The Green House Model in Action!

 In News

As we get older, most of us still long to do the things that we have always found pleasurable.  The family of the gentlemen in the photo has told us that he is always happiest when he is busy doing things outside, and the family encouraged the staff to be on the lookout for areas where he could be both helpful, and outdoors at the same time.  On a recent snowy day, the staff asked him if he wanted to shovel some snow.  Obviously, he said “yes”!

For more than 15 years, Londonderry Village has embraced the philosophy of the Green House Model.  This particular photo elegantly captures three specific viewpoints embedded in the Green House Model:

  • Meaningful Activity – elders should be offered the opportunity to participate in activities that are personally meaningful to them, as opposed to large group activities that are intended to merely pacify and entertain. Our snow shoveler was eager to help because this is the type of activity he truly enjoys.


  • Access to Nature – elders should have the opportunity to easily access the outdoor environment, which is something they have experienced all of their life. Whether it is a screened porch, a sunny patio garden, the Shearer Family PlayPark, or in this case a snowy driveway, the elders at Londonderry Village have multiple avenues to experience all the beauty that nature affords.


  • Surplus Safety – elders should have the opportunity to participate in activities of their choice, including those activities that may inherently have some element of risk. Whether it is driving in a car, climbing a ladder, or playing a sport, all of us accept minimal risks to our safety in doing the things we truly enjoy.  That should not change as we age.  Our snow shoveler might have slipped and fallen, but it is a risk he should be permitted (albeit with staff supervision) to do the activity he loves.

Jeff Shireman, President & CEO

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