Will the Green House model be coming to Ontario?

A Green House Dining Room  (copied with permission)

At a recent virtual workshop on the Green House model intended for a Canadian audience, people from Alberta, B.C., Ontario and the Maritimes participated.  Hopefully this will translate into action on the Ontario scene where bringing transformative culture change is long overdue.

Like all models of transformative culture change, the Green House model means: relationships, meaningful life, and person-centred care.  Over 290 Green House homes exist in the United States. During Covid the Green House homes showed 50% fewer cases and 30% fewer deaths than the institutional homes.

The Green House model provides a ‘real home’ for its residents:  smaller homes with no trappings present re disability or power structure; furniture is normal but adapted as necessary (i.e. shortened legs on regular sofa for safety in the event of a fall); no uniforms; etc.  It fosters meaningful life for its residents by focusing on an individual approach to care with flexibility and elder involvement where feasible in planning all aspects of care and activities, and promotes relationships between staff and residents.  Its foundation includes empowered staff – unlike the institutional ltch model, the GH model shifts daily authority away from a medical model approach to the staff (e.g. PSWs) and the residents who provide input into determining their daily activities.

To see how this dream succeeded in Wyoming, check out this 20 minute video: Homes on the Range: “The New Pioneers” on Vimeo  (20 minutes) It is well worth the watch!

Please do your part to bring transformative culture change to long-term care homes in Ontario be it with this or any other innovative model.  Write to your MPP or to your city Councillor, or write a letter to the editor, or any other action that you think will help to prevent this essential component of our health care continuum from falling off the radar of the Ontario Government.


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