The upcoming annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America this November will offer a unique opportunity to visit and tour the nation’s first urban model Green House® Project nursing home in Chelsea, Mass., The Leonard Florence Center for Living.
Located just outside Boston, The Leonard Florence Center for Living combines the comforts of home with individualized skilled nursing care. It is also the first Green House model home with specialized houses for residents with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Multiple Sclerosis. The ALS house is unique since those with ALS are limited to eye movements so their homes are designed with the latest in the state-of-the-art technology that allows them to live an independent life.
The ALS house is named for and was designed with input from architect Steve Saling, who was diagnosed with ALS at age 38. You can learn more about Steve and his journey to create a home for the chronically disabled in the video below:
There is a dire need for residential living options for the chronically disabled. When I was diagnosed with ALS in October 2006 at the age of 38, I was horrified to discover that my future would be living in a nursing home in a small room with a 90 year old roommate. Even then, I could only live there until I required a ventilator to breathe for me and then I would be forced to move to a hospital to live the rest of my life in a bed, never going outside or having a shower again. I knew that I had to find a better way.
The Steve Saling ALS Residence and Slifka MS Residence within the Leonard Florence Center for Living offer me and 19 others with ALS & MS real freedom and independence. The Residences are fully automated so that even the nearly locked-in can live a vital and productive life. The goal is now to build more residences so that my lifestyle can become the standard for the world. The ALS Residence will prove that ALS does not have to be fatal anymore. Until medicine proves otherwise, technology IS the cure.