Susan Ryan, CEO Green House Project is known for building positive partnerships in the healthcare community that will promote the well-being of elders and transform the field of aging.
Susan has spent over 25 years working with elders as a nurse and change agent. She has worked in a variety of eldercare settings and helped to lead her previous organisation’s transformation to culture change by assessing industry innovation and developing strategic and educational protocols.
She leads the Green House Project and partners with organisations, advocates, and communities to lead the transformation of institutional long-term and post-acute care by creating viable homes that demonstrate more powerful, meaningful, and satisfying lives, work, and relationships.
In May 2023, Susan presented at the ARIIA conference Facing The Future: Aged Care 2030 and Beyond #ariiaconference2023, in Adelaide, South Australia. She spoke with Re Aged Care about the Green House Project and it’s commencement in Australia.
Green House homes for the elderly, also known as Green House eldercare or simply Green House homes, are a unique model of long-term care facilities designed to provide a more home-like and personalised environment for elderly residents. The concept was developed with the goal of transforming the traditional nursing home experience into a more intimate and engaging one.
In a Green House home, a small group of residents, usually around 10-12, live together in a residential-style building that resembles a regular home rather than an institutional facility. The design typically includes private bedrooms and bathrooms for each resident, as well as shared living spaces such as a kitchen, dining area, and living room. The focus is on creating a warm and familiar atmosphere that promotes a sense of community and enables residents to maintain their independence and dignity.
Key features and principles of Green House homes include:
- Small size and intimate environment: The smaller scale allows for more personalised care and fosters meaningful relationships between residents and staff. This contrasts with larger nursing homes, where residents often feel anonymous.
- Home-like setting: The physical environment is designed to resemble a real home rather than a medical institution. This includes furnishings, decorations, and the presence of pets and plants.
- Resident-centred care: Green House homes prioritise the individual needs and preferences of residents. Staff members aim to develop close relationships with the residents, enabling them to provide person-centred care and support.
- Empowered staff roles: The staff in Green House homes typically have multi-functional roles and work in self-managed teams. This approach allows for more flexibility and empowerment, enabling them to provide holistic care.
- Enhanced quality of life: The focus is on creating a vibrant living environment that promotes social interaction, engagement, and meaningful activities for the residents. Emphasis is placed on maintaining a sense of purpose and joy in daily life.
- Research has shown that Green House homes have several advantages over traditional nursing homes. Residents often experience improved quality of life, higher satisfaction, and lower rates of hospitalisation. The smaller scale and resident-centred approach contribute to more personalised care and a homelike atmosphere.