First of its kind home for those on ventilators opens in Chelsea

Unlike a typical nursing home setting, the Leonard Florence Center consists of 10 7,000-square-foot condominium-style “homes” on six floors that care for both short- and long-term care residents. Many previously on ventilators have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It’s called a “Green House” model of care because each home has 10 private rooms with comfortable furniture and private baths that are grouped around a common living area with a fireplace, open kitchen, and dining room with access to other amenities.

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  • “Healthia is the first care home in Australia to implement the U.S.-founded Green House Project model of care, which is informed by person-directed care principles and supports residents to have increased input into their everyday living.”

  • Facilities could improve their ventilation systems. They could abandon “semiprivate” rooms for private ones. Dividing buildings into smaller units with consistently assigned staff — an approach pioneered by the Green House Project — would both bolster relationships and reduce residents’ exposure to infection from workers coming and going.

  • The Green House concept just makes perfect sense for elder care, McAlilly said. “It’s built around the concept of home,” he said. “It’s their home, and we just happen to work there.”

  • AARP Iowa state director Brad Anderson: “Another approach would be investing in Green House homes, which are small skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities with private rooms, kitchens, and living rooms that look and feel like a home. These homes provide better care with lower staff turnover and are popping up in states across the country. Let’s start trying this model in Iowa.”