A radical departure from traditional nursing homes

THE GREEN HOUSE® Project represents a revolution in long-term care, creating small homes that return control, dignity, and a sense of well-being to elders, while providing high-quality, personalized care.

A Green House home differs from a traditional nursing home in terms of facility size, interior design, organizational structure, staffing patterns, and methods of delivering skilled professional services. Green House homes are designed from the ground up to look and feel like a real home.

At the center of The Green House model are skilled nursing assistants called shahbazim who manage residents' care, with support from nurses and therapists—a reversal of the traditional nursing home model. 

The results of The Green House Project are simple and profound: elders are happier and healthier. RWJF support is helping to spread The Green House model across the United States. More than 260 Green House homes in 32 states are open or under development.


The Green House Project

2011 Crystal Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22202

(703) 647-2311

David Farrell

David Farrell

Remarks from David Farrell, THE GREEN HOUSE® Project Director

It’s been 20 years since federal laws passed and significantly improved the quality of care in America's nursing homes. Physical restraint use, pressure sores and other serious deficiencies have all declined dramatically. So, we must ask ourselves why then do people still dread the thought of being admitted to a nursing home?

Leading the list of fears is that these places feel institutional—and that they’re isolating and take away our loved ones’ sense of dignity and privacy. In other words, they don’t look or feel anything like a real home. Through our evidence-based model, THE GREEN HOUSE® Project has mitigated those fears entirely by radically changing the physical environment and how staff work together to ensure that elders receive excellent care and enjoy the great quality of life they deserve.

THE GREEN HOUSE® Project is carving a new path for nursing care—by finding a way to deliver long-term care in a small, home-like setting, while still meeting the same federal regulations and costing about the same as traditional facilities. Someday elders will stop asking their kids to promise them that they will never put them in a nursing home. THE GREEN HOUSE® Project will be a big reason why.

Related Research and Policy Briefs

The Green House Research Collaborative

Investigators from various disciplines such as economics, nursing, social sciences and statistics are conducting evaluations under several coordinated Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grants. The collaboration is meant to ensure a comprehensive set of evaluations that provide information on the implementation and impact of The Green House long-term care model from different perspectives.

Read the report >

Health Policy Brief: Can Culture Change Offer Viable Solutions to Meet Increased Demands for Long-Term Care?

Until recently, long-term care meant placement in an institution such as a nursing home. The “culture change” movement is transforming long-term care by promoting more home-like facilities and providing more options for consumers to receive care how and where they want it, in their communities. These models typically include new types of physical environments, organizational practices, and workforce features that benefit consumers and direct care workers while remaining cost-effective.

Read the brief >


The Green House Project

A radical departure from traditional nursing homes, the Green House is a place where elders can receive assistance and support with daily living and clinical care without the assistance and care becoming the focus of their existence.

  • Celebrating 10 Years of The Green House Project
  • A Catalyst for Significant Social Change
  • A Place to Call Home
  • A Wonderful Life
  • All the Difference in the World

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In the News

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

April 9, 2014 – Asbury Park broke ground on a new assisted living building and a pair of new "Green Houses" in November 2012, and if inspections go well, the first of two Green Houses will open May 5.

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Aging is an Economic Issue–From Health Care to Housing

April 6, 2014 – City planners and community leaders discuss the need to plan for an aging population, and one possibility is to build Green House Project homes, which is a new concept of making a nursing home a home and getting it out of being an institution.

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Opening Day of the Second Wind Tour

April 4, 2014 – The Second Wind Tour opened in New York City on March 31 with Dr. Bill Thomas, who was supported by David Farrell, Senior Director of The Green House® Project, which re-imagines soul-less, institutional nursing homes into an experience similar to a real home.

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No Place Like Home? Looking to the U.S. Model of Residential Care

April 3, 2014 – The Green House Project is highlighted as an innovative model of care that is focused on de-institutionalizing long term care and focusing on the emotional well-being of residents.

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Cult of Adulthood

March 27, 2014 – Dr. Bill Thomas, creator of the Green House Project, takes part in a podcast discussion about the baby boomer generation, its cult of adulthood and denial of living a more ethical, connected, and sustainable life.

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