Best_Life_Logo_new.pngThe Green House Project Announces New Dementia Care Approach for Memory Care, Assisted Living, and Nursing Home Providers

Linthicum, MD (April 22, 2019): The GREEN HOUSE® Project (GHP), a nonprofit organization that has led the culture change movement in disrupting and transforming long-term and post-acute care for the past 15 years, is proud to announce its new dementia care training and education approach known as Best Life. As part of its Green House 2.0 initiative, Best Life is designed to support people living with dementia (PLWD) to live rich and rewarding lives. 

Having been integrated into all Green House education, Best Life is now available to non-Green House memory care, assisted living, and skilled nursing providers as a comprehensive partnership that encompasses onsite initial training for all levels of leadership and staff, as well as continual support with our experts in dementia and cultural transformation.  

“Best Life is another component of The Green House Project’s continued efforts to destigmatize aging and humanize care for older adults,” said Susan Ryan, GHP senior director. “As part of Green House 2.0, Best Life leverages everything we have learned over the last 15 years as leaders in senior housing innovation to inform a greater arena.” 

Based on GHP's core values of meaningful life, empowered staff and real home, Best Life is rooted in four principles, as follows:

  • Power of Normal - Best Life strives to create a culture of normalcy to allow for individuals to live in the least restrictive environment possible and experience culturally typical activities.
  • Focus on Retained Abilities - Best Life focuses on the value of providing PLWD the ability to experience real relationships with pets, nature, and people of all ages.
  • Dignity of Risk - Best Life illuminates the reality that there is dignity in enabling PLWD the right to take risks.
  • Advocacy - Best Life advocates for PLWD to have expanded experiences and choices, as well as the right for rehabilitation.

Integral to Best Life’s training and education approach is its partnership with Embodied Labs, an innovative tech company that uses virtual reality to help care partners spend a few minutes as an Elder, in their world. This virtual learning experience helps all Best Life learners approach individuals with more empathy and knowledge about dementia.

Heading up Best Life is Anne Ellett, MSN, NP, a certified gerontological nurse, dementia specialist, educator, and writer. For more than 20 years, Ellett has brought innovative and dignified care for people living with dementia through her association with Silverado Senior Living and then as founder of Memory Care Support, LLC. She is the developer of the Best Life approach.

“The Best Life approach begins by addressing our own fears and misperceptions of dementia, which can unintentionally devalue people and prevent them from living full lives,” said Ellett. "This approach further identifies PLWD by their accomplishments, not their losses, and enables them to thrive beyond their diagnoses.”

Green House 2.0 envisions homes in every community where the Green House core values help Elders thrive, and where they, their families, and staff engage in meaningful relationships built on equality, empowerment, and mutual respect


The Green House Project Announces New Initiative to Broaden the Reach, Deepen the Impact of the Movement to Eradicate Institutional Models of Care

Elements Include New Services, Expanded Board of Directors, and Opportunities for All ProvidersGHP 2.0 logo.png

Linthicum, MD (April 16, 2019): The GREEN HOUSE Project® (GHP), a nonprofit organization that has led the culture change movement to disrupt and transform long-term and post-acute care for the past 15 years, is proud to announce its "Green House 2.0" initiative.

Green House 2.0 is aimed at forward-thinking providers and developers who want to offer better quality care; a stable workforce; and relationship-rich, person-directed living for Elders. GHP’s new partnerships and endeavors will not only help traditional providers bring true culture change to their communities, it will also enhance the leading-edge education, training, and consultancy that current Green House partners enjoy.

"We are thrilled to be launching this next phase of the organization’s work so that we can broaden the reach and deepen the impact of the movement to eradicate institutional models, destigmatize aging, and humanize care for older adults," said Senior Director Susan Ryan. "We recognize the imperative to innovate and disrupt the status quo to meet the needs of a rapidly aging society. The story of The Green House Project is one of innovation and disruption. Therefore, we are leveraging our history of being leaders in cultural transformation to propel us forward in partnership with senior living developers, owners, and operators in new and more accessible ways."

Following are the initial elements of Green House 2.0:

Financial Feasibility Model (FFM): Now a sophisticated tool refined through years of data and evidence, GHP’s unique FFM process, as well as its financial and operational pro-forma, are designed to give prospective Green House partners a clear understanding of the financial impact of a new development (or the redesign of a traditional setting) to assure the long-term success and ROI of each Green House home. GHP offers expert advice and consulting, perfected over many years, on many options for financing a development project amid a dynamic aging services landscape.

Cultural Transformation: By leveraging the Green House model's higher measurable quality outcomes, consumer demand, and greater caregiver satisfaction, GHP will cast a wider net in educating and training traditional aging services providers. This means that creating relationship-rich, person-directed living environments—powered by the Green House philosophy—are possible for those who want to take substantive, albeit smaller, steps toward true culture change.

Proven Ability to Serve Diverse Populations: Green House homes now include a cross section of people, including veterans and LGBTQ Elders, as well as people living with dementia, individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and those with ALS and MS. Prospective and current adopters are now able to draw from these experiences to serve a multitude of populations who deserve real homes and meaningful lives.

Short-Term Rehab: The Green House model now includes homes with short-term rehabilitation, creating a consumer-driven experience with positive outcomes and paving the way for a more diverse payer mix and opportunities to serve a growing population of older adults.

Expanded Board of Directors: The Center for Innovation (CFI), GHP’s umbrella organization, recently expanded its board of directors to include leaders from both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors of senior housing, as follows:

·  Maggie Calkins, founder, IDEAS Institute (Secretary)

·  Dan Hermann, president and CEO, Ziegler Specialty Investment Bank

·  Michele Holleran, founder and CEO, Holleran Consulting

·  Steve McAlilly, president and CEO, Mississippi Methodist Senior Services (Chair)

·  Lisa McCracken, director of senior living research & development, Ziegler Specialty Investment Bank

·  John Ponthie, co-owner and managing director, Southern Administrative Services

·  Deb Reardanz, president and CEO, Clark-Lindsey Retirement Community (Treasurer)

·  Matthew Trimble, COO, Saint Elizabeth Community

·  Audrey Weiner, retired president and CEO, The New Jewish Home (Vice Chair)

·  Jill Wilson, president and CEO, Otterbein Senior Life

“Having led the development of the first Green House homes some 15 years ago, I am proud to take the helm as chair of CFI,” said Board Chair, Steve McAlilly, president and CEO of Mississippi Methodist Senior Services. “I am also thrilled to be in the company of a ‘dream team’ board of directors, each of whom is poised and eager to take this movement to the next level."

"In 2003, we introduced the first truly disruptive model of long-term care—a model that stands today as the catalyst for the movement to transform care for older adults," said Ryan. "Today, with more than 280 Green House homes now in 32 states, we mark a new phase of evolution in our mission to create meaningful lives, real home, and empowered staff.

For board member bios, click HERE. For more information about Green House 2.0, go to the GHP website at

About The Green House Project

The Green House Project (GHP) is an organization that seeks to radically transform senior housing models by partnering with providers and developers to revolutionize care and empower the lives of people who live and work in long-term and post-acute care. GHP creates real homes where all people
live meaningful lives amid empowered staff.

Media Contact:

Meg LaPorte
Director of Communications
(240) 676-0610

Statement from Susan Ryan, senior director:

Linthicum, MD, April 18, 2019: Sen. Charles Grassley and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma have recently called for stronger oversight, enhanced enforcement, and better care in the nation’s nursing homes, presumably in response to the recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The gaps in oversight described in the GAO report, as well as the abuse and neglect that Sen. Grassley and Administrator Verma condemned, all point to one undeniable fact: our society devalues older adults. 

The conditions found in Oregon are not isolated. Older adults in the entirety of society endure ageist attitudes, discrimination, and stereotyping, all of which has led to neglect, abuse, mistreatment, harassment, and more by all levels of staff and caregivers. This is not to point the finger at one individual but to call out our culture of placing elders in large, albeit invisible, institutional buildings with double-loaded corridors, rigid scheduling, and undervalued staff—all relics of archaic models that foster a cycle of “otherizing” those who are older and seemingly less “able.” 

Over the last 15 years, The Green House Project (GHP) organization has guided long-term and post-acute care providers in the development of more than 280 Green House homes in 32 states, all with the very specific purpose of creating relationship-rich, person-directed living environments where elders are valued and placed at the center of care. Because Green House homes advocate for elders and staff, they are the antidote to devaluation and inadequate training. GHP’s principles of deep knowing, real homes, and empowered staff are just one element of what sets the Green House model apart and helps us to begin reversing the cycle of otherizing older adults. 

Since the first home opened in 2003, much research has been conducted on the Green House model, with excellent results. Compared to traditional nursing homes, Green House homes have higher scores in quality of life and quality of care and lower Medicare and Medicaid costs per resident. What’s more, the Green House model has likely garnered more attention from media, funders, researchers, and aging services providers and operators than any other model in the industry—and for good reason. CMS has at times recognized the model as well. But despite incremental progress in improved quality of care and quality of life, problems persist.

This is one reason why GHP recently launched its Green House 2.0 initiative, which encompasses a series of new services and partnerships aimed at helping non-Green House providers bring true cultural transformation to their communities. By doing so, GHP is leveraging its history as an innovator and disrupter to expand its reach in order to further advance the movement to eradicate institutional models of care. 

Today, I call on Congress and CMS to examine the root of this problem—and while you’re at, please take another look at The Green House Project.