February 2014

In This Issue
Bill Thomas' Second Wind Tour- an inspired look at the future of aging, wellness and growth
How far will Your Travels Take you on Valentine's Day?
Senate Bill 1562: Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2014
The 2015 Senior Games
Creative Storytelling...A Magic Time for Elders and Staff
Congratulations to Green Hill in West Orange, NJ, and their President/Executive Director Toni Lynn Davis!
THRIVE (The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare) Update on Green House Homes
Caring Homes for Meaningful Lives


6 years ago in February the very first Coaching Supervision training was conducted in Crystal City, VA.  
The program is designed for Green House Guides & Directors of Nursing, and prepares them in their roles as coaching supervisors and partners to the self-managed work team.  The program continues today and is offered twice a year to Green House home adopters! 

Upcoming Events



February 26


THE GREEN HOUSE® Overview Webinar

 February 18


Adult Learner-Centered Education

March 11-14 



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Dr. Bill Thomas, internationally recognized expert on aging and founder of The Green House model, is bringing a radical new approach to growth and aging through a national "non-fiction" theatrical tour produced in partnership with AARP's Life ReimaginedCapital Impact Partners, and more than three dozen sponsor organizations, including THE GREEN HOUSE® Project.


Inspired by Thomas' new book examining the baby boom generation's reluctant generational second coming of age-"Second Wind:  Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper and More Connected Life" (named by Publisher's Weekly as one of the Top 10 Social Science books of 2014)-the  Second Wind Tour will bring a unique "non-fiction" theater experience blending the spoken word, innovative set design, film, and music to 25-cities in the spring of 2014.

When you live in Alaska, you sometimes have to travel a distance to attend a special event.  That's exactly what five Elders and staff members did last year from The Green House homes in Seward, Alaska.  They drove 90 miles one way
to attend the Senior Sweetheart dinner in Soldotna, Alaska.  It was sponsored by the Apostolic Assembly of Jesus Christ.  There was a special table reserved for the group and they were treated to a gourmet meal served by professional waiters.  Guide Patti Foldager explained that the group "wined and dined like Kings and Queens" and they danced the night away to a live performing band. Everyone, including staff received a special gift bag and two of the Elders won door prizes!  It was a Valentine's Day to remember! 

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Keeping track of what is happening in Congress is no easy task- but here is some news that will interest all of us because it affects elders across the country. Last September,  Senator Bernard ("Bernie") Sanders (I-VT) introduced  a bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965 and funding for its programs for FY2014-FY2018.

The Older Americans Act established the United States Administration on Aging  (AoA) as well as state aging agencies that provide a comprehensive network of community based services for older adults that allow them to live meaningful lives in their homes and communities.  The Act is comprised of seven titles that are primarily funded by the AoA except for Title V, a senior employment opportunity program, funded by the Department of LaborTo most of us, dementia is about a loved one."  


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With the 2014 Sochi Olympics well underway, all the focus is on the young athletes of the world coming together to compete in the XXII Olympic Winter Games. These athletes, who are in peak physical condition and at the top of their game, are rightly celebrated in their home countries for their strength, endurance and good sportsmanship. But they're not the only ones going for gold! The 2015 National Senior Games are just around the corner!


The National Senior Games are "dedicated to promoting healthy and active lifestyles for athletes age 50 and over," and will be held in Minnesota, from July 3 -

16. Over 12,000 athletes, age 50 and up, are expected to compete. The heart of the organization's mission is to promote meaningful life by helping you "Get Fit and KeepGoing!" in order to "achieve a healthier body, as well as a healthier mind" 


The documentary, Age of Champions, chronicles five athletes who "sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics." 


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For the past 3 years Brittany Swanson has been a Social Worker for four Green House homes - Providence Seward Mountain Haven, in Alaska.  Brittany began her journey in Social Work in 2003 at the University of Hawaii, but returned to her home state of Alaska to complete her Bachelors in Social Work.  She has been a licensed Social Worker since 2010, and began working with the Providence Seward Mountain  Haven Green House homes in January 2011.  Brittany is quick to express how grateful she is for the opportunity to work in the homes, and believes it has pushed her further in her career than she ever expected! 



My first experience with  TimeSlips® was during a training provided by the Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska at our Green House home. My co-workers and I were abuzz with excitement as we all met in Raven Lodge to assist the facilitator with the session. Our staff and Elders gathered around the dining table and were warmly welcomed to the storytelling session. We were handed the same black and white image; a bald, chubby baby sitting in an empty brief case.  What ensued was pure magic. The smiles and laughter began immediately as our Elders shared their thoughts and ideas composing their very own story. Every idea was included and there were absolutely no wrong answers. 


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Earlier this month Green Hill Inc., a Senior Living Community, and the home of the first Green House homes in New Jersey was presented with a SeniorAdvisor Excellence Award for receiving consistently high ratings from Elders and families in 2013.

SeniorAdvisor.com is a consumer reviews web site created by A Place for Mom, the nation's largest senior living referral service. 


In addition to the recognition by SeniorAdvisor.com, it was announced that President-Executive Director of Green Hill, Toni Lynn Davis, will be the recipient of the NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business awards.


It is a program that honors New Jersey's most dynamic women in business that have been making headlines in their field.  Toni is a member of the Green House Peer Network Steering Committee and has been a strong supporter of the national initiative!


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Additionally, The Eden Alternative Chief Executive Officer, Chris Perna.  Provider Magazine has selected Chris as one of  "20 to Watch". Read the story here.


The Green House Project has partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's THRIVE (The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare) collaborative to learn more about the Green House model as well as other models of care. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the THRIVE team is conducting a series of interrelated research projects that together will comprise the largest research effort undertaken to date in Green House homes. Each quarter, a member of the THRIVE team will contribute a blog post to the Green House Project website.


The THRIVE research team is committed to the timely dissemination of findings relevant to The Green House Project homes and stakeholders.  Members of the THRIVE team recently presented preliminary research findings at the 2013 Green House meeting and in a January 2014 webinar.  Highlights from these presentations include:

David Grabowski (Harvard Medical School) debunked several common myths about The Green House model.  Using administrative data, David's presentation showed that although higher resource nursing homes are more likely to adopt the Green House model than are lower resource nursing homes, these lower resource homes can be successful adopters with adequate vision and internal and external support.  His data also looked at culture change more generally, and found that culture change homes perform better on survey inspections - in fact, they lowered their health-related survey deficiencies by almost 15%!


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Mary Hopfner-Thomas
Rachel Scher McLean

Tara Cugelman-McMahon

Published monthly to share information with providers, elders and others about THE GREEN HOUSE® Project, a new and innovative approach to long-term, skilled nursing care. To learn more, visit www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

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