“The Green House Project gave us a national platform to tell our story.”

-St. Martin's in the Pines

National Media Items
But anecdotal reports suggest that private rooms may be having more success at keeping the coronavirus at bay. That is the conviction of the Green House Project, a nonprofit organization that oversees 266 small-house nursing homes. Of the 243 projects that supplied data in early May, eight reported having cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and there were no deaths, said Susan Ryan, the organization’s senior director. ‘From a design perspective, this has only reinforced what we thought was a good idea,’ she added.
(Article is a reference to April 30th, 2020 HuffPost article) The article noted that one potential solution may be building smaller facilities, as the spread of infection is greater in bigger ones. These may include more facilities following the Green House Project, a long-term care concept originally developed in 2003. Each Green House has no more than 10 to 12 residents, each of whom has an apartment and bathroom while sharing a common dining area. With two nursing assistants and a nurse for every 10 residents, the Green House concept allows the staff to develop more lasting relationships with residents.
Downsizing current facilities is not as realistic as building smaller new ones. This was one driving force for Steve McAlilly, chief executive office of Methodist Senior Services in Tupelo, Mississippi, who launched the first of what would become a national movement called The Green House Project in 2003.
(Featured: SunPorch of Smith County) Many senior living activities programs ground to a halt when the Covid-19 pandemic forced residents to self-isolate in their rooms starting in March. But in the time since, providers across the country have come up with a range of ways to keep residents entertained and engaged — an effort that becomes increasingly important as the pandemic drags on.
I can't think of a resident who wouldn't prefer living in a small home or a family member who wouldn't choose it over a traditional nursing home.
Lots of things look different when you step into a small Green House nursing home. The bright living and dining space, filled with holiday baubles at this season. The adjacent open kitchen, where the staff is making lunch. The private bedrooms and baths. The lack of long stark corridors, medication carts and other reminders of hospital wards.
When thinking about how we would move forward with our goal of redefining home and revolutionizing long-term care on our campus, we considered several alternative approaches to senior living. We selected the Green House Project as our model since its mission and ideals aligned well with our values of working to ensure that our residents and families thrive in an atmosphere of respect, compassion, and individuality.
By joining forces, community development and health professionals can have a more powerful impact.
Resident choice and autonomy, a homey environment, and well-trained and invested staff are hallmarks of the Green House and similar models that are slowly and fundamentally changing long-term care for Americans who otherwise could be forced into traditional nursing homes.
In today’s skilled nursing environment, diversification of payment sources is critical to success. Organizations catering exclusively to long-term care find themselves grappling with high Medicaid occupancy and the shortfalls it creates. This means that it’s important to add other services to the mix, the most important being short-term rehabilitation that’s paid largely through Medicare.
Green House “has three core values,” says senior director Susan Frazier Ryan, “real homes, meaningful life (culture) and empowered staff (organizational change/human architecture, all of which help an elder live the best life.”
It's a common refrain that adult children hear from their parents: "No matter what, promise that you'll never put me in a nursing home." These seniors obviously have not visited a Green House, a unique alternative to the traditional nursing facility.
Founder of The Green House model, Bill Thomas, believes we are lucky if we get to grow old. That there is a “third” phase of life beyond adulthood that can be as rich as either of the phases that came before.
For greater warmth and nurturing, seniors are turning to small residences like Green House, which is part of a complex of senior housing and care options, and privately owned care homes that are often unmarked in residential neighborhoods. They are usually newer, sometimes cheaper, and generally offer more customized care than most nursing homes.
Leading the way for small-house senior care is the Green House Project, a concept that involves updating traditional nursing care by grouping skilled nursing residents into smaller dwellings of 10 to 12 individuals within cottage-like residences, each with assigned staff that specifically cares for the residents within that particular Green House.
If you haven’t yet heard of the Green House Project, chances are you will soon. Thanks to funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, there are already more than 170 Green House Project homes in 32 states, with more than 100 more in the works...21st-century Green House Project has been creating specially-designed homes in which elders can live with dignity, comfort and companionship.
Blog summarizes recent feature in The Atlantic that goes into Green House Project, Leonard Florence Center for Living, and demonstrates how long term care can be difference and better.
Susan Frazier, Senior Director of The Green House Project joins other innovators in the field to discuss how changing the way we view aging, and implementing programs to support meaningful lives can impact the world.
Maria is 105 years of age. In her bedroom, the centenarian sits comfortably in a high-back chair with a view of Boston Harbour. Within an arm’s reach is a remote control designed for her with large numbers to enhance independent TV watching. Next to her wall-mounted flatscreen TV is a chalk board with the activities of the week: hairdo every Tuesday, bingo at 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, communion at 10 a.m. on Sundays, and the times and channels for her favourite TV shows.
Nobody gets excited at the idea of moving to a nursing home. The typical image most of us have of homes for elder care is cold and institutional. That hospital-like environment with long hallways, shared rooms, and seniors dependent on overworked nurses who can only give them a few minutes at a time – that doesn’t have to be the way it works.
The previous column detailed some of the difficulties and failings of traditional skilled nursing institutions and introduced the innovative approach of Bill Thomas’s Eden Alternative and its offshoot, the Green House homes. This column will give more details about the Green House Movement.
Bowers and Nolet previously studied how the Green House model’s unique staff structure affects nursing practice and Elders’ care. More recently, they and other UW–Madison colleagues looked at how Green House Homes maintain culture change practices over time. They also asked how different care practices affect Elders’ clinical outcomes.
"household models do not have to cost more than traditional operations. But to keep the bottom line stable — or even to boost profits — a provider must plan carefully, finance and build smartly, and commit not only to providing care in a new type of environment but in new ways."
“So the question at this point,” Alana Semuels of The Atlantic, writes, “isn’t so much what do good nursing homes look like, but how do you transform the existing institutions into places that look like them?” With one-third of the U.S. population likely to be over 65 by 2050, it’s a question that needs some consideration.
In “A Better Nursing Home Exists,” writer Alana Semuels explores the history of The Green House Project and Leonard Florence Center for Living, their unique ALS/MS residences, and CEO Barry Berman’s vision for his legacy nursing home. “This is not a nursing home with residential trappings,” Steve Saling, a resident living at LFCL with ALS, says. “It is my home that happens to provide skilled nursing services.”
Already 167 Green House homes in the United States have been built by 39 organizations, and 1,735 people are living in them in cheerful surroundings respectful of their needs and wants. Another 108 similar homes are now in development.
Green House Homes are a new model for caring for the elderly that makes sure they’re integrated into the community and puts their care first.
The Green House concept is the most comprehensive effort to reinvent the nursing home, experts say — including the way medical care is delivered.
The white paper “Financial Implications of THE GREEN HOUSE® Model” was announced by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) as the winner of the GE Award for Best Research Paper from its annual call for applied research papers. The article appeared in the 2011 Seniors Housing & Care Journal and analyzes several recent studies to determine the Green House model’s initial and long-term financial viability.
In 2011, Green House Project was named as one of the “Top Ten Senior Living Design Innovations”
Say goodbye to long corridors, central nursing stations and multiple roommates. In the Green House model, each of the 10 to 12 residents has a private bedroom and bathroom connected to a common dining room, an open country kitchen where all the meals are prepared, a living room, and an indoor porch or backyard.
A model that breaks the mold of institutional care by creating small homes for six to 10 ‘elders’ who require skilled nursing or assisted living care. The homes, which are designed for the purpose of offering ‘privacy, autonomy, support, enjoyment, and a place to call home,’ are a radical departure from traditional skilled nursing facilities and are considered to be the peak of culture change.
The success of the Green House model lies in trading a typical nursing home’s top-down organizational structure for a self-managed team of workers who share the tasks involved in caring for their residents, including housekeeping and cooking. Most important, Dr. Thomas says he wanted to create residences that avoided the loneliness and expense of at-home care and the coldness of an institution.
The foundation's undertaking represents the most ambitious effort to date to turn a nice idea into a serious challenger to the nation's system of 16,000 nursing homes.
At some point in life, you can't live on your own anymore. We don't like thinking about it, but after retirement age, about half of us eventually move into a nursing home, usually around age 80. It remains your most likely final address outside of a hospital. To the extent that there is much public discussion about this phase of life, it's about getting more control over our deaths (with living wills and the like). But we don't much talk about getting more control over our lives in such places. It's as if we've given up on the idea. And that's a problem.
The nursing home where Reinhard lives is known as a Green House, and it could be a model for the long-term-care institution of the future.
"At the center of the Green House is quality of life — meaning worth and dignity. At the Green House, we put those things at the center of life."
Local News Items
(Susan Ryan and Jim Wright interviewed and quoted throughout.) Long before the onslaught of COVID-19 overwhelmed Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, Dr. Jim Wright had been looking for land outside of Richmond where he could pioneer a different way of caring for the elderly, particularly those with dementia.
The purpose behind these homes is to cause elders to feel at home through safe and living environment and through the Shahbaz’s care, love and support.
An expansion project will begin this week at Longmont‘s Hover Senior Living Community that aims to add affordable, full-time skilled nursing care in a non-institutional setting.
Most cutting-edge nursing homes belie the stereotypes about them anyway. But now the Jewish Home at Rockleigh, one of those cutting-edge places, plans to change its residents’ lives by creating homes inside the institution, so that residents can have the advantages of both.
Also in April, two Green House Project homes were dedicated — Honor and Valor. That makes four 10-resident homes on the west side of the VA campus. The facilities offer a home-like atmosphere.
“You can wake up when you want to. You can eat breakfast when you want to, you can eat what you want to when you want to and the staff are here to provide that for you and to help you continue to live your life in the last chapters of life," said Tanya Detweiler.
This year, the couple’s most recent tree stands in the entryway at Valor Home, one of four Green House buildings with a home-like atmosphere for veterans. Valor, which can accommodate 10 veterans, is dedicated to short-term rehabilitation.
Mirasol has added six homes to its senior living community based on a new model of skilled nursing. The "Green House" homes are a smaller, more resident-driven and are intended to make residents feel as though they are living in a home, rather than institution. The housing authority is looking at building three more of these types of homes in 2018.
The green house model “brings nursing care into a real home, where 24/7 nursing care is provided employing cross trained certified nursing assistants, nurses and physicians and other specialists including a social worker, dietitian and physical and occupational therapists,” according to a news release.
THE GREEN HOUSE Homes at Saint Elizabeth Home in East Greenwich are open! These are the first new nursing homes to open in RI in over 25 years. The Rhode Show is WPRI 12's daily lifestyle show for having fun, eating well, and living life.
Priest helps seniors contribute to society while working to reduce and eliminate loneliness, boredom and helplessness.
When JGS Lifecare launched the strategic plan five years ago that would become Project Transformation, the goal was to, well, transform the organization’s entire range of senior services to reflect 21st-century ideas about delivering care in a resident-centric way. The Sosin Center for Rehabilitation, the highlight of the project’s first phase, is a good example, employing the burgeoning Green House philosophy, a model aimed at making residents feel at home while achieving the independence they need to return to their own homes.
About 200 people gathered at JGS Lifecare on Thursday morning for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation.
The Woodlands at John Knox Village, Florida’s first Life Plan Community Green House Project, opened in May 2016.
The much-anticipated grand opening for the new Washington County Nursing Home was celebrated Tuesday, September 13. A ribbon cutting, held by the Akron Chamber of Commerce in front of the new homes.
The community is located in Chelsea, Massachusetts and run by the Chelsea Jewish Foundation; it currently has 10 Green House-style skilled nursing residences with 10 bedrooms each. Two of the Green Houses are built for people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and one is specifically equipped for residents living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
In preparation for the new Green House homes, educators were chosen for both initial and ongoing staff education.
Some three years after first conceiving of a multimillion-dollar project to remake its Brighton campus, Jewish Senior Life is slated this month to break ground on its Green House initiative...the project plans to build nine residences at an $83 million cost.
The Woodlands at John Knox Village, Florida’s first Life Plan Community Green House® Project offering a new model of care for living and healing, celebrated its grand opening
"We’ve always had a great reputation for delivering superior care in our organization,” CEO, Mike King says. “Now we’re really making a major paradigm shift, where we’re saying that we’re going to put the quality of life of our residents up there right alongside the quality of care that we’re delivering.”
Video tour of Green House homes in Kalkaska, MI. 2 Green House homes celebrated their grand opening on January 6
In this case, a trip to Falmouth on the Cape in September of 2009 became the genesis to a new form of nursing home care that is expected to become a reality in 14 months at Saint Elizabeth Community.
For the first time since Rhode Island imposed a moratorium on additional nursing home beds nearly 20 years ago, a state-approved project is getting under way in East Greenwich to create a cluster of small, communal-style buildings for 48 seniors. On Tuesday, a ground-breaking ceremony will be held for four scaled-down nursing homes to be built by Saint Elizabeth Home on Post Road. Each will have 12 private bedrooms with private bathrooms. They will surround a central living space that includes a kitchen, dining area and hearth.
"Lawrence Township now has the distinction of having the first Green House® homes in central New Jersey," Hanley said to rousing applause.
Clark-Lindsey in Urbana, IL, has partnered with The Green House Project and architecture firm Perkins Eastman to create small homes for specialized dementia care
In a Green House Project home, though, dementia care is designed to look and feel like it's being delivered in a real home, all the way down to the home-cooked meals. Urbana's Clark-Lindsey Village will be the third site in Illinois to add Green House Project homes, with two other Green House locations at VA health centers in Danville and Chicago.
Roughly 60 people attended the groundbreaking. Among these individuals were representatives from GH Phipps, the company building the nursing home; residents and staff from the nursing home; and members of the Washington County Nursing Home Board.
U.S. News & World Report awarded Buckner's two Green House homes with a four-star rating in its annual Best Nursing Homes issue.
“The Homeplace at Midway represents a new beginning for older adults in Kentucky and for communities across the commonwealth to embrace them as living treasures, not a burden or a challenge,” Dr. Keith Knapp, president and chief executive officer of Christian Care Communities, which built the Homeplace and will operate it, said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Texas Dept of Aging and Disability Services highlight Fred Worley and his dedication to good design for Elders and their community. Check out this great article highlighting his career and the Green House Homes he designed at Buckner Senior Living Baptist Memorials in San Angelo, Texas!
“the Green House model provides a natural environment that promotes a meaningful experience with elderhood and the later stages of life. The Green House model is a de-institutionalization effort that restores individuals to a home in the community with the full range of personal care and clinical services expected in high-quality nursing homes.”
, Episcopal Homes of Minnesota has opened the doors of The Gardens, Minnesota’s first nursing home designed around the Green House Model of Care.
The Gardens is the state’s first nursing home to implement the innovative Green House model of skilled nursing care. A Green House home is created to foster the same feeling and experience as living in a real home.
Dubbed “Cottages of Lake St. Louis,” the community will be comprised of six homes, each of which will house 10 residents. Each will be about 7,149 square feet, for a total of 42,894 square feet.
Construction was completed for The Woodlands at John Knox Village and the milestone was celebrated by residents and staff at an April 28 topping-off ceremony—complete with the traditional placing of a tree on top of the structure.
How the Green House model transformed one woman’s life and an overview of how the Green House Project has grown, its model and why its unique, also noting the recognition it received in the “Homes on the Range” film.
The article reports that the Ave Maria Home is tied for first-place health care facility, which is a member of the national Green House Project.
Profiles the work of Noel Auld, an employee of Jewish Home Lifecare, which is partnering with the Green House Project to build The Living Center of Manhattan.
Opportunities for people to hear from experts on aging, including an upcoming presentation by Bill Thomas “ChangingAging: Challenging Conventional Views on Aging.”
An article reports on the new Green House home that will be built in Janesville, Minnesota, and comments on how the new home will impact local residents
An article dedicated to Dr. Bill Thomas chronicles his journey leading up to the inception of Green House, shares his philosophy on aging and positions him as a leader and innovator in the industry.
An opinion article argues for a change in nursing home structure in Chesire County, naming Green House as a successful model that should be implemented.
In his coverage of the Audobon Christmas Bird Count, the author mentions that a bird path was installed behind Green House homes for residents to use
The author describes how he met Dr. Bill Thomas and why Cheshire County should adopt the Green House model to better care for their elderly.
The author provides an overview of the GHP model and how it can improve elder care: “On the other hand, the Green House concept, which started more than a decade ago and now has facilities in 30 states, is transforming the culture of long-term care.”
Details on the opening of a Midway Nursing Home which is based off the Green House Model to create a home-like environment
WRVO Public Media’s recent community forum on the topic of aging, referencing panelist Dr. Bill Thomas’ input, who is described as an “innovator in senior housing.”
The Paralyzed Veterans of America’s experience with GHP and the growing support of its innovative model: “The Department of Veterans Affairs and nursing homes across the country are beginning to embrace the Green House model of care that focuses on the dignity, health and independence of patients as well as the well-being of medical staff and caregivers."
Coverage of the premiere viewing of “Homes on the Range” in Sheridan, a documentary detailing the planning and building of Green House Living homes for elders in Sheridan.
Report on the approved plans for a Green House nursing home in Ozark as “part of the nationwide move designed to make nursing homes less institutional.”
Report on the opening of the second of six Loveland Green House Homes, describing the model and the improvements it makes for residents.
Announcement of Dr. Bill Thomas’ upcoming speaking engagement at the UNR's Division of Health Sciences and details some of his successes.
Review of the documentary “Alive Inside” including quotes from those who attended a Modesto screening and Dr. Bill Thomas on the positive impact music has on nursing home residents.
In his review of Gawande’s book, the author mentions the section on “nursing home pioneer” Bill Thomas and the improvements he made to a New York nursing home.
In 2012, VA Illiana received national recognition for their planning and implementation of the Green House model through a federal award by the Under Secretary of Health for Innovation in Long Term Care.
Buffalo News reprints the New York Times article spotlighting Green House.
Spotlights the Loveland, Colorado, Green House home, highlighting the positive features of the homes and sharing insight into what makes Green House a different, innovative model.