BALTIMORE, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With a looming shortage in long-term care options in poor neighborhoods around the U.S., Baltimore is leading the way today with the opening of The Green House® Residences at Stadium Place, which will provide the area's low-income seniors with a radically different, skilled-nursing home on the site of the former Memorial Stadium.
Stadium Place, developed by Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (GEDCO), is the first certified Green House project in the state of Maryland. It is also the first in the nation to take advantage of special financing for Green House projects aimed at low-income elders under a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NCB Capital Impact. This project received significant additional support from The Harry and Janette Weinberg Foundation, the state, the City of Baltimore, and private donors.
"Regardless of income, everyone should have the opportunity to age with dignity and receive the highest quality of care," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
"By thoroughly redefining what a nursing home should be and placing elders at the center of all they do, Green House homes help residents live happier, healthier lives," continued Lavizzo-Mourey. "Stadium Place is a milestone for Baltimore and a model for what every city should be doing."
The Green House Model
Green House homes provide an environment in which residents receive nursing support and clinical care without the care becoming the focus of their daily lives. By altering the facility size, interior design, staffing patterns and methods of delivering skilled services to residents, the Green House model provides residents greater health and lifestyle benefits compared to residents of traditional nursing facilities.
Early results show that Green House residents report higher satisfaction levels, less physical decline and less depression — at a cost that is comparable to traditional nursing facilities. Last year, AARP called the Green House homes "a model for aging that promotes growth." Long-Term Living magazine also recently named it one of the decade's Top 10 Senior Design Innovations, and Provider Magazine has called the Green House model "the pinnacle" of culture change in long-term care.
The Stadium Place project will be operated by Associated Catholic Charities. It will include four small homes that will serve up to a dozen seniors per home, and at least sixty percent of the rooms in the Green House homes will be reserved for older adults who are eligible for Medicaid. Stadium Place has also been built to obtain LEED Silver certification.
"Stadium Place is helping to change the face of long-term care," said Terry Simonette, president and CEO of NCB Capital Impact. "It demonstrates that it is possible to provide the best care to the people who need it most, at the same cost as a traditional nursing home."
The Green House Residences are an integral part of the holistic continuum of care GEDCO is developing at Stadium Place. They are integrated into a larger mixed-income urban retirement community that currently includes four apartment buildings for low and moderate-income seniors, a YMCA facility, Memorial Field at the Y, ThanksGiving Place and a community-built playground.
The Growing Crisis of Long-term Care
In 2011, the first baby boomers turned 65. By 2030, one in five will be at least 65 — nearly doubling today's numbers. Over that same period, the number of 85-year-olds will increase by 50 percent.
Despite the growing number of seniors in need of long-term care, the number of beds in skilled-nursing facilities has been dropping significantly over the last decade. Traditional nursing homes that were built several decades ago have been closing due to their age, but also due to shifting consumer preferences. Meanwhile, the financial crisis of the last few years has made building new facilities even more difficult.
While these trends are likely to affect older Americans across the board, low-income seniors are faring the worst. A study published last year in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that shortages of skilled-nursing facilities were most likely to occur in minority and poor communities.
"This project will provide the highest quality housing and care for older adults regardless of their financial situation," said Mitchell Posner, Executive Director of GEDCO. "People who are eligible for Medicaid will be living side by side with other elders who have greater resources because in our eyes, they all deserve the best."
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For nearly 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.
About NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a national, non-profit community development finance institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality health care, healthy foods, housing, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.6 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. www.ncbcapitalimpact.org
SOURCE The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation