November 2014

In This Issue
Grand Opening Celebration Takes Place for Colorado's First Green House Homes - A Story of Partnership and Vision
State Regulators Unanimously Approve Plans to Build the First Green House Homes in Missouri
White House Conference on Aging in 2015
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Abstract, Green House Nursing Homes: Impact and Outcomes, Honored as the 2014 Ollie Randall Symposium
Alive Inside, MUSIC & MEMORY(sm) and the GREEN HOUSE® Project
Dr. Mary Jane Koren Highlights Dr. Bill Thomas at LTCCC Event
Thanksgiving Thoughts from THE GREEN HOUSE® Project
Green House Homes 
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The beautiful Rocky Mountains provide a wonderful view for Elders that will live in The Green House Homes at Mirasol in Loveland, Colorado.  That view will only be  matched by the person-directed living they will experience in this innovative model of skilled nursing care.  Built on the campus of the Mirasol Senior Living Community, there will be six homes with each including: ten private bedrooms and bath, open kitchen, a hearth area along with a variety of other open spaces that will embrace socializing and the ability to live life in a meaningful way.


Sam Betters, Executive Director of the Loveland Housing Authority, said,

From my own personal experience of trying to provide the best care for my parents, I discovered that aging in America presents many challenges.  I knew that there had to be a better option than the traditional institutional models for elder care.  There is.  It's called The Green House Project.  As we began our vision-quest, we didn't know how we were going to make this happen.  We just knew it had to be done.

Senior Director for The Green House Project, David Farrell, was on hand for the festivities on October 21st along with a number of other state and local leaders in Colorado.

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As many of you know, obtaining a Certificate of Need is no easy task these days and that is why we are so pleased with the news from Missouri this week!


The Healthcare Facilities Review Committee of the Missouri Department of Health  and Senior Services unanimously granted an 80-bed Certificate of Need to  Focused Senior Communities  to build and operate the first Green House homes in that state.


There will be 8 homes built on the campus in Ozark.  Each 7,000 square foot home will include a central dining room, hearth room and open kitchen surrounded by just 10 private bedrooms, each with a full private bathroom.  A screened porch will lead out to a large patio, with a walkway and gardens between homes.


2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the  landscape for older Americans for the next decade.  Four major areas of focus are:

  • Retirement security
  • Healthy aging
  • Long-term services and supports
  • Elder justice

Recently, Green House Project, Chief Operating Officer, Susan Frazier, met with WHCOA Executive Director, Nora Super, and Communications Director, Michele Patrick.  During this meeting, they talked about how The Green House model highlights so many of the key areas addressed in the conference objectives, especially, Healthy Aging and Long-term services and supports.  

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 is going on now, from November 5 to November 9. "GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting brings together more than 4,000 of the brightest minds in the field of aging," and recognized the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's session entitled Green House Nursing Homes: Impact and Outcomes as the 2014 Ollie Randall Symposium. Every year, the Gerontological Society of America's Social Research Policy and Practice (SRPP) "recognizes a symposium that examines cutting edge issues with broad implications for policy or practice."

 Ollie Randall was influential in the field of aging.  "She was the driving force behind the first housing for older people in New York City" and was President of The Gerontological Society. She was known as being outspoken on the issues of "sustaining and enhancing individuality in the later years."

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The film Alive Inside, which documents "music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity," is now available on Netflix. It is a touching documentary that "follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of

 the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it."  Alive Inside was featured on Dr. Bill Thomas' Second Wind Tour, which also included guest presenters, Susan Frazier and  David Farrell  of  THE GREEN HOUSE® Project.


Alive Inside inspired the Music and Memory Program.  MUSIC & MEMORY(sm) "is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life."

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Last month, The Green House Project  helped sponsor the Long Term Care Community Coalition's Sixth Annual Reception which honored the life and work of Mary Jane Koren, M.D., M.P.H. at the Alzheimer's Association chapter in New York City.  Dr. Koren's experience includes her work as Vice President for LTC Quality Improvement at  The Commonwealth Fund and her position as past chair of Advancing Excellence: Long-Term Care Collaborative.


During her acceptance speech, Dr. Koren shared that, "...between 1950 and 2050, there will be a 10-fold increase in the percent of the population over 85, which is exactly the age cohort most dependent on long-term care services and supports." She argued that the best way to address this need is to move away from a model that "...puts institutional priorities ahead of resident choice..." and instead follow Dr. Bill Thomas' lead in creating long-term care models that alleviate loneliness, helplessness and boredom.


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Thanksgiving Thoughts from THE GREEN HOUSE® Project


Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all of the blessings in our lives.  We show gratitude for the big things and also for the little things that make up our daily lives.  Think about your day, the sun hitting your face in the morning, that perfect cup of  coffee, being around people you love, and your pillow that feels just right.  Many of the things that make a life worth living are those simple pleasures that come from being deeply known, and having the autonomy and control to set your own pace. 


In Green House homes across the country, elders are able to live life on their terms, where their natural rhythms and preferences are honored.  By creating an environment where the staff has all of the tools necessary for empowerment, they are able to partner with the elders and make that space a real home.  We are humbled and awed by the organizations in 27 states, who are living this model every day, and are showing the world that aging can be different.  As Maya Angelou said, "We did the best we could with what we knew, and when we knew better, we did better."  Thank you to everyone out there who sees elders as creative, resourceful and whole.  Together we are making the world a better place for us all.  

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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