Green House Blog

A Sage’s Testimonial of Short Stay Rehabilitation in a Green House home

For the last few years, I have served as a Sage (volunteer who supports and advises the self managed work team) at The Green House homes of Mirasol.  Recently, my role was reversed, when I moved in to recover after an extremely taxing and debilitating surgery.  These homes are listed as 5 Star by Medicare and Medicaid, a wonderful professional endorsement.  I can tell you, however, that the essence of what I experienced, goes far beyond that checklist, and their stellar outcomes reflect something much deeper and more comprehensive.

The Green House homes were the only attractive option for rehab within 20 minutes from my home.  Because I know how popular The Green House homes are, I was worried that there would not be space for me.  I was delighted to be able recover in a Real Home. I knew that being a volunteer would be very different from being a guest in the community, but I couldn’t have predicted how impressed I would be, or the gratitude I would feel.

The Green House team ensured that the process was smooth and dignified from the very beginning.  They managed all the hospital paperwork, follow-up appointments and coordination, which in my mind already goes leagues above 5 stars!  The driver’s vehicle enabled me to sit comfortably up front, and he even offered me clip-on sunglasses, my choice of music and a warm blanket (an important touch on a freezing Colorado day).  We quickly fell into a comfortable chat and discovered many things that we had in common.

When I arrived, I was greeted warmly, like a long-lost, favorite uncle!  The Shahbazim (direct care staff) offered me the choice of going to my room for a rest, or staying at the table for a meal.  Having already having discovered my dietary preferences, they offered to make something special, just for me.  The whole home smelled scrumptious when I came in the front door! Just being there made me feel better, and I had a renewed appreciation for the airiness of the dining area, the good smells of the kitchen, and the warm, inviting fireplace area.

We went to my room – private room with private bathroom, thank goodness.  As I was oriented, I was reminded that no room is more than six doors from the hearth, and this was confirmed the next morning by the aroma of breakfast wafting into my bedroom.  How refreshing to recover without the long and disorienting corridors lined with carts of stale food or unmentionables waiting to be taken out back.  At no stage
was I “parked” anywhere in the house, as I have seen in other nursing homes, left alone to wait.  To be treated like a person, rather than an object; what this did for my well-being, I can’t begin to measure.

Dinner was a very communal event, and I felt very welcomed by my fellow elders at the table.  Some required help with eating, which the Shahbazim did casually and warmly with considerable skill and NO DEMEANING BIBS.  It immediately felt like the elders were interested in me as a fellow member of the house and its extended family of elders, staff and family members. The feeling of family was beautifully illustrated, as one elder spontaneously went over to another elder, who seemed unhappy, and simply gave him a hug.  It was then that I was brought to tears, so moved by the atmosphere of support and caring. The elders are empowered to care and support each other, creating a community of reciprocity, where everyone has something to offer.

The hearth in the center of the house is a place where elders and Shahbazim could naturally get to know each other more deeply, creating mutually supportive relationships as our stories are shared. What a realization to know that the more deeply we know each other, the more we are valued.  These relationships enable the elders and Shahbazim to go beyond medical needs, and become connected, helping each other to live the best life possible.

The staff appeared to be encouraged to stop over each day and chat for a while just to get to know me better.  I felt understood, and like the things that were important to me, were important to them.  If I had a visitor (like my wife of 51 years) or was engaged elsewhere, my nurse would ask if I would prefer she come back later. She put me in the driver seat of my care, and made me feel like she honored my privacy and dignity. The Shahbazim seemed to anticipate my needs, incorporating what they learned about me from our conversations, and providing personalized care that went well beyond my physical needs.  Team members would stop by at the end of their shift to just chat about their plans for the rest of the day, to ask advice, or to ask me about my life stories.  This genuine caring, was something that I hadn’t experienced in other nursing home/rehab settings, and it was so gratifying and replenishing.  To be known and truly valued, this is better than the best medicine.

What a phenomenal rehabilitation experience, delivered by wonderful people who love their
job, love the people they work with and the elders they serve.  The Green House homes provide opportunities for these open-hearted people to grow and develop their already extraordinary gifts.  I am honored to be able to share my experience as a testimonial to others who are seeking a place where they can recover, not only physically, but holistically.  It is because of this experience that I healed so rapidly, with caring and the preservation of my dignity.

Learn more about The Green House homes at Mirasol>>


The Ribbon is Cut for Green House Rehabilitation Homes in Western Massachusetts

Building Committee Chairs Frank Colaccino and Jeff Grodsky unveil the new Sosin Center for Rehabilitation.
Building Committee Chairs Frank Colaccino and Jeff Grodsky unveil the new Sosin Center for Rehabilitation.

An estimated 200 people attended the ceremony November 3rd to officially cut the ribbon on the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation!  JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow, MA has been working hard to develop the two Green House homes for short-term rehabilitation which are expected to open in December.

Among those attending included Congressman Richard Neal and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.  A number of JGS board members and staff were also on hand for the celebration.

Frankel family members Joely, Donna, and Seymour ceremoniously cut the ribbon dedicating Michael’s Café and the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation. Michael’s Café is named in honor of the late Michael Frankel, a past JGS Lifecare Board Chair.
Frankel family members Joely, Donna, and Seymour ceremoniously cut the ribbon dedicating Michael’s Café and the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation. Michael’s Café is named in honor of the late Michael Frankel, a past JGS Lifecare Board Chair.
Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, director of Spiritual Life, JGS Lifecare, Elaine and Dr. Frederic Brownstein affix a mezuzah at the entry of the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation. A mezuzah contains a Hebrew verse from Torah, reminding us that home is a sacred place.
Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, director of Spiritual Life, JGS Lifecare, Elaine and Dr. Frederic Brownstein affix a mezuzah at the entry of the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation. A mezuzah contains a Hebrew verse from Torah, reminding us that home is a sacred place.

Each home will provide rehabilitation for 12 people and are the first Green House rehab homes in western Massachusetts.  Green House Senior Director, Susan Ryan, congratulated the team at JGS Lifecare and officially welcomed them to the Green House family.

Read more about the event:


22News WWLP

Indiana Celebrates the Grand Opening of the Green House Cottages in Carmel!

While Elders have been enjoying living the Green House Cottages of Carmel for several months—the official Grand Opening ceremonies took place on August 25th img_2361

In May the first Elders in Indiana moved into the Green House homes…three are now open and when all six cottages are complete they will be home to 72 Elders.

The cottages are dedicated to care in three different areas: long-term, memory care and short term rehabilitation.  We welcome our new members to the Green House family of adopters and wish them much success!







JGS Lifecare Holds ‘Topping Off’ Ceremony for New Green House Rehabilitation Homes

For immediate release April 13, 2016

JGS lifecare logo

LONGMEADOW, MA— JGS Lifecare celebrated a major milestone today in the construction of the new Sosin Center for Rehabilitation with the ceremonial “Topping Off” of the steel structure. Construction workers, employees, residents, physicians, community members, elected officials, members of the Board of Directors, donors, and veterans gathered April 13 as the beam was hoisted atop the roof-line of the new rehab center, which is located next to the Leavitt Family Jewish Home at 770 Converse Street.

“JGS Lifecare is transforming the patient experience by delivering leading edge patient-centered care in innovative new facilities,” said Marty Baicker, FACHE, president and CEO, JGS Lifecare. “Partnering with The GREEN HOUSE PROJECT, we will implement the small house model of care in the Sosin Center, replacing hospital-like environments with real homes and greater engagement with those we serve.”

Research shows that a real home environment has significant benefits such as reduced medication use and re-hospitalizations, greater socialization and interaction with care givers, which can lead to faster recovery.

The ‘Topping Off’ ceremony is a long-standing tradition in construction, held when the highest beam of steel is placed atop a structure during construction. A small fir tree was also affixed; symbolizing the building will be everlasting. The American flag that was given to JGS Lifecare as a keepsake of the building’s benefactor, George Sosin, was attached to the beam and ceremoniously raised by officers of the Longmeadow Police. Sosin was a dedicated JGS Lifecare volunteer and supporter until his passing in 2013. His gift of $3 million represents the largest contribution in the 103 year history of JGS Lifecare. The building is named in Sosin’s honor as a testament to his unmatched philanthropic commitment.

Designed by Perkins Eastman, an industry leader in the planning and design of elder care facilities and short term rehabilitation programs, the two-story 24,000 square foot Sosin Center will contain two self-contained homes for up to 24 people. A dedicated team of staff will provide care and make the decisions that are important to daily life. Everything in this environment is designed to prepare patients to go home, because it feels like home, featuring private rooms and bathrooms, an open kitchen and family-style dining areas. Michael’s Café will connect the Sosin Center to the Leavitt Family Jewish Home, bridging old to new and honoring the late Michael Frankel, a former Chair of the JGS Lifecare Board of Directors, and ardent supporter of Project Transformation – A New World of Care.

“Evidence shows that people recover faster in a smaller community where they have direct opportunities for engagement with their physical therapist, with their physician, with their direct care givers, said Anne M. Thomas, vice president residential health, JGS Lifecare. “Because they are in a rehab setting, because they’re getting their rehabilitative services needs met in a small community, they actually encourage each other to get better.”

The eight-foot long ceremonial beam that was raised was placed in the lobby of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home March 16, 2016. Hundreds of people, including residents, patients, physicians, visitors, employees, board of directors, community and committee members, signed the beam and made their mark on history. This morning, several more honored guests added their signatures, including Springfield Mayor Domenic R. Sarno, Longmeadow Town Manager Stephen Crane and Longmeadow Select Board Chairman Richard Foster. In his remarks, Mayor Sarno spoke of his warm regards for the lifecare services we’ve provided his family, and praised JGS Lifecare for efforts to transform the care we provide.

“People are excited. They’re enthusiastic. They can really see the opportunities that Green House will bring to how we care for our elders, and they want to be part of it,” said Susan Kimball Halpern, vice president of philanthropy, JGS Lifecare. “We are creating innovative and important programs that will change outcomes for our residents and patients for generations to come. It’s something the community can be very proud to be part of.”

Construction of the $11m+ Sosin Center project, part of the $20m Project Transformation projects, is supported in part by a $9m Project Transformation Capital Campaign. Project Transformation will introduce the Green House/small house model of care in the Sosin Center, followed by renovations in this model of two sub-acute units in the nursing home. Future plans will carry the model throughout the nursing home. The Sosin Center will be the only Green House certified facility in western Massachusetts. Construction is expected to be complete in late summer, opening in September 2016.


About JGS Lifecare: JGS Lifecare is a leading health care system serving seniors and their families. JGS Lifecare services include nursing home care, home health and hospice care, assisted living, adult day health care, rehabilitation services, palliative care, music therapy and subsidized independent living.


About the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation: Now under construction, the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation will bring the Green House model of care, a more homelike setting for people undergoing rehabilitative care, to JGS Lifecare. The 24-bed short term care/rehabilitation building will be connected to our existing nursing home by a promenade that will include Michael’s Café, a new kosher coffee shop and cafeteria. The Sosin Center is scheduled to open in September 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.