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About 100 miles west of Philadelphia in the town of Palmyra, PA, a dozen seniors are living out their final years in what you might think of as the “anti-nursing home.”

At Hostetter House, there are no wheelchair-bound residents crowding around a nursing station or patients waiting too long to be attended to in their beds. You won’t see medication carts, laundry carts, housekeeping carts or food carts blocking the halls. You won’t hear a steady flow of intercom announcements or call bell alarms.

Instead you find elders socializing in front of the fireplace, out on the patio or around a common dining table. The warm scent of a home-cooked meal permeates the air. Though elders here require skilled nursing care, they move with freedom and dignity and set their own routines. That is because Hostetter House is, in every sense of the word, their home.

Hostetter House is a certified Green House® home, designed from the ground up to provide the highest quality long-term care in an environment that looks and feels like a real home. Twelve years ago, there were no Green House homes anywhere. Now there are 134 in 21 states around the country, with another 100 homes in development.

The Green House Project is not just a breakthrough in how we care for aging Americans, but is also a model designed to catalyze change in the field of long-term care. It is a signature example of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) efforts to bring game-changing ideas to scale.1