Happy New Year!
Here's hoping your holiday season was a good one and that 2015 is off to a great start for you!  We thought it was time to tweak the newsletter a bit...hope you enjoy the change and the information we highlight.  Of course, we'd always like to hear your comments, so don't hesitate to contact us!
2014 has been a whirlwind year for The Green House Project. There have been so many relationships, conversations and experiences with people around the country who are making deep change for elders and those working closest to them.  The year culminated at our 7th Annual Meeting and Celebration, where record numbers of Green House adopters came together to capitalize on the momentum, energy and knowledge that is collectively growing.   Working with innovative and high quality organizations, how can we not be inspired, and spurred forward to spread this model even further? It is hard to sum up the year in a way that honors all of these individual moments, but here is a sampling of some of the highlights to demonstrate that this model is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing.  

Instead of a resolution this year...make a commitment!  Click here for details!

Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin welcomed Elders into their first Green House home in November, 2014.  This is the first of three Green House homes planned for this VA medical center.

These Green House homes will serve Veterans in need of long-term skilled nursing care, including veterans living with cognitive impairment and mental illness.


Earlier this month, freelance writer, editor and journalist Beth Baker posted a blog on the Next Avenue website which explored the role of the Shahbaz in Green House homes. In her post, "Reimagining What a Nursing Home Can Be," Baker explores how the culture change movement, and specifically the Green House model, has empowered staff that care for Elders needing skilled nursing care.

Word traveled quickly last week after The New York Times published an article by Jane Brody entitled, "The Green House Effect: Homes for the Elderly to Thrive." It took only several days after the piece was published to our Facebook page for over 16,000 people to see the article, many of whom liked or shared Brody's insights with their own social networks.

The author creates a clear and powerful image of the Green House model and its core values with support from interviews with Dr. Bill Thomas and Steve McAlilly, CEO of Mississippi Methodist Senior Services in Tupelo, MS. By showing readers that Green House homes provide Elders with a nurturing and respectful environment where they can continue to thrive, Brody exposes the "medicalization of old age" that many of the 1.5 million Americans living and working in nursing homes experience each day.

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal exposes many common myths of aging. Some of these myths have become so common, they could easily be mistaken for the truth. Have you ever heard someone say, "depression is a normal part of aging" or "cognitive impairment is inevitable with age"? 

This article clears the air for six big myths about aging. 

Issue: 1
In This Issue
Highlights of 2014 for The Green House Project
New Photos Available from the First Green House Home at the Zablocki VA Medical Center
Shahbazim Provide Companionship and Comfort
The New York Times Features the Green House Model
The Wall Street Journal Exposes Common Myths of Aging

As a geriatrician, I've spent much of my time in the company of elders exploring life beyond adulthood. The shortcomings of our medical system to meet the human needs of elders as they navigate this uncharted territory are too numerous to list.

Green House Homes
"In the News"

Good model for long-term care:

Proposed new nursing home plan has much to offer:

Green House Project focuses on companionship, engagement for elders:
Loveland, Colorado Green House Homes

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The Green House Project Team
The Green House Project
(703) 647-2311
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Mary Hopfner-Thomas




Rachel Scher McLean






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