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Health

New Jax Elder Care Facilities Designed Like Home

A new model in elder care is making its debut on the First Coast. Brooks Rehabilitation says its new “Green House Residences” in Bartram Park are the first of their kind in the state.

The two new assisted living homes were designed based on the Green House model, developed by Dr. Bill Thomas, a Harvard-trained geriatrician.

Sama Beg is manager of Healthcare Innovations at Brooks and says the idea is that the facilities shouldn’t feel like an institution.

"The crux of the model is it’s home. As you walk in there’s a living room, open kitchen, there’s a grand dining table. It’s small and intimate, it houses 10-12 elders in each home," she said.

The new facilities will specialize in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Residents will have private rooms and be able to make their own schedule. The 24 people who move into the two homes will have private rooms and be able to make their own schedule.

Nurse Stephanie Ehlen says every detail, from the architecture of the building to staff schedules, are designed to allow the workers to develop deep relationships with the residents.

"The staff gets to know them so well that they can tell when the slightest little change happens. They can make sure that everything they’re doing every day is meaningful," she said.

Over the last decade, more than 130 Green House homes have opened in more than 30 states.