Green House Blog

Dr. Bill Thomas, Talks to Provider Magazine about Person-Centered Care

In an exclusive interview with Provider, Dr. Thomas casts the vision of living in a world where the ageist slur, “elderly” is no longer a part of polite conversation.  He says, “Think back in memory to the last time an older person referred to themselves as ‘elderly.’ People don’t introduce themselves by saying, ‘Hi, I’m Bob’s elderly mother.’ That’s put onto them. That’s the definition of a slur.”  Dr. Bill Thomas believes that to change long term care, we need to change the larger societal attitudes toward getting old.

In pursuit of this reality, Dr. Thomas is hitting the road for the Age of Disruption Tour, “I’m going on tour again, starting in April,” [Dr. Bill Thomas] tells Provider. “I feel a responsibility to have an impact on not just long term care, but how our country views aging and how our country thinks about older people. I think that many of the issues we deal with in long term care are driven by deep, cultural misunderstandings about aging.”  Part of the tour will be an old-fashioned rap session, with Thomas sitting down with leaders, that “explores new ideas, practices, and models to transform the experience of care and caregiving,” the tour’s ad copy says.

While there have been great strides to create opportunities for elders to live a life worth living, we have a long way to go… and there is always the danger of a good idea being turned into a marketing gimic, rather than the real deal.  Take “person-centered care” for an example, “The problem with person-centered care,” Thomas says, “is that it’s possible for people to become satisfied with the name and to actually lose interest in the hard work that’s required to turn the name into a lived experience. The words are everywhere, but the meaning of the words is changing… What we really mean by person-centered care is relationship-rich care.”

In The Green House model, relationships are the cornerstone of success.  The deep knowing relationships between elders and the direct care staff facilitates a familiarity that leads to positive outcomes, including increased workflow, cost savings, and health outcomes.

Dr. Thomas has truly made an impact on the field of aging, as the reporter says, “he is a founding father of a revolution. (How many other Birkenstock-wearing gerontologists are getting shout-outs from the Senate floor?)”  As he embarks on this latest adventure, there will be new ideas shared, fires stoked, and people moved to action… bringing us ever closer to the ideal of meaningful lives for all.

To read the full article >>

10 On 10: Ten Leaders In Aging Reflect On Ten Years Of Green House Homes

Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked to change the way elders live in long term care.  Currently, there are 153 open and operating Green House homes 25 states with many more in development. In fact there are 24 more homes scheduled to open in 2014, and we are gaining momentum.  Because of these innovations, over 1550 elders are able to live, grow and thrive in real home environments where they are able to give and receive the care that they need.

In honor of our 10th Anniversary, we reached out to 10 thought leaders in the field of aging, and asked them to share their perspective on the impact that The Green House model has made on aging and long term care.  Below you will see the support that they voiced for this model, and the work that has been done to move the field forward.

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this strong statement that Aging and Long-Term Care can be different.

Provider Magazine Highlights Flexible Funding for Green House homes

Provider Magazine tracks the pulse of the industry and serves as the leading source of business and clinical news for long term and post-acute care professionals.  Long term care providers know that the demands of the consumer are changing.  So why do many nursing homes still look the same way they did 20 years ago?  One barrier to transformation may be in the ability to find, “low-cost, flexible financing sources”.  New financing programs are being created to remove this barrier, and to support Green House home development.

In 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading health foundation, made a $10 million Program-Related Investment (PRI) in NCB Capital Impact and The Green House Project to make it easier for more providers to obtain flexible financing and build Green House homes.  In making this investment, the foundation saw a unique potential for The Green House model to address the nation’s growing shortage of affordable, high-quality long term care options for low-income elders.
As an initiative of NCB Capital Impact, The Green House Project has also been able to leverage the financial expertise of this group, “Because NCB Capital Impact is enlisting additional investors—like the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and AARP Foundation—to leverage RWJF funding in any individual project by a ratio of four to one, the total financing opportunity is actually substantially larger than the foundation’s initial investment.”  These resources are creating opportunities for long term care providers to meet the demand of their customer for small, real home environments.
The Green House model has a proven track record for delivering high quality care at roughly the same cost as a traditional nursing home.  Additionally, consumer research found that caregivers would be willing to drive further and pay more to have this type of home as an option for their loved one.
Because the RWJF and NCB Capital Impact loan pool needs to be entirely distributed by 2014, interested providers should begin exploring the option as soon as possible. To find out more about tapping into RWJF and NCB Capital Impact financing for Green House projects, contact Maura Porcelli at (703) 647-2311 or mporcelli@ncbcapitalimpact.org.