Have You Heard of The "Green House" Movement?
If you haven't heard of the Green House movement, this is a great article to read. We are proud partners of the Cottages at St. Martin's, a Green House community in Birmingham, also featured in this article. They have embraced the use of technology to enhance their clients independence and dignity.
Published: Wednesday, September 07, 2011, 1:42 PM Updated: Wednesday, September 07, 2011, 1:51 PM
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The next generation of elderly Americans will spend more time with their peers in the their old age and less with their family, and the nation's model for caring for its senior citizens needs to adapt, a leading elder care expert said today.
Dr. William Thomas, recognized as the founder of the "green house" movement that places elders in smaller group homes instead of traditional nursing homes, said today's middle-aged adults have educated their children to an unprecedented degree. As a result, more of those children move farther away from home in pursuit of careers and will be less involved in caring for their elderly parents.
Thomas, a geriatrician and founder of The Green House Project in Mississippi, advocates a system in which about 20 elders live in clustered group homes, with staff to help with basic needs and nurses and physicians making regular visits.
"The notion is radically simple," Thomas told the Birmingham Rotary Club. "Elders need community in order to thrive."
The Cottages at St. Martin's, a Green House community in Birmingham, is among the leading examples of the philosophy, he said. It has stacked homes on top of one another, putting multiple group homes in a single building and solving a real estate problem that vexes the industry.
The Jewish Home in New York City is building a 22-story collection of elder group homes based on the St. Martin's model, he said.
Because of changing demographics, it's necessary to rethink how elders are cared for, he said.
"You may not be interested in aging," he said. "But aging is interested in you."