Minka Pocket Neighborhoods
The Canopy incorporates Dr. Thomas’ Green House design for people who need around-the-clock care with daily activities or skilled nursing. Creating small (not tiny) houses that can be clustered closely together is essential to finding the optimum balance between privacy and community. This gives people a place to gather and share food and fellowship.
In all phases of the Kallimos project there are pocket neighborhoods, each having 24 beds, with one Canopy surrounded by 12 Minkas. Seniors and elders can live anywhere in the property, with Community Health Care services as needed for on-premise assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation, skilled nursing needs and hospice care. The core Canopy and Minka designs are the next generation of the Green House Project facilities designed in the 1990s by Dr. Thomas. At that time, they were a radically different care model that de-institutionalized nursing care by creating home-like environments and giving elders a voice in decisions concerning their care.
Step out onto the breezeway and visit with neighbors while enjoying a glass of iced tea. Take a revitalizing turn in the spa, join a yoga session, or catch up with a loved one over a hot meal in the kitchen.
12 attached suites for those needing attention.
Direct breezeway access to the outdoors to enjoy good weather.
Two dining areas, each seating up to twelve.
Gardens, patios, and pavilions partly covered by Canopies.
As background to these concepts, the first Green Houses went live in 2003 and have been incubated in about fifty locations across the United States. Studies prove that they dramatically improve health and well-being for patients and caregivers. Because this type of care model is unique in most markets, they usually enjoy full occupancy and multi-year waiting lists while realizing premium private-pay rates. Our Canopy structures for primarily elders introduce improvements over the original Green House Project model by redesigning the private rooms with new technology, additional suite services and Eden Alternative staff training and team staffing models for better care and greater effectiveness.
Traditional nursing homes are known for incarceration of elders where they are restrained, drugged and overcome with loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Fear of the traditional model of long-term care is familiar to most people living in the United States and is captured in a quote from a former nursing home resident.
I recently returned from “rehabilitation care” in a nursing home. I have pretty severe cerebral palsy and had breast cancer surgery, so was unable to care for myself at home for a while. However, the nursing home environment was a nightmare, and it did more to slow the healing process than help. I got a terrifying glimpse into a future I doubt I could live through – suicide seems a better option than life in such facilities.
Right now I’m sixty-one, but because of my disability, I am scared that I might end up in another nursing home. I would rather die than have to exist in such a place where residents are neglected, ignored, patronized, infantilized, demeaned, where the environment is chaotic, noisy, cold, clinical, even psychotic.
The nursing home is run for the convenience of the staff and administration, not for the patients and residents. Serious medical mistakes are made often, and the patients have to keep constant vigil over their own care… if they are able; fortunately I was able to, but may not be in future.
In contrast to the institution described by this former patient, the Canopy group house model focuses on creating a rich human habitat filled with companionship that fosters and nurtures interactive living. This care model has been developed by Dr. Thomas over the past thirty years, beginning with his starting the Eden Alternative nonprofit in the 1990s.
The care offered using Eden Alternative principals carefully applied in our environment differs from a traditional nursing home in terms of facility size, interior design, organizational structure, staffing patterns, and methods of delivering skilled professional services. It is designed from the ground up to look and feel like a home. Food is cooked on premises and served at a large dining table. Any needed medical equipment is stored in hall closets. For medical services, Home Healthcare Services are delivered to a resident’s private space.
Compact Home Cottages
A Minka is an elegant, green, cost effective prefabricated compact home.
Although designed to be used by all ages, seniors will probably comprise a majority of Minka occupants. They will choose to simplify housing and form communal bonds with others in a Kallimos neighborhood, escaping the isolation of living alone. They can live there for the rest of their life, perhaps moving to a Canopy suite if they need extra health services as they age. A ground level artist rendering showing the proposed “intentional community” outcome follows:
As with the Canopy structure, staff provides assistance, housekeeping and companionship to the neighborhood residents each day. They prepare the daily meals in a common house and ensure that the community is functioning in harmony. Home Healthcare Services are delivered to their private Minkas on request.