Home Is Where the Hearth Is: New Models for Nursing Homes

David Nolan, Chi Partners


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Innovative nursing homes across the nation are aspiring to become less institutional — a move that is saving costs and improving quality of care and quality of life for residents. These “small home” long-term care facilities feature private rooms and bathrooms, working kitchens as a focal point for social activity, and consistent staff who administer individualized care.

The photos below presents an inside look at one example of the small home approach to nursing facilities.

Regulatory agencies find themselves challenged to keep pace. Some design elements conflict with current regulations, while others conform well. All provide an opportunity for agencies to update regulations to reflect this evolution in how people want to live when they get older.

This issue brief focuses primarily on the Green House model of alternative nursing home design and highlights two facilities in California that are exploring renovations. The report examines the regulatory and licensing challenges faced by skilled nursing providers wishing to transform their institutions, discusses regulatory changes in process in California, and summarizes lessons learned from three states that have successfully implemented these alternative nursing home models.

The complete issue brief is available as a Document Download.