Green House Blog

The White House Conference On Aging Releases a Final Report

“In a year that marked the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security, the White House Conference on Aging provided an opportunity to reflect on the importance of these programs, highlight new actions to support Americans as we age, and focus on the powerful role that technology can play in lives of seniors in the decade ahead.”  –Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council

WHCOA_picThe Green House Project was honored to participate and be highlighted during the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.  “Through a combination of listening sessions, breakout groups, watch parties, regional and topical forums, and written feedback, the White House heard from thousands of Americans about the issues most important to them regarding our aging population.”  Click here to read the final report for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging that summarizes the work of the White House to create a fulfilling and dignified world for elders and those who work closest to them.

One highlight was a visit by Executive Director of The White House Conference on Aging, Nora Super, to Leonard Florence Center for living, the first urban Green House model, located outside of Boston.  There, Ms. Super engaged in dialogue with elders and staff members to learn how The Green House model creates caring homes and meaningful lives for those who live and work there.  This opportunity gave the model a national stage to share the impact that it can have for elders and staff in long term care.

White House Conference on Aging Executive Director, Nora Super, pictured with Green House and Leonard Florence team members
White House Conference on Aging Executive Director, Nora Super, pictured with Green House and Leonard Florence team members


Looking to market your Green House homes?

Wondering how to market your new or existing Green House homes?  Our friends from the Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio have a creative “one-pager” to describe their homes.

This flyer is packed with critical information about THE GREEN HOUSE® model, the unique design of their homes, as well as the philosophy behind the meaningful life Elders will enjoy in their homes.  Click here to take a look!

Ask Dr. Bill: Flattened Hierarchy in Green House Homes

Flat is Good


Flat tires are bad. Flat cakes are bad. Flat organizations, can be, good. So, what makes an organization “flat?”

All human organizations have leaders and followers. One thing that defines a free society is that people can be a leader in one organization and a follower in another.  All of us are part-time leaders and part-time followers. Some organizations create an enormous distance between leaders and followers.  For example, the United States Army has a very steep and very large hierarchy that separates the lowest recruit from the highest general. An army private has very little chance of every becoming a general and generals never get busted down to private. The Army is the opposite of a “flat” organization.

 A steep hierarchy is good for things like fighting wars and flying to the moon but steep organizations are pretty cold and very impersonal. 

 Flat organizations have a much smaller distance between leaders and followers. These two groups are able to challenge each other’s ideas. Green House homes are meant to be Flat organizations because the Elders need for all of us to work together.  Everyone in The Green House home has ideas and insights and everyone can contribute to the conversation.

 How can we tell if a Green House home is losing its “flatness?”

 The main symptom is a decrease in problem-solving conversations and an increase in “problem-solving” by the leaders.  In The Green House, leaders are not supposed to solve problems. In The Green House, leaders are supposed to help others solve problems.

 The loss of “flatness” can become a big problem if people are not aware that it is happening.  So, here is my challenge for you: Have a conversation about the flatness of your Green House home because when it comes to warmth and compassion, “flat is good.”