For many years, families have been concerned about placing loved ones in traditional nursing homes and have sought alternatives. The Green House model, begun by The Green House Project in the early 2000s is one that has been adopted across the country and has provided a real-home alternative.
The AARP report found key differences with the traditional “hospital-like” model of care:
- Green Houses communities are typically a cluster of small houses occupied by small numbers of residents
- The overall goal: a better quality of care and quality of life for residents, and higher satisfaction rates among staff and families
- A person-centered approach that includes giving residents choice regarding aspects of their day-to-day activities such as choosing the types of services they want and their level of interaction with other residents
A Green House community in West Orange, New Jersey.
The staffing model is also a defining feature vs. traditional nursing homes:
- Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) “do it all” so to speak and are empowered regarding resident quality of care and quality of life
- CNAs self-manage, have a wide range of responsibilities and can respond to resident needs immediately
- CNAs’ specialized training includes dementia care and culinary education and CNAs broadly support residents with services such as personal care, meal preparation, laundry and housekeeping
Green House Home stats:
- There are currently 300 licensed Green House homes in 32 states housing 3200 residents
- 87% of homes are licensed as skilled nursing facilities; 37% are located in rural areas; 63% are located in urban areas; 82% are not-for-profit; 18% are for-profit; 89% are active in the Green House Project peer network
- The majority of residents receive nursing care and pay out of pocket, while 45% are covered by Medicaid
Interaction and engagement are key social factors in Green House communities.
Studies provide evidence of improved outcomes for residents since the first Green House home was built in 2003 in Tupelo, Mississippi. While limited in scope, the studies document better clinical outcomes for Green House residents vs. traditional nursing home residents (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).
- A 2015 study found that Green House home residents were 16% less likely to be bedridden, 38% less likely to have pressure ulcers, 45% less likely to have catheters and had lower hospital readmission rates
- Studies have documented the positive effects on quality of life, quality of care, family satisfaction and staff satisfaction
- Studies show that Green House homes are faring far better than traditional nursing homes in handling COVID-19, with 2.8 confirmed deaths per 1000 residents through July 2020, compared with 38 deaths per 1000