The Green House Project Announces New Dementia Care Approach for Memory Care, Assisted Living, and Nursing Home Providers

Best_Life_Logo_new.pngLinthicum, MD (April 22, 2019): The GREEN HOUSE® Project (GHP), a nonprofit organization that has led the culture change movement in disrupting and transforming long-term and post-acute care for the past 15 years, is proud to announce its new dementia care training and education approach known as Best Life. As part of its Green House 2.0 initiative, Best Life is designed to support people living with dementia (PLWD) to live rich and rewarding lives.

Having been integrated into all Green House education, Best Life is now available to non-Green House memory care, assisted living, and skilled nursing providers as a comprehensive partnership that encompasses onsite initial training for all levels of leadership and staff, as well as continual support with our experts in dementia and cultural transformation.

“Best Life is another component of The Green House Project’s continued efforts to destigmatize aging and humanize care for older adults,” said Susan Ryan, GHP senior director. “As part of Green House 2.0, Best Life leverages everything we have learned over the last 15 years as leaders in senior housing innovation to inform a greater arena.”

Based on GHP’s core values of meaningful life, empowered staff and real home, Best Life is rooted in four principles, as follows:

  • Power of Normal: Best Life strives to create a culture of normalcy to allow for individuals to live in the least restrictive environment possible and experience culturally typical activities.
  • Focus on Retained Abilities: Best Life focuses on the value of providing PLWD the ability to experience real relationships with pets, nature, and people of all ages.
  • Dignity of Risk: Best Life illuminates the reality that there is dignity in enabling PLWD the right to take risks.
  • Advocacy: Best Life advocates for PLWD to have expanded experiences and choices, as well as the right for rehabilitation.

Integral to Best Life’s training and education approach is its partnership with Embodied Labs, an innovative tech company that uses virtual reality to help care partners spend a few minutes as an Elder, in their world. This virtual learning experience helps all Best Life learners approach individuals with more empathy and knowledge about dementia.

Heading up Best Life is Anne Ellett, MSN, NP, a certified gerontological nurse, dementia specialist, educator, and writer. For more than 20 years, Ellett has brought innovative and dignified care for people living with dementia through her association with Silverado Senior Living and then as founder of Memory Care Support, LLC. She is the developer of the Best Life approach.

“The Best Life approach begins by addressing our own fears and misperceptions of dementia, which can unintentionally devalue people and prevent them from living full lives,” said Ellett. “This approach further identifies PLWD by their accomplishments, not their losses, and enables them to thrive beyond their diagnoses.”

Green House 2.0 envisions homes in every community where the Green House core values help Elders thrive, and where they, their families, and staff engage in meaningful relationships built on equality, empowerment, and mutual respect.


Media Contact:

Meg LaPorte
Director of Communications
(240) 676-0610
mlaporte@thegreenhouseproject.org

Press Releases

  • Linthicum, Md. (June 23, 2020): The GREEN HOUSE® Project (GHP) is proud to announce a new initiative aimed at supporting COVID-19 best practices in long-term care. In partnership with Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), a video tele-mentoring platform that spreads knowledge through case-based learning and real-time access to subject matter experts, the initiative will identify and share proven protocols and lessons learned that nursing home providers can utilize in the preparedness, management, and treatment of the novel coronavirus. The COVID-19 Best Practices in Long-Term Care initiative is launching on the heels of a recent finding by the Wall Street Journal that some 50,000 people in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died as a result of the pandemic. GHP will convene long-term care experts, operators, and clinicians twice per month via Zoom to equip participants with the knowledge and answers they need to address the challenges they face as a result of the pandemic. Geriatrician, Author, and Educator, Al Power, MD, along with Jewish Home Family’s Director of Nursing, Eric Riguerra, RN, will lead other subject matter experts in presenting best practices and scenarios and offering feedback to participants around their own cases and questions. Some of the issues to be covered during the COVID-19 ECHO meetings are as follows: ·       Practices for testing and reporting to local and federal agencies; ·       Access to PPE; ·       Infection control procedures; ·       Isolation for COVID-positive cases; ·       Medication management; ·       End-of-life decisions amid COVID-19; ·       Communication strategies and family support; ·       Person-centered care, quality of life, and normalcy during social distancing; ·       Guidance and parameters for reopening; ·       Workforce resiliency and associated stress and trauma; and ·       Preparation for a possible second wave of coronavirus. Participation in the initiative is complimentary, thanks to the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The first meeting will convene on July 15 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern and every two weeks thereafter until Dec. 16, 2020. “We believe this initiative will spur impactful and timely changes that will mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on older adults, who are extremely vulnerable to this virus,” said Susan Ryan, senior director of The Green House Project. “There has never been such an imperative to address the systemic challenges and lack of resources facing long-term care that imperils the lives of so many.” Support for this initiative is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.    About Project ECHO Project ECHO is a movement to demonopolize knowledge and amplify the capacity to provide best practice care for underserved people all over the world. This low-cost, high-impact intervention is accomplished by linking expert inter-disciplinary specialist teams with multiple primary care clinicians simultaneously through teleECHO™ clinics, where experts mentor and share their expertise via case-based learning, enabling primary care clinicians to treat patients with complex conditions in their own communities. The ECHO model™ is not ‘traditional telemedicine’ where the specialist assumes care of the patient, but instead where the clinician retains responsibility for managing the patient.  

  • LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md., August 10, 2021 – The Green House Project (GHP) wholeheartedly applauds the inclusion of a new small-home nursing facility demonstration program in the wider Nursing Home Improvement and Accountability Act. “We are at a critical point for nursing home reform in the United States,” said Susan Ryan, senior director of The Green House Project. “As the dark days of 2020 already begin to fade from our collective memory, we must translate the outrage over COVID-19 deaths in long-term care into action. Explicit government support for a complete overhaul of our nursing home infrastructure is an incredibly important first step toward creating the care landscape that America’s elders deserve.” GHP fully endorses the demonstration program provision contained within the bill, and our team sincerely hopes that it marks the first of many efforts – at both the federal and state levels – to encourage and incentivize the end of the institutional nursing home as we know it. “We urge Congress to pass this crucial support for new alternatives as soon as possible so that we can expand the vital work of true physical and cultural transformation in long-term care,” Ryan said. Since 2003, The Green House Project has seen the real benefits of abandoning outdated institutional nursing homes in favor of small-home campuses that feature private bedrooms and bathrooms, communal kitchen and dining areas, and plentiful outdoor space. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these features contributed to infection rates that were 50% lower at Green House facilities than traditional nursing homes, with a death rate that was about 30% of the nationwide nursing home total. But even before COVID-19 tragically exposed the severe shortcomings in our nation’s nursing home infrastructure, research demonstrated increased resident and worker satisfaction, improved health outcomes for elders, and substantially more time spent on direct caregiving tasks under the GHP model. GHP is incredibly proud of the results that our partners have achieved with the 359 Green House homes currently in operation across the country. But GHP is also painfully aware that our small-house revolution has only reached a tiny sliver of the long-term care population in America – a cohort that will only grow as the baby boomers continue to age. There are more than 15,000 nursing facilities in the country, most of them built in the 1960s and 1970s. Converting all of them to real, person-centered homes will take substantial investment – in terms of time, funding, and regulatory upgrades to ensure that elders remain at the center of every reform. One organization can’t do it alone, and we warmly welcome federal lawmakers’ support as we continue to build our coalition for change. “Should this bill become law, the entire Green House Project team stands ready and eager to help any person or organization interested in participating in the program,” Ryan said. “We won’t rest until every elder in America – regardless of income, race, ethnicity, or hometown – has a host of human-centered options for care in the setting of their choice, including a small-home campus.” Media Contact Alex Spanko Director of Communications aspanko@thegreenhouseproject.org 516-587-2097