March 28, 2016

A New Model for Nursing Home Care

It’s a common refrain that adult children hear from their parents: “No matter what, promise that you’ll never put me in a nursing home.” These seniors obviously have not visited a Green House, a unique alternative to the traditional nursing facility.
Lois Gallo, 79, lives with nine other residents — known as “elders” — in one of the 10 condominium-style homes at the Leonard Florence Center for Living, in Chelsea, Mass., an inner suburb of Boston. Gallo suffers from a degenerative nerve and muscle condition and gets around by motorized wheelchair. “This place is a godsend,” says Gallo, a widow and former psychotherapist.
There are two 7,000-square-foot Green Houses on each of five floors. Each Green House has its own entrance and 10 residents. Four Green Houses provide skilled-nursing care for elders while three provide short-term rehabilitation, two accommodate residents with ALS, and one serves people with multiple sclerosis.
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