The Green House Project

Dr. Bill Thomas, author of Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life, is the creator of THE GREEN HOUSE® Project, a radically new approach to long term care where nursing homes are torn down and replaced with small, home-like environments where people can live a full and interactive life. Today there are hundreds of Green House homes open or in development in the majority of states. Green House’s evidence-based model has been proven — through independent research — to be effective, feasible and sustainable. To locate a Green House home or for more information visit

New York Times

The Green House Effect: Homes for Elders to Thrive

By Jane E. Brody, The New York Times

For those who lack financial resources to pay for round-the-clock professional care at home, is the sterile, hospital-like environment of a nursing home the only option left?
Not if you ask Dr. Bill Thomas, a Harvard-educated geriatrician who helped create the Green House project, a new model for long-term care, its name suggesting a nurturing environment where elders and the frail can thrive.

Read more here.


Stadium Place Green Houses in Baltimore

Move Over Nursing Homes — There’s Something Different

By Ina Jaffe, NPR

One thing just about everyone dreads as they age is the possibility of ending up in a nursing home. We all think we know what that’s like: sharing a room with strangers, sitting slumped in a wheelchair all day, rigid schedules, bad smells. And for more than 1 million Americans, this is home. But there’s an effort to change all that, and it’s known as The Green House Project.

Read more here.



It’s Time to Leave Our Hyper Adulthood Behind

by Donna Sapolin, Next Avenue

I recently spoke with Dr. Bill Thomas, renowned geriatrician, author and mastermind of the Green House Project long-term care model (a more humane alternative to traditional nursing homes). His new book is Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life.

Read more here.

Cohoes, N.Y. Green House
Cohoes, N.Y. Green House

Where To Live As We Age

By Susan Fine, Parade Magazine

Geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas, a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, created The Green House Project with the hope of revolutionizing eldercare. In 2001, he wandered into the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wearing a sweatshirt and Birkenstocks and shared his vision. The foundation was so impressed by his ideas it agreed to support a pilot program. Read more here.


Green House
A place to call home

‘Green House’ Nursing Homes Expand as Communities Reinvent Elder Care

By Susan Dentzer, PBS News Hour

Susan Dentzer reports on the “green houses” project, which seeks to reinvent traditional nursing home care and create close-knit communities of patients and caregivers.

Streaming Video

Mark, a "shahbaz," or caretaker, and elder Kent
Mark, a “shahbaz,” or caretaker, and elder Kent

Green House Projects Let Elders Age In Homes

Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan, April 2, 2009

In the first program of our ‘What Works’ series, we take a look at nursing homes.

Dr. Bill Thomas spent some time in traditional, institutional nursing homes, and he didn’t like what he saw. In an interview with NPR’s Joe Shapiro in 2005, he remarked, “I believe that in the nursing home every year, thousands and thousands of people die of a broken heart. They die not so much because their organs fail, but because their grip on life has failed.” Read more here.

Wall Street Journal

Rising Challenger Takes on Elder-Care System

By Lucette Lagnado, Wall Street Journal

PRINCTEON, N.J. — In the spring of 2001, Bill Thomas, dressed in his usual sweat shirt and Birkenstock sandals, entered the buttoned-down halls of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His message: Nursing homes need to be taken out of business. “It’s time to turn out the lights,” he declared.

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William Thomas | physician, farmer
William Thomas | physician, farmer

The Greening of Aging

William Thomas | physician, farmer

By Caroline Hsu, U.S. News and World Report

It’s summer in upstate New York, the sun is shining, and it’s time to make hay. Bill Thomas, medical doctor, gentleman farmer, and deep thinker, heads out to take the year’s first cutting. His is a “mixed power” farm, which means that the tractor shares the load with a pair of massive 1-ton workhorses. Thomas takes the reins, clucks his tongue, and sets out across the field.

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9 Responses

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  1. carol pevsner
    carol pevsner at | | Reply

    Are there any Greenhouse Projects in Texas and if so, where are they?
    Please let me know at Thanks you

  2. Norma M. Robinson
    Norma M. Robinson at | | Reply

    This is so wonderful…an opportunity for us to age gracefully! I’ve been teaching a aquatic exercises/therapeutics for almost 25 yrs, and have seen miracles for those who take advantage of the water’s benefits. I would dearly like to see all facilities for the aging offer an aquatic program. The benefits so outweigh the costs that it should be a compulsary part of all nursing/aging facilities. The pools would ideally be indoors for year round use.

    Please contact me at: aquagal47@gmail .com

    Norma M. Robinson
    Certified Aquatics Instructor

  3. Camille Patterson
    Camille Patterson at | | Reply

    Very valuable. I am interested today as a possible provider of such a home for the elderly on a small, rural scale. Am also interested as a possible resident as the years are passing. Thank you.

  4. Kelly Bobick
    Kelly Bobick at | | Reply

    I have had a dream of caring for older adults in my home for over 10 years. I am an RN, currently working as a Hospice Case Manager. I have recently stumbled on a home that was set up as a group home and I feel a calling to capture this dream. What is holding me back? As a single woman, with 2 college age children, my finances are tied up. The home I would like to buy is currently in foreclosure and is owned by the bank. Your thoughts on how I could make my dream of caring for others and providing them with the utmost dignity and quality care they deserve would be most beneficial. Thank you.

  5. teemanley9
    teemanley9 at | | Reply

    i am happy to say that i just found out that a facility in my neighborhood is part of this program….i hope that one day all elder care facilities will be built like this…we can only hope!

  6. Cheryl Ashwood
    Cheryl Ashwood at | | Reply

    Without a shadow of doubt…. so relevant and appropriate to the lives of people living with memory loss, environment is paramount…..People living with memory loss know the difference…an environment that is clinical with a hospital like energy…to a home like environment….that is warm loving and inviting, where participation and purpose is a part of daily living…home cooked aroma’s without the over stimulation of noise and staff rush rushing to get their task completed…..Look forward to the day peeps here understand how vital this is for our very deserving beautiful peeps….Love Dr Bill and his Green House Project.

  7. rosemary weston
    rosemary weston at | | Reply

    i read the article from us news and world report several years ago and would like to know if bill thomas is still planning on an intentional community called eldershire. this article made me a fan of mr. thomas and has made me rethink where i would want to go if i weren’t able to take care of myself.

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