Saturday, June 13, 2009

Where To Live As We Age

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,this sounds good in theory. What do you think?

by Susan Fine

Christine Cleary, 91, puts down her crochet work as she happily describes her new residence in Cohoes, a suburb of Albany, N.Y. "It doesn't smell like a nursing home," she says appreciatively. "There's no disinfectant odor." Cleary also enjoys how much quieter it is than most nursing homes--no beeping machines and clattering carts.

Cleary lives with 11 other elderly people in a Green House home, a comfortable residence that offers meals, support, and nursing care at a cost comparable to that of a private room at a large, impersonal home. Each person has his or her own room and bath around a sunny living area with a big dining table that can accommodate all of the residents. An open kitchen allows seniors to put in their two cents about meal preparation, and they have easy access to a garden and patio.

Residential eldercare is a big business today. Nearly 1.4 million seniors live in nursing homes in the United States. But in 18 towns and cities from Birmingham, Ala., to Winthrop, Wash., a new model of care is being tested. While these Green House homes may not soon replace the 16,000 nursing homes in the U.S., they're changing the way our nation cares for its oldest citizens.

Geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas, a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, created The Green House Project with the hope of revolutionizing eldercare. In 2001, he wandered into the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wearing a sweatshirt and Birkenstocks and shared his vision. The foundation was so impressed by his ideas it agreed to support a pilot program. With the foundation's help, Dr. Thomas eventually partnered with NCB Capital Impact, a national nonprofit organization that offers assistance to underserved communities, to roll out a plan. Two years later, the first Green House homes were constructed in Tupelo, Miss.

The success of the Green House model lies more

Here is a great resource dementia for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia articles and activities,

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