‘A watershed moment’: Amid the despair over the state of LTC in the province, there is hope things will get better

A recent article in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association found that “non-traditional small house nursing homes” in the U.S. had fewer COVID infections and deaths … Most small households have 10 or fewer residents, like those in the Green House Project or Sherbrooke Community Centre. There is a kitchen in each household, laundry machines and a living room, with staff who are dedicated to a specific household. It offers a familiarity that is comforting.

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  • “The Center for Innovation and its Green House Project is promoting government incentives that support construction of modern, person-directed facilities through targeted grants or Medicaid rate increases. Providers in Arkansas and soon Ohio, for instance, receive Medicaid rate add-ons for private room nursing care.”

  • “Some suggestions included increasing state investment in home care, incentivizing a transition toward fewer-occupant rooms and Green House-style facilities, standardizing the Medicaid reimbursement system with data-based adjustments over time, increasing audits and financial transparency requirements for nursing homes, and building workforce pipelines into the sector through scholarships and more flexible training programs.”

  • Based on a model designed by the Green House Project, which is dedicated to creating alternative living environments to traditional nursing home care facilities, Chelsea Jewish has condominium-style Green Houses … “All of our homes already operate at [staffing] ratios that are equal to or greater than the minimum required.”

  • In the long term, nursing homes may need to explore entirely new models of care, Brown assistant professor Elizabeth White added, pointing to the Green House model, which establishes smaller scale facilities and emphasizes self-sufficiency and community, as an example. “There’s work around really innovative solutions out there.”