educational opportunities, and a scenario in which older adults work in tech as part of their community life are all ideas that could give a sense of collaboration, purpose, and being part of something. There has also been an uptick in atten- tion to the Green House®

model—or the

“small house” model, in which a commu- nity is not a trademarked Green House but uses many of the organization’s principles and findings. The Green House®

Project (GHP) not-

for-profit has been active with its model for about 17 years. Green House homes are “small-scale, self-contained, and self-suf- ficient nursing home and assisted living settings that put elders at the center. Each home includes private rooms and

bathrooms for each elder, a living room with a fireplace, and outdoor spaces that are easy to access and navigate.” About 300 homes have been built in 32 states. The group also provides guidance

for culture change and has a memory care approach. The interest comes because Green

House and small house residences reported lower COVID-19 rates—a case rate 3.8 times lower than in traditional skilled nurs- ing, according to the Green House Project. Solo isolation is also less of a problem: Few- er residents overall makes for a “pod” affect, where risks are reduced for small groups. It’s much like the “friend pods” of

screened friends or relatives in groups of six that many people of all ages have adopt- ed during the pandemic, or the "bubbles" created for child care or sports, but on a smaller scale. The Great Recession served to slow

adoption of this model, but some of its qual- ities, culture, and design features could lead to further innovation to tackle the isolation/ safety paradox. Some traditionally designed communities are planning design changes, shifting wings, and combining living areas

to avoid having single residents isolated for full days in single rooms whenever possible while maintaining safety is the goal.

New solutions ahead While the concern over present and future pandemics and other health issues such as chronic conditions could clip the wings of some visions for the future, the report con- tributors don’t see this as an insurmountable obstacle. “The fundamentals in the senior living

business are still there. The things that de- fine a generation and their life experience are still there,” Moldow says. “People living longer and having a ‘third

act’—these things are going to start generat- ing new solutions. These will partially come from senior living providers, but they could come from left field—Google, for instance, or other outside actors. If people aren't stay- ing up to date, creating those new models, they're going to fall behind.”


September 13-15, 2021 | Phoenix, AZ Phoenix Convention Center CONFERENCE.ARGENTUM.ORG


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