paint the front door of “their” cottage using the color that they chose!  We expect them to be involved regularly in the activity of their cottage and will be well known to their elders and families.

Cottages of Lake St Louis is a place for OUR family and for ELDERS.  We are so proud to have been able to move forward on such a wonderful project with:

  • Ava’s Cottage
  • Ella’s Cottage
  • Grace’s Cottage
  • Harper’s Cottage
  • Kris’s Cottage
  • Betty’s Cottage

Cottages of Lake St. Louis to be First Green House Homes in Missouri!

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For Immediate Release

www.cottageslsl.com

Coming to Lake St. Louis late 2016! A whole new approach to Short Term Rehabilitation and innovative Skilled Nursing. We are Skilled Nursing, differently. Cottages of Lake St Louis will be built to resemble a traditional residential neighborhood.  A home away from home.

THE GREEN HOUSE® Project has spent over a decade creating a new vision for the future of elder care. The Green House model delivers better outcomes than traditional nursing homes. And by creating a real home environment and providing elders with dignity, autonomy and choice, Green House homes provide people with the best quality of life possible. The Green House model delivers high quality care. Close relationships with elders means that health issues are identified and treated earlier. And the calm, familiar, real home atmosphere in Green House homes improves the well being and functioning of elders with dementia.

Our Values include:

  • Meaningful life focused on personal choices,
    • Consistent, compassionate, highly trained and empowered staff
      • Advanced, research driven medical services in a real home.

Construction is planned for a 5.2 acre site at 2885  Technology Drive, the southeast corner of Technology Drive and Feise Commercial Drive in Lake St Louis. The Cottages will consist of 6 comfortable homes, each with a dining room, cozy family room with fireplace, den, spa and an open kitchen surrounded by 10 private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Each Cottage has a large landscaped patio with lush gardens and walking paths around the community. State of the art therapy, nursing and activities services are an integral part of our total wellness plan.

This Green House Model for those needing skilled nursing for rehabilitation or skilled long-term care  is new to the area, but has an amazing positive and proven reputation based on a decade of research. You can learn more at www.TheGreenHouseProject.org.  In our homes the schedule of  each Elder is decided by the Elder, not a calendar on the wall. Our goal is to facilitate the Elders independence and ability to pursue their interests. Elders of each home share meals at their common table where family members are also encouraged to join them. Staffing ratios are among the best in the area, allowing for maximum interaction and total care of each Elder. This model gives Elders the ability to be a part of life in the home, planning, suggesting and/or engaging in activities and meals, or, sitting and chatting with the staff while they prepare the meal in the home. Our goal is to see every Elder live each day to the fullest.

Join us in the excitement by visiting our website www.CottagesLSL.com or following us on Facebook!

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About Focused Senior Communities: The leadership team at FSC believes Skilled Care needs to change. Old “nursing home” standards don’t meet our needs anymore. FSC owns, operates and consults in the Senior Housing Industry. Our experienced team has a wealth of knowledge in Senior housing and development. We are excited and honored to bring the Green House Model of Skilled Nursing to Lake St. Louis in the Winter of 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.