This month, The Green House Project is celebrating its 10th anniversary! The first Green House homes were opened in Tupelo, Mississippi, and a decade later, there are 146 homes spanning 23 states!
They say home is where the heart is, and it’s certainly true in the case of GHP homes. My mother lived out the last years of her life in an adult family home, and while it wasn’t affiliated with GHP (there are no GHP homes in my area), the model was very similar. From the resident-to-caregiver ratio and comfortable surroundings to the unparalleled love and care provided, I can’t say enough good things about this concept.
The Future of Long-Term Care
One of the guiding principles of The Green House Project is A Meaningful Life. Late-life growth and development are fostered through relationship-based care, and residents are valued as creative, capable, and whole. In this model, every effort is made to keep elders as engaged as possible, giving them a true sense of purpose.
The GHP also cultivates a strong feeling of empowerment among caregivers who function within self-directed work teams. These individuals are called Shahbazim and are responsible for providing day-to-day care, partnering with clinicians, and managing the home. The result is an “empowered clinical care team of excellence.”
Green House homes accommodate 6-12 seniors in a warm, welcoming residential setting. Everything from the décor to the layout and presence of natural light create an environment that feels safe and comfortable. Residents have their own private bedrooms and bathrooms, but the houses offer plenty of common areas as well. Home cooked meals are enjoyed family-style around the dining table, the living room provides a cozy place for socializing, and outdoor space encourages a connection with nature.
A few other points worth noting about GHP homes
- All elders who need long-term nursing care qualify to live in a Green House home regardless of medical condition.
- Residents are encouraged to bring furniture or other familiar, personal items from home.
- Ratios are 1-3 staff (depending on shift) plus one nurse to 6-12 residents.
- Caregivers are Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and have an additional 128 hours of specialized training.
- Cost is comparable to a private room in a nursing facility and may be less expensive than some long-term nursing care options in your community.
Home Sweet Home
I truly hope that the adult family home and GHP models continue to grow in popularity (and availability). If you’re looking at care options, I encourage you to visit one of these facilities to experience the difference it can make in class of care and quality of life for your loved one.
It’s funny, when my mom lived at Eason House, I could never seem to find the words to explain it to people. My initial tendency was to refer to it as “homelike,” but the fact remains, it wasn’t homelike. It was simply home.
Feel free to leave a comment; we would love to hear your thoughts on the adult family home care model.