The Green House Project

As the baby boomers reach a time in their lives where a long term care becomes a reality, the Green House Project was established in 2001 to assist people in need of safe and comfortable living arrangements. The Green House Project is intended to give aging adults the same feeling and experience they would get in a real home. The Project is seeking to create meaning in the lives of aging citizens by offering the opportunity for continued growth and development. This project is now operating in 32 states, including two homes in Rochester NY including the Jewish Senior Life and St. John’s Home. The closest model to The Green House Project in the Syracuse area is located in Cicero; The Cottages at Garden Grove, operated by Loretto.

“The Green House trademark means that the homes meet and maintain key standards, including small size, home layout, advanced staff training and a low staff ratio”. The houses are designed to hold 10-12 people in roughly 8,500 square feet.Each person has their own bedroom and bathroom to maximize comfort. These rooms are then connected with a family-like atmosphere of open spaces. This living arrangement differs greatly from those in a basic nursing home, which are typically crammed together and not particularly home-like. Decisions made within the Green House Project are guided by the needs of the people within a particular unit, as opposed to the institution as a whole.

By focusing on residents, the Project communicates how much they value their occupants’ lives. Highly skilled clinicians provide the necessary support and services, but the main emphasis is not medical treatment. This allows residents to focus more of their attention on enhancing their quality of life. Having an independent space, while also offering support groups and community activities, is a dramatic improvement over a typical nursing home situation.

This sort of living situation is much more in line with what surveys repeatedly show is how older citizens wish to spend their final years. What do you think of this housing model? Does it appeal to you? Would you want your parents to spend their final years in this type of setting? Is this the type of setting you see yourself in, some day?

The Green House Project: http://www.thegreenhouseproject.org

Video Tour of Green House Project Homes: https://youtu.be/gxNLjpXAz7Q

The Cottages at Garden Grove in Cicero NY: http://www.lorettocny.org/locations/cottages-garden-grove
By Kyleigh Kinney & Melissa Sprague