Experts: Green Houses keeping momentum

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Applications to start new Green House long-term care facilities are rolling in at the rate of two per week.

That's in addition to the 33 Green Houses currently open and the more than 20 others already in development, said Robert Jenkens, a Washington-based vice president of Community Solutions Group LLC, NCB Capital Impact.

One major chain is investigating the possibility of becoming the first for-profit entity to pursue the Green House concept, said Jenkens, a top consultant and developer involved with new senior care models. If it does, it would mark a watershed moment in the Green House movement, he noted.

Jenkens and leading academic researcher Rosalie Kane of the University of Minnesota discussed current and future plans for the Green House approach Wednesday at the joint conference of The American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging in Chicago.

Green Houses, in contrast to most current nursing homes, are smaller facilities (typically with about 10 private bedrooms) with direct caregivers who oversee most care and maintenance operations themselves.

Kane has studied care processes and outcomes since the first Green Houses opened in Mississippi in 2003. "I don't think I could have made up better results," she said Wednesday.