Shared Rooms Helped Fuel COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes. Are a Million Private Rooms Possible?

Private rooms alone won’t remedy the nursing home system’s shortcomings. “The Green House model is a lot more than just the building,” says Alex Spanko. “It’s about the culture, too.”

For example, moving residents into private rooms without investing in communal spaces or activity programs or more staff that bring them out of those rooms could cause increased loneliness and social isolation, an issue nursing homes really struggled with during the pandemic.

“Private rooms are really just step one,” says Spanko. “There’s another 25 steps that also need to be done to get to where we really want to be.”

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  • “Last year, his organization began working with the Green House Project to develop an eight-floor post-acute care center using the small house model for short-term residents only. Once built, after careful planning and a multi-year fundraising drive is complete, it will be the first of its kind.”

  • “CFI and its two organizations, The Green House Project and Pioneer Network, are known for ensuring the advancement of person-directed, relationship-rich living among all aging services settings. In Green House homes and other settings committed to non-institutional models of care, contextualizing and normalizing activities as part of everyday life is key to operations.”

  • “Three modest, low-cost experiments may help in small ways today and point the way to bigger, longer-term solutions … One idea, designed by a group of creative nursing home operators under the banner of the Center for Innovation, is built around interactive training modules that teach staff how to better provide true resident-centered care.”

  • “Long-term care leaders and managers have ‘superpowers’ that can improve their organizations’ return on investment in corporate training, according to experts speaking at a recent webinar sponsored by the Green House Project. Resources that can help managers avoid the challenges they face may be untapped, said Marla DeVries, chief learning officer at Green House Project’s parent organization, the Center for Innovation.”