Ruth Katz, senior vice president of public policy/advocacy at LeadingAge in Washington, D.C., and Dr. Richard G. Frank, Ph.D., a professor of health economics in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, visited the Center to gain insight into how the nonprofit organization cares for seniors and individuals with disabilities, as well as observe the innovative Green House concept.
Each Green House home is designed from the bottom up to look and feel like a real home with spacious private rooms/bathrooms, kitchens on every floor, spa, café and deli. Residents set their own daily routines: getting up when they choose, eating meals where and when they want, participating in lectures, classes and recreational activities. In a Green House setting, the residents are supported by universal caregivers known as shahbazim. In effect, the shahbazim become a part of each household, interacting with residents as they would an extended family.
Additionally, the Center dedicates 30 homes to caring for individuals living with ALS and MS. Residents who are completely immobilized are able to control the lights, turn on the TV, open doors and raise window shades through the Center’s innovative technology. Today, the LFCL takes care of more individuals living with ALS than any place else in the world.
The tour was led by Steve Saling, a resident who helped design the LFCL when he was diagnosed with ALS 12 years ago. Both Dr. Frank and Ms. Katz were incredibly moved by Steve, his story and the other LFCL residents.
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