Green House Projects Multiply and Grow Even Stronger

Green Houses, the non-medical model homes for fragile elders who need long-term care, have been in the 2015 news.

Woodland Park in the Snow

One of three homes at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community’s Woodland Park — on a snowy day.

Take some time to read an exciting end-of-year blog post over at The Green House Project. Written by staff member Rachel Sher McLean, the short, yet comprehensive article describes how Green House projects are thriving,, and the piece includes links to articles noting the success of this model of long-term care. If you do not know much about The Green House Project, check out the organization’s website.

You can also bring yourself up to speed by reading my series of posts about the building of three Green Houses at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC).                            

Large farm house dining tables, one for each Woodland Park cottage, were created from trees that needed to be cut down on the property.

The Green House model of care, originally conceived by Dr. Bill Thomas (learn more at his website, Changing Aging), has as its mission the creation of comfortable homes for elders who might be sent to a traditional home. Each house, a community that encourages residents to make decisions— right down to what’s for dinner — includes about ten individuals. Each community member has a private room, and everyone enjoys the same kinds of warm and pleasant public that are found in any home.

While promoting his recent book, Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande mentioned Green Houses — describing them as revolutionary — in a radio interview for NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, and while his comment is one small part (around 11:32 AM in the transcript), the entire interview is well worth listening to.

It’s been several years since I’ve written about the beautiful Green Houses in Woodland Park at VMRC. Perhaps I’ll ask if I can pay a return visit to see how things are going.

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