Check out the post Exploring Green House Core Values: Real Home over at the Changing Aging blog.
Rachel Scher of The Green House Project describes how Green House movement founder, Dr. Bill Thomas, envisions homes where residents create a community together — supported by staff members (shabazz) who are trained not only to provide care but also to provide and encourage the home-creating process.
In her post Scher makes the distinction between creating “home-like homes”versus making real homes.At the end of the post watch a great video that celebrates ten years of the Green House Movement.
In this picture Dr. Bill Thomas speaks at the dedication of the new Woodland Park Green House Homes at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community early in January 2013.
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time or even occasionally, you know that I’ve been keeping track of the new Green House Homes at Woodland Park with descriptions, pictures from the groundbreaking, and many construction images. The new neighborhood in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will be a special community that enables elders who have traditionally needed support in a nursing home, to live in a home setting while continuing to maintain much independence. Check out all of my posts about Woodland Park below.
The good news is that the these three beautiful homes at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community are almost finished. The grand opening weekend is January 5th and 6th. After that, move-in begins, with each home welcoming residents and establishing itself over a two-week period (6 weeks total).
I toured one of the Woodland Park homes recently. Finishing details were in progress, but already the house was filled with light and space, a private room for each resident, a kitchen that anyone can use, and lots of common areas, including a great (and grand) fireplace. The houses are constructed to be accessible — but almost nothing looks institutional. The goal of these homes is to provide a place where elders can live and “maintain self-care abilities longer, experience less depression, and receive timelier intervention as health conditions change.” (VMRC website). Basically, these beautiful buildings look like — well homes.
I get to Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC) to visit my parents about every two weeks. Each time I drop by the Woodland Park construction site to see how the Green House Homes are coming along.
The hope is for new residents to move into at least some of the homes in January. As I’ve chatted with a few of the residents who may be the initial community members, I detect a sense of excitement, reticence, nervousness, and just a bit of awe — feelings that just about everyone has when moving is a possibility. And the homes continue to rise.
The VMRC Green Houses at Woodland Park are beginning to look like real houses with roofs, windows, and doors. Now much of the construction has moved indoors. This time when I visited, Mr. Marvin Nisely, who supervises the construction at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, took me on an inside tour of one of the homes.
Expand this post to see descriptions of the photos.
Last weekend I spent the day with my parents at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. On a beautiful Shenandoah Valley late spring day, we walked around near the construction site and shot these pictures of the Green Houses slowly turning into Green Homes. Two buildings have walls and roofs and the third has its foundation. So much to see!
I’ll be spending several days with my parents next week, and I hope to get permission to shoot a few pictures from inside the the buildings. More later.
To learn more please read these posts about Woodland Park Green House Homes, a new community at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. Read more »
Easter Sunday at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community Construction Site
April 8, 2012
My posts on the Woodland Park Construction and other Green House® Homes information include: Read more »
The earliest part of construction, right now after the groundbreaking, is the most challenging time for everyone to watch, because we want to see more than we are seeing. It’s that way with any construction project.
Holes are dug, concrete footings are laid, and I even observed some pipes here and there. We all want to see buildings, but they are not rising up just yet because foundations must be firmly installed before the rest of the structures are built.
The Bible mentions the need for strong basic infrastructure in Isaiah 44:28, “…and its foundation shall be firmly laid.”
This interesting article, Nursing Homes Trend Toward More Homey, Less Institutional Settings, in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle describes the quality-of-life changes that residents and families experience when a family member lives in a Green House Project home. Reporter Patti Singer provides a window, allowing readers a glimpse of life in a care community where elders’ lives are far less connected to a medical model.