The 15-year-old Green House Project will make its “Best Life” dementia care training and education program available to memory care, assisted living and skilled nursing providers operating outside of the Green House model, the nonprofit organization announced Monday.
The expansion of programming is part of the Green House 2.0 initiative, which also includes new services and an expanded board of directors.
“Best Life is another component of the Green House Project’s continued efforts to destigmatize aging and humanize care for older adults,” GHP Senior Director Susan Ryan said. “As part of Green House 2.0, Best Life leverages everything we have learned over the last 15 years as leaders in senior housing innovation to inform a greater arena.”
The program, which for a fee includes onsite initial training for all levels of leadership and staff as well as continual support, is rooted in four principles that are designed to stress a culture of normalcy in the least restrictive environment for residents (elders) as possible; a focus on residents’ retained abilities and their ability to have relationships with pets, nature and people of all ages; the dignity in enabling residents the right to take risks; and advocacy for expanded experiences and choices, as well as the right for rehabilitation.
Part of the approach includes virtual reality technology designed to help caregivers (care partners) have more empathy for residents and knowledge about dementia by experiencing life as someone living with dementia.
“The Best Life approach begins by addressing our own fears and misperceptions of dementia, which can unintentionally devalue people and prevent them from living full lives,” said Anne Ellett, MSN, NP, developer of the approach. “This approach further identifies [people living with dementia] by their accomplishments, not their losses, and enables them to thrive beyond their diagnoses.”
Dr. Bill Thomas founded the Green House Project, which now has more than 280 homes in 32 states.