Culture Change: The Green House Project

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Culture Change: The Green House Project

Posted on February 3, 2009

Linked Senior thrives to enhance the life in residential long term care through entertainment. We are deeply passionate about culture change and support initiatives that increase the quality of life of our elders.

A very good example of an innovative model for residential long-term care is the Green House project.
The Green House concept is a total rethinking of the philosophy of care, architecture, and organizational structure normally associated with long-term care. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded a $10 million grant to NCB Capital Impact in November 2005 to help spur widespread replication of this concept. As of December 2008, 50 Green House® homes are fully operational in 17 sites.

A Green House® home is a self-contained dwelling for seven to 10 people, designed to look like a private home or apartment in the surrounding community. Green House® homes are typically licensed as skilled nursing, or in certain circumstances as assisted living, facilities and meet all applicable federal and state regulatory requirements. Each person who lives in a Green House® home has his or her own bedroom and full bathroom, opening to a central hearth/living area with an adjacent open kitchen and dining area. Elders living in the home share meals together around a common table.

Each home is staffed by a team of universal workers, known as Shahbazim. The staff has core training as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), plus extensive training in The Green House philosophy, the self-managed work team structure of The Green House home, culinary skills, and household management. Shahbazim provide a wide range of assistance to elders living in the home, including personal care, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and laundry, among other duties.

If they wish, people who live there can help cook meals, prepare snacks and help with light housekeeping and laundry. There is no predetermined institutional routine, allowing elders to be more independent, to continue to pursue lifelong interests as well as develop new ones.

Please visit The Green House Project Web site for the results of the research study, “Resident Outcomes in Small-House Nursing Homes: A Longitudinal Evaluation of the Initial Green House Program”, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 55, Issue 6, Page 832, June 2007.

More information can be found here: