The First Urban Green House® Skilled Nursing Facility in the Country
The Leonard Florence Center for Living sets the stage for a model of care far removed from traditional nursing homes. It is not only the first urban Green House® skilled nursing facility in the country, but it also has the remarkable distinction of showcasing ten homes dedicated to caring for individuals living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and multiple sclerosis (MS.) Residents who are completely immobilized are able to control the lights, turn on the TV, open doors and raise window shades — just by using their eyes.
Named after the late Chelsea-born philanthropist Leonard Florence, the Center is a state-of-the-art, six-story, 100-bed skilled nursing home that embodies the many comforts, design and ambiance of one’s personal home.
The Center, which overlooks the scenic Boston Harbor, consists of ten 7,000-square-foot condo-style Green Houses, is designed from the bottom up to look and feel like a real home. Each “home” includes only ten residences, each with spacious private rooms, bathroom and shower. The ten bedrooms in each home are arranged around a dining area, open kitchen and fireplace living room where residents gather to relax, and ultimately, develop strong bonds and a sense of community.
“Main Street,” as the lobby is called, consists of an European day spa, café, bakery, library and kosher deli. What’s also unique: residents set their own daily routines: getting up when they choose, eating meals where and when they want, participating in the lectures, classes and recreational activities of their choice.
In the spring of 2007, the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare embarked upon a new project that would improve the lives of individuals and families not just in the greater Boston area but across the nation as well. Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, became interested in the theory and implementation of the Green House® model concept for long-term care. Such facilities had only been built in the Midwest, where large stretches of flat land were in greater supply than in cities. Believing in his organization’s mission and confident that such a model could be built in Chelsea, Berman researched the concept and met with experts in the Green House model concept to determine if it a Green House model facility could actually be created in an urban setting.
Through a purely chance meeting, Barry Berman met Steve Saling, a landscape architect from Atlanta, at an ALS conference. Saling had recently been diagnosed with ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disease. The two conversed about the disease and the urgency for more research and improved care. From this fortuitous meeting, Berman was inspired to create the nation’s first urban model Green House that would include the nation’s first specialized ALS residence.
The Leonard Florence Center for Living opened its doors in residents across the nation in February 2010, offering a beacon of hope to those seeking a facility that could care for their medical needs while helping them live their life to the fullest.
The prevailing goal of the Leonard Florence Center was to create a “real” home that provides exceptional care, but also supports those seeking to redefine the worth and meaning of late life and those living with debilitating diseases.
On the first floor of the Leonard Florence Center — or “Main Street” as it is often called — residents and families are able to take in the beautiful aesthetic and design of the facility. Upon entering, you will see a beautiful waterfall in the entryway and a welcoming reception and lobby area. Amenities on “Main Street” include:
“I knew my mother would be well-taken care of at any facility run by the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. They have a tremendous reptutation. And I was right.”
-Son of Resident
“Being in a Kosher facility is critical for my mother-in-law, who kept Kosher all her life. She enjoys the variety and quality of the meals. “
-Daughter-in-Law of Resident
Leonard Florence Center for Living
165 Captains Row
Chelsea, MA 02150
The Leonard Florence Center offers residents access to a comprehensive interdisciplinary team of specialists, including:
Many residents take part in the activities program, which offers a diverse range of activities for all levels of mobility and cognitive ability. Our overall goal is for residents are able to enjoy privacy when they want it but also partake in the various activities and amenities available for socialization. Here are just a few of the many activities: