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WHATSenior long-term care which uses green concepts, natural resources, abundant plant life, natural light and therapeutic outdoor spaces. Smart technology is used to create a comfortable and safe environment that fosters the well-being of elders and those who work with them.
WHYTo challenge a traditional view of long-term care. To provide a nursing home culture change and a higher quality of life for seniors. Seniors can receive nursing support without the care becoming the focus of their existence.
WHERERobert Wood Johnson Foundation.
NCB Capital Impact.
Dr. William Thomas – Visionary.

Program Description

"A radical reinterpretation of long term care in America."

"We are trying to create a nursing home that people will want to live and work in… we want to make nursing homes places where people get care but their lives have meaning and purpose."

-Joyce Ebmeier, Green House - Nebraska

"The 'Green House Project' model replaces large, impersonal, nursing facilities with inviting, comfortable, social living spaces that research shows help elders to live happier, more satisfying lives."

One of the unique features of The Green House Project is the nursing care staff hierarchy. The project states that it's homes give residents four times more contact with staff and reduces staff turnover. Direct-care providers such as nursing aides work in teams and also act as managers. They then partner with nurses and other clinical team members to create an empowered team.

The Green House Project promotes person-directed care by
treating each older adult as a unique individual and catering to individual needs. Everyday tasks, such as personal care, bathing and mealtime, are seen as opportunities to support senior resident autonomy, decision-making and meaningful engagement. The senior living model provides opportunities for growth, life-long learning and development.

The Green House architecture is 'warm, smart and green.' The floor plan encourages social interaction, and includes comforting decor. The homes make use of cost-effective, smart technology and include the outdoors through plenty of sunlight, plants, garden areas, and outdoor access. Each Green House elder residence is designed for six to ten seniors within a Green House neighborhood.

The Green House homes are characterized by their vibrant outdoor spaces. Each elder has a private room with a private bathroom with their own belongings and also have access to the rest of the house, such as the kitchen, laundry, garden and patio.

There is no set schedule, which as a result offers more person centered care, more choice and options for dining, sleeping and entertainment at a time of their choosing. Meals are often prepared in an open kitchen at a shared dining table where staff, seniors and others socialize.

The model prides itself on starting a cultural shift from traditional nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The senior living environment features a smaller facility size, home-like interior design, private rooms and bathrooms along with combined family-like common spaces, a smaller organizational structure and more intimate staff and more person centered, direct methods of delivering skilled senior services.

Each Green House home is an intimate space with home like interior designs. The aim of staff is to help elderly to live with a better quality of life and more independent choices. The level of medical care and support with daily living is highly personalized. 

The Green House model was developed by Dr. William Thomas who is also the founder of the Eden Alternative a model for cultural change in elderly nursing care. NCB Capital Impact is a nonprofit organization and a certified Community Development Financial Institution which aims to improve access to high-quality health and elder care, healthy foods, housing and education in low-income communities across the country. source:,,




Find out more about the "The Green House Project" Program

Read more about the "Green House Project" and the NPR story: "Reformers Seek to Reinvent Nursing Homes"

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