The problems which exist in traditional, institutional nursing homes are myriad in scope. Even beyond outright neglect and abuse, low staffing ratios and overall safety concerns endemic to large, institutional nursing homes have existed and caused many problems within the industry for a very long time.
In response to the problems which persist in nursing homes, experts have developed an alternative model. According to the AARP, the Green House model of nursing homes centers on smaller, self-contained buildings with smaller numbers of residents.
What does it look like?
Physically, a Green House model of a nursing home is a small cluster of buildings that has a nursing facility license. The goal is to provide a higher quality of life for residents as compared to the traditional model. Instead of nursing staff focusing on performing one or two key duties for hundreds of residents, the staff instead act more holistically, concentrating on the needs of the residents in their small Green House.
This means that residents of a Green House can ask any staff member for anything at any time, rather than needing to wait for specialized workers. It also empowers the staff to take better care of their residents, as there are fewer of them to manage and the care is more personalized.
What are the challenges?
Even though the Green House model is popular among consumers, there are many challenges to its implementation. Namely, the Green House model tends to be more expensive, and obtaining licenses for Green House model homes is more difficult as compared to the traditional model. However, the comparative success of the Green House model concerning the quality of care shows a potentially sustainable future for nursing homes.