VMRC’s Woodland Park Green House homes offer complete living care in a setting that’s more personal and more home-like than the traditional nursing care model. The only one of its kind in all of Virginia, each home has 10-12 residents with their own private bedroom and bath and shared living, kitchen and dining area. Each home has a screened-in porch to encourage going outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. A small dedicated staff works within each home, allowing relationships to develop among residents, staff and family members.
The design and philosophy of Green House homes have long shown benefits like improved quality of life and well-being, increased engagement and preservation of self-care abilities. In light of COVID-19, a new benefit is emerging – the design of the Green House model may inherently help mitigate the spread of the virus. According to a study completed by The Green House Project and University of North Carolina researcher Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD., significantly fewer cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Green House model of care versus the traditional nursing care setting. The researchers gathered information from nearly 300 Green House homes and more than 3,200 seniors living in those homes from February 1 – May 31, 2020. They found that ninety-five percent of Green House homes reported zero cases of COVID-19 among residents or staff. Of those with confirmed cases, the rate was 13 per 1000 residents in Green House homes versus 62 per 1000 residents in traditional nursing homes. To read the full study, click here.
As with many things related to coronavirus, we are still learning, but it appears that the model of the Green House homes with small groups of residents and staff as well as private rooms not only improves the quality of life for those who live there, but may offer a more protective environment as well.