With the cost of assisted living and nursing home out of reach for some, one solution has emerged that is gaining attention as an alternative that falls somewhere between institutionalized care for seniors and home care.
The “Green House Project,” is concept that now counts 148 residences across 24 states and offers a home-style approach to long term care.
Each residence houses no more than 12 older Americans, cared for by nursing assistants and others on side, reports NPR in a recent segment. Residents report higher levels of independence than in nursing home alternatives, with each having his or her own private room and path, and a shared common area for the kitchen and living areas.
The concept comes from Dr. Bill Thomas, NPR reports, who launched the idea in the 90s based on the “radical idea: Let’s abolish the nursing home.”
Now, with nearly 150 Green House Homes in the U.S. and another 150 in development, there are some metrics to show the success of the concept.
“…residents are happier and stay healthier longer,” NPR reports. “David Farrell, director of the Green House Project nationwide, explains that those private rooms aren’t a luxury — they’re safer than a traditional nursing home, where two or even three people might share a room and also share a bathroom with the two or three people in the room next door.”
In addition to reporting satisfaction, residents are also found to be more independent because of loose scheduling and greater mobility.
“Research also shows that Green House residents maintain their independence longer than residents of traditional nursing homes,” NPR says, “where hallways are long and schedules are tight.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker