From our house to “God’s house”

Over the last decade, the medical practice of elder care has come to recognize the importance of well-designed housing as foundational to the well-being of the elderly. Leading geriatrics doctors such as Dr. Bill Thomas have founded initiatives such as the Eden Alternative and the Green House Project which recognize that “human well-being” encompasses more than what is clinically measurable. These initiatives have brought a semblance of autonomy and a sense of “home” back to these elderly facilities. The concept of de-clinicalizing end-of-life care and understanding the need for elderly residences to have a home have become a driving vision for recent work in geriatrics and hospice care.

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  • The Center for Innovation, or CFI, the parent organization of the Green House Project and Pioneer Network, is reorganizing its leadership as it focuses on growth. Susan Ryan will serve as the Center for Innovation’s first CEO … Ryan has led GHP as it grew to include more than 370 homes in 32 states.”

  • “New HUD housing policy can align with and support calls for change in the nursing-home industry. Updating HUD’s existing public-private infrastructure with grants and loan terms targeted at specific innovations such as the small-home design, presents a logical place to originate much of the proposed reform that policy makers and consumers are advocating.”

  • “Research demonstrated the relative advantage of Green House homes over traditional nursing homes. Technical assistance made the model less complex for potential adopters and less expensive because technical assistance staff worked with states to mitigate potentially costly regulatory hurdles and provide a process and model for the development of Green House homes.”

  • “One way to attract and retain nursing home staff is to house them in nearby, affordable apartments, an idea used with success by at least several healthcare companies on the East Coast. The latest to create this employee benefit is Navigator Homes of New England. It is in development to bring Green House Project-inspired homes to 70 seniors with skilled nursing needs in Martha’s Vineyard.”