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Studies showed that Green House residents experience a better quality of life than people in traditional nursing homes, that their families were happier with the setting, and that the staff were happier with their jobs and more likely to remain in their positions.
With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Thomas then created what’s now called the Green House Project, which sought to help non-profits and businesses build Green Houses around the country.
Look what my own nursing home did to my own mother in a matter of days.”Berman had run assisted living and nursing complexes for 23 years before this moment, but it completely changed the way he thought about how to care for the elderly.
He moved his mother home immediately, arranged for home-care aides to come to her, and then set about to completely upending the way his organization, Chelsea Jewish Foundation, cared for its aging patients.
But Green Houses are not just about architecture, according to Scott Brown, who works for the Green House Project (not to be confused with Scott Brown, the former U. Senator from Massachusetts).“The other two parts of it are cultural change, which is focused on person-centered care, and organizational change—we use a very progressive organizational model that focuses on empowered teams and a coaching approach to leadership,” he said.
There are currently 173 Green Houses operating in 27 states, and more than half of the residents are on Medicaid, Brown said.
In 2000, Thomas decided to build a nursing home from the ground up, taking into account the lessons he had learned in upstate New York.
It would be based on innovative experiments from elsewhere, and it would accept people of all different incomes, as well as non-elderly people with debilitating diseases such as ALS and MS.His mother was vivacious, or she had been until she was felled by a massive stroke and then pneumonia, so he’d moved her into a nursing home so she could recuperate.