August 2014

In This Issue
The Woodlands at John Knox Village: Construction is underway for new Green House homes in southern Florida
Assessing the Financial Viability of The Green House Model: Slaying the Urban Myth
Power Belongs with The Elder and Those Working Close to Them
The Skilled Nursing Development Opportunity - Aspiring to Something More
Veterans Service Representatives Welcomed by The Green House Project and Stadium Place
Reducing Readmissions and Healthcare Costs: The Green House Solution
Technology: Where do we go from here?
Green House Homes 
"In the News"


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GHP Workshop: Chelsea, MA



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The sunshine state lived up to its name when groundbreaking ceremonies took place on July 18th for 12 new Green House homes at John Knox Village (JKV) in Pompano Beach, Florida.

The event was a true celebration with approximately 350 Elders, local government officials, staff and leadership from JKV attending the event.

Susan Frazier, Chief Operating Officer of THE GREEN HOUSE® Project told the attendees, "We are here today to embrace something incredible.  The essence of the Green House model is not only to provide a real home for Elders, but to fill these homes with warmth and empower staff to create a loving environment."

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That was the question posed by John Ponthie, Member of Summit Health Resources, a for-profit skilled nursing provider in Arkansas, who has embraced The Green House model on two campuses, and is about to start development of a third. He believes that the differentiation, risk mitigation, long term financial benefits, and culture change support from The Green House Project make the decision a "marriage of passion and economics."


I recently had the opportunity to visit John's beautiful campus in Magnolia, Arkansas along with a for-profit group looking to develop Green House homes in Missouri. After a tour and a delicious Arkansas barbecue with Elders and the staff, we sat down to learn why a for-profit operator would build Green House homes.

New research from The Journal of Applied Gerontology showed that involving Nursing Assistants in decision making has a positive effect on quality of service. From my experience with person-centered care, I can tell you that the research  rings true. The Nursing Assistant is the person who works closest with the Elder, day in and day out, and gets to know them best. These staff members know Elders as individuals, rather than just a diagnosis, and when they are empowered to make decisions based on this intimate knowledge, both Elders and staff benefit.

We do a role play exercise during Green House education where we act out a Care Plan meeting.



I read with interest a recent article in Senior Housing News- Developers See Opportunity as Old Nursing Homes Become Obsolete. It's great to see not only that people recognize that the stock of 40+ year old nursing homes is not going to cut it, but to hear the sentiment that the replacement of old nursing homes is an opportunity. But when we think about replacing nursing homes, what are the key considerations? Are we making the most of this opportunity by re-thinking them, or are we simply sprucing up the same institutional approach?

For nursing home providers considering a significant renovation, the article makes the point to do your homework. "Given the relative aging of the post-acute care facilities, some providers are finding that it's more cost-effective to develop new facilities rather than redesign multiple decades-old properties."


 As policy makers discuss improvements in how health care is provided for our nation's Veterans, the need for greater option for long-term services and supports is greater than ever.  The aging of the Veterans population will require a new vision.   Many of our Veterans require 24-7 care skilled nursing care.   In 2013, nearly 3

6,000 veterans resided in skilled nursing care facilities on a long-term basis.  Another 4,000 Veterans received skilled nursing care on a short-term basis.   In response to this growing need, Green House Homes are becoming increasingly available to Veterans.


The Green House Project was thrilled to host representatives from Veteran's Service Organizations for a home visit at The Green House Residences at Stadium Place on July 14th.  Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA Central Office, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., The American Legion and Disabled American Veterans came together to learn more about how The Green House model  can serve our veterans with an innovative alternative for long-term care. 

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The Green House Project main website now has a page dedicated to veterans! Click here to view.  


In a recent issue of McKnight's, I saw this headline - "Reducing readmissions should be No. 1 priority for reducing healthcare costs, quality experts say."    That  was a key conclusion of a recent online poll from 300 members of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), which describes itself as the "largest network of quality resources and experts in the world" and includes prominent long-term care quality consultants.


It doesn't take a quality expert to realize that reducing preventable readmissions is a great way to reduce healthcare costs.  By definition, "preventable" means wasted money.  In addition to saving money, reducing readmissions improves the quality of life for Elders, by minimizing the stress and disruption hospital admission causes.


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I was contacted by Sally Magnusson, a news anchor from BBC Glasgow and author, whose parents were both pioneers in UK broadcasting. She wrote a book

called, Where Memories Go, about her mother's journey with Alzheimer's; and she is now planning a book about Alzheimer's and music. She contacted Dan Cohen (Music and Memory) to visit a home in NYC that's using iPods, and he suggested she contact me, so she wrote to ask if she could fly up and visit during her trip.


We got together Saturday night to talk about my work on Dementia Beyond Disease and I had suggested that she visit Penfield Green House homes while she was in town. Green House guide, Kris Angevine and the elders/staff nicely accommodated us on Sunday morning for tea. 


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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

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