The Green House nursing home
model is an innovative form of long term care
for the elderly. It has been developed in response to the perception that elders in conventional "medical model" nursing homes are prone to develop feelings of loneliness, boredom and helplessness. Residents of conventional nursing homes often have a quality of life primarily focused on physical health issues; there is insufficient attention to developing a culture and physical environment that fosters emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth.
Green Houses de-institutionalize care and instead use small ten bed group homes for elders. Elders are given private rooms and a great deal of choice in their activities. Instead of the nursing station as a center of conventional nursing home unit, there is a kitchen, a living room and a fireplace. Green Houses make abundant use of plants and animals. Children are often invited to participate in activities. There is evidence that these homes significantly increase resident satisfaction, reduce the need for restraints and psychiatric medications. The concept was first proposed by William H. Thomas, M.D. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is granting a total of $10 million for seed funds to support the development of 50 such facilities in the United States. Generally the development cost is greater than a conventional nursing home, while ongoing operating costs are about the same.
- Thomas, William H. (1996). Life worth living : how someone you love can still enjoy life in a nursing home : the Eden alternative in action. Acton, MA: VanderWyk & Burnham.
- Office of Legislative Research, Connecticut General Assembly. September 26, 2005, 2005-R-0618. "Nursing Home 'Green Houses'", by Helga Niesz, Principal Analyst
- Nashville Business Journal, Friday, March 3, 2006, "Examining the Green House Project senior living concept" by Carla Fenswick & Lillian Gilmer
- Providence Health and Services - Providence Seward Discusses a long-term care facility "based on the 'Greenhouse' model, which provides a more homelike atmosphere for residents."
- William Thomas MD's Eden Alternative Organization
- Michigan Office of Services to the Aging - Culture Change in Long Term Care
- An organization for culture change in nursing homes
- Greenhouse program in Massachusetts
- Results from a study of a greenhouse program
- Federal Medicare Center questions and answers regarding culture change facilities
- Robert Wood Johnson Green House Replication project