The Truest Cyborg I Know: A high-tech home built specifically for people living with ALS offers a new way to conceive of independence.

As part of the Green House Project, a network of clinicians and caregiving executives who are creating (or restoring) high‐quality environments and services for older adults, Berman understood immediately the importance of the idea. The two worked together to find the philanthropic funding, the architects, and the software engineers to bring Steve’s vision to life. Those years of planning were difficult; “smart” home appliances had yet to come to the mainstream market. But Saling House opened its doors in 2010; in 2016, a second residence followed.

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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.”