What is THE GREEN HOUSE® Model?

“You are part of a global re-imagination of Elderhood!”
- Dr. William Thomas
Green House Project Founder

THE GREEN HOUSE® Model is an innovative, nationally recognized model in long-term care developed by renowned Harvard-trained geriatrician, Dr. William Thomas. The model creates small homes that recognize the individuality of residents and honors their autonomy, choice, privacy and dignity. Everything about the homes is centered on creating an environment for residents and staff to form deep relationships.

Meals are prepared in an open kitchen and served at a well-set dining table where staff, residents and visitors dine as a family.  A living room with a hearth, together with the dining room and open kitchen, is the center of life in the Green House home. The design is warm, smart and green - warm because of the warm and caring relationships in the home; smart because of the technology and design that support evidence-based care; andgreen because the homes are a place where people live, grow, and thrive.

The Green House Project, the organization that supports the replication of the model, is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The model has gained widespread recognition in the senior living industry. Research has shown that Green House residents are happier, healthier and more active than seniors in traditional facilities*.

How do roles and titles change in The Green House model?

Language holds great power and so words are used in a very intentional way in Green House homes. Residents are referred to as Elders and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) as Shahbazim. Shahbazim is a Persian word meaning “royal falcon”. The story behind the word is one of love - it is a story where a Shahbaz dedicates it's life to protect, sustain and nurture the people it serves. This word is used to create a sense of warmth and support - and remove the negative connotations of mistrust that are sometimes associated with the term 'CNA'. 
The Shahbazim work as a family and manage the care, cooking, cleaning, laundry and housekeeping for the home. 

Why is The Green House model suitable for individuals needing Memory Care?

Long-term care facilities tend to be big, institutional and with numerous employees that handle the various day-to-day tasks. The Green House model, in contrast, provides a real home with an intimate team that develops a deep understanding of the Elders who live there. The small team of CNAs are trained in multiple areas to manage a range of daily operations from cooking to housekeeping and care. This reduces the number of people going in and out of the homes and helps minimize any anxiety or confusion in the Elders. Moreover, the focus on relationships and the intimate home-like atmosphere facilitates overall emotional and spiritual well-being.

What Research has been done on the Green House Model?

Research has shown that when compared to traditional facilities, Elders in Green House homes have better*:

Quality of Life: Including privacy, dignity, autonomy, and emotional well-being.

Quality of Care: Elders have less depression, are less likely to be bedbound, are more active physically, develop fewer pressure ulcers, and are hospitalized less frequently.

Meaningful Engagement: Four times more meaningful one-on-one engagement time between Elders and direct care workers each day.

Family Satisfaction: Green House families are more satisfied with where their loved ones are living.

Job Satisfaction: Green House staff are more satisfied with their jobs and are more likely to stay longer at those jobs.

How many Green House Projects are there in the United States?

The Green House Project currently operates in 32 states with 134 homes open and 106 homes in development.

THE GREEN HOUSE® Residences at Bartram Park will be the first Green House homes to open in Florida.

Where can I learn more about the Green House model?

To learn more about the Green House model visit: The Green House Project
You can also view videos of other Green House projects around the country at The Green House Project on Vimeo


*Forty Years of Force Multipliers. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (October 22, 2012) 

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