Traceway at Tupelo has revolutionized the nursing home industry by de-institutionalizing it. Residents live in 10-person homes; specially-trained nursing assistants--"universal workers"--make "house calls" to care for them.
The living environment has changed as well: Residents are challenged to engage in meaningful life activities. The days of warehousing the elderly to await the inevitable are over. Instead, care is delivered in a facility specifically designed to be home, not "home-like." The Green House model intends specifically to be the most efficient home health delivery system in the world.
Residents live in private rooms with private bathrooms. The centerpiece of each home is a large living area called “the Hearth,” which is outfitted with a fireplace, large-screen TV, and a variety of comfortable chairs and sofas.
The placement of the Hearth was a strategic decision: Residents can choose their level of involvement with others, either by joining them, leaving their own doors open, or closing the door to maintain privacy.
There’s an open kitchen with a breakfast bar and a large dining table. Meals are prepared on-site, rather than delivered on carts and trays. Snacks, too, are readily available.
What’s the message? The Green Houses approach demonstrates that frail elders do not need to be in institutional settings.
Minnesota’s Presbyterian Homes, a leading senior housing provider, has adopted the Green House model in its Waverly Gardens development. The Liberty™ Personally Designed Living resident care program creates “households,” which operate according to how the residents want to live their lives. The approach is intended to emphasize residents’ skills and capabilities, while helping them to compensate for their disabilities.