It’s really no surprise that many nursing home patients have a bitter disdain for their facilities. After-all, the ‘nursing home’ that they may find themselves in may bear no resemblance to the place they called ‘home’ prior to their admission. Physical characteristics aside, many nursing homes operate with an institutional mentality where individual desires are frequently compromised to better streamline the efficiencies of the operation.
While any operation requires organization and adherence to ‘rules’, a new breed to nursing home is threatening to take away many of the negative connotations associated with the ‘elder warehouses’ which some facilities have rapidly become. Known as green houses, they are a new breed of nursing homes that put a re-newed focus on improving the quality of life for each patient as opposed to simply focusing exclusively on the economies of scale that tend to make institutional nursing homes ever prevalent.
Despite their more personalized care levels, green houses can actually be operated within the budget constraints at many facilities by using CNA’ for a variety of tasks (as opposed to hiring an extensive staff of specialized employees) and reducing the number of injury-related incidents that may occur at larger facilities on a more pervasive scale.
While the green house concept ideally calls for smaller facilities to be built, many of the concepts from the plan can be applied to facilities of any scope.
As a lawyer who continues to see episodes of nursing home abuse occur at large facilties where staff know patients by little more than a bed number, I am profoundly encoouraged by both the overall concept of green houses as they offer real opportunity for the improvement of care at skilled nursing facilities across the country.