We are part of the THE GREEN HOUSE® Project, a national cutting-edge movement developed by a Harvard trained geriatrician, whose growth was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Project seeks to de-institutionalize long term care by preserving the autonomy of all elders in our care, and arranging staff schedules around the rhythms and preferences of the residents, not the considerations of efficiency. This re-orienting of priorities is supported by eliminating other components of institutional care – semi-private bedrooms, long hallways, constant bell ringing and flashing lights.
GREEN HOUSE homes offer:
- Small, self-contained homes with 10-12 private bedrooms and private bathrooms for each elder
- A specially trained staff of versatile workers who serve as managers of the home
- Operating principles that focus on the individual’s needs for nurture and choice, with recognition of individual interests and preferences
- An emphasis on respectful relationships among all people who live and work in the home
There are now over 200 houses in operation or development in 27 states. You can learn more about THE GREEN HOUSE Project at thegreenhouseproject.org.
Dementia Care in Our Green House Cottages
Our philosophy of care, unique staffing and physical design are unlike any other memory care facility in Massachusetts. When you’re seeking memory care for a loved one, you’ll find an answer — and help — at White Oak Cottages.
Quality of care:
Your loved one will be in safe hands at all times. Every staff member, including maintenance personnel, receives specialized dementia care training, including Alzheimer’s care. We maintain the highest standard of personalized care with ongoing and intensive education, support and feedback. All aides are certified nursing assistants, and a nurse is on-site 24/7.
Quality of life:
Your loved ones’ emotional well-being is as important to us as their physical health. Whether their enjoyment comes from taking part in comforting daily activities at the cottage, sharing stories, listening to music or trying a new hobby, our staff is committed to making every day meaningful for them. Our unique program has a different theme each week, incorporating the interests of the elders and honoring events that have special meaning to them.
Unlike many long-term facilities where daily responsibilities are split between different staff in different departments, our aides work closely with the elders throughout the day, providing personal care, activities, housekeeping and laundry. This team gets to know each elder very well, what they like to eat, which is their favorite sweater, and which friends lift their spirits. This connection is as meaningful to the staff as it is to the elders, and is the “secret sauce” of our program.
Quality of choice:
Does your loved one like to go to bed at 8 p.m.? Or at midnight? Whether your loved ones want coffee at 6 a.m. or tea in the afternoon, our person-centered, flexible staffing model allows staff members to respond to elders’ individual preferences.
At White Oak Cottages, the daily rhythms are those of home. The elders wake up and go to sleep when they want to. They choose what they want for breakfast each morning. When you visit, you may smell a delicious dinner cooking in the oven, see laundry being folded, or hear a group discussion on the topic of the day.
Services & Amenities
- Private bedroom with private bathroom
- Daily housekeeping
- Personalized care plan designed to meet each elder’s specific needs
- Airy and inviting purpose-designed setting
- Beautiful enclosed courtyard for walking and gardening
- Secured household
- Beauty salon/barbershop on-site
- Nurse and certified nursing assistants on site 24/7
- Medication administration, personal care, grooming and assistance with daily tasks
- Access to health services, including on-site physicians, geriatric psychiatry, dental care, podiatry and out-patient rehabilitation
AWARD-WINNING DESIGN FOR DEMENTIA
White Oak Cottages consist of two beautiful small homes, each with an inviting living room, dining area, den and kitchen, enclosed garden, and 12 private bedrooms — each with their own bathroom. They are part of the Fox Hill campus in Westwood, MA, immediately off Route 95/128 and easily accessible to the Greater Boston area.
Elders bring their own furniture for their bedrooms, along with bedding, favorite pictures and mementoes for a feeling of home. Each bedroom is 13’x 10′ and accommodates a queen or twin bed, side table, bureau, and most reading chairs.
The Cottages’ warm, technologically smart and intentional design enhances and supports THE GREEN HOUSE Project model, earning an Award of Excellence from the Assisted Living Federation of America:
- There are no long hallways or elevators. All bedrooms are just off the common area, making it easier for elders to move independently within the home.
- The cottage is filled with natural light from banks of windows in the living areas, bay windows in each bedroom and five skylights. Electrical lighting design ensures ample lighting at night as well.
- An enclosed garden and terrace give elders the freedom to go outside and enjoy nature in good weather.
- The staff paging system uses text messages, not bells or lights, to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
- The fabrics, artwork and color schemes provide helpful visual and spatial markers, as well as gentle cues for those who need them.
- Circular traffic patterns in the interior and garden areas allow elders to wander safely.
Although the independent living apartments at Fox Hill Village are an ownership model, White Oak Cottages is a rental model. The monthly fee at White Oak Cottages as of Jan. 1, 2021, is $10,750. Unlike other communities that charge a “base rate” for room and board, and then charge a great deal more for services, our monthly fee is inclusive of services and amenities commonly needed by those with dementia, including medication management, laundry, incontinence supplies, and care and assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating, walking, transferring).
There are additional fees for optional cable TV service; special outings, such as tickets or restaurant meals; and one-on-one care for elders with specific, intensive needs. White Oak’s inclusive pricing promotes transparency and allows families to be confident about the monthly costs. These inclusive monthly fees are set only once a year as of January 1st.
FINANCING LONG-TERM CARE
We’re committed to helping families understand the cost of long-term care and are happy to answer questions. Other sources that help pay for long-term care are briefly described below. We can put you in touch with knowledgeable professionals (who have no business relationship with White Oak Cottages) should you want to explore these possibilities.
These policies generally cover a portion of the cost of both nursing home and assisted living services. The amount and duration of the benefit vary. If you have purchased a long-term care insurance policy, check to see if it will cover any of the monthly fees paid to an assisted living residence.
If you have these forms of life insurance, there are groups that will pay you an actuarially determined amount of the death benefit while you are still alive. For some, the ability to access a portion of the insurance benefit provides necessary cash to pay for assisted living care. This option is relatively new, but it is gaining recognition.
Couples who own their home and have built up equity may consider a reverse mortgage. Government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private companies all offer reverse mortgages, although the conditions and the upfront fees vary. A reverse mortgage allows you to convert a portion of the equity you have in your home into cash. You don’t need to repay the cash advance until you sell the house, and you do not have to make additional monthly payments while you continue to live in the home. This vehicle may be helpful to couples, one of whom needs to move to an assisted living residence while the other spouse remains in the home.
The cost of assisted living care can be reduced if you are able to deduct the assisted living fees as a medical expense. To claim this deduction, you must file an itemized return, and the cost of the assisted living fees plus other medical expenses incurred must meet IRS thresholds for medical expense deductions. Consult your attorney or accountant to determine if you qualify for this deduction.
Understand what you’re paying for. Our free worksheet will help you evaluate your options against White Oak Cottages’ inclusive fee structure.
THE HEART OF OUR CARE
Our staff members are specialists who love what they do. Highly competent, genuinely empathetic, they truly care about older adults affected by memory loss. The team consists of certified nurse assistants, nurses, and an administrator, known as a guide. They consult with a dietitian, social worker and nurse supervisor as needed.
Versatile and highly skilled, our certified nurse assistants receive rigorous training in memory loss and dementia care, culinary preparation, and ServSafe® certification. They manage the household and provide personal care to elders. Staff members spend most of their time with elders, eating lunch and dinner them, and engaging with them throughout the day.
GREEN HOUSE homes report much lower turnover rates. There’s high job satisfaction at these homes because of the expanded role of the versatile worker and the emphasis on respect and staff autonomy. High job satisfaction is directly related to lower turnover and an environment that gives your loved one the consistency and support to live each day more fully.