The Green House Project Revolutionizes Elder Care

Martha’s Vineyard Green House home – street side view – LWDA Design
Martha’s Vineyard Green House home – garden view – LWDA Design

An innovative approach to elder care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, The Green House Project is a comprehensive, research based, and now proven system which creates a true home for those who require physical, emotional, and medical assistance in their daily lives.

The Green House Project was conceptualized by Dr. Bill Thomas, MD. who has become a foremost international authority on geriatric medicine and elder care. What Dr. Thomas found after years of working to improve the lives of elders in traditional nursing homes was that the bulk of the suffering among our elders came not from physical pain but from Loneliness, Helplessness and Boredom, a Green House home is the ultimate physical environment in which to establish and maintain a true elder-oriented community and combat the three plagues of aging.

It is a home with a living room, open kitchen with communal dining to create a sense of community, as well as private bedrooms and bathrooms. Each home has a maximum of 14 residents, and the home is specifically and carefully designed to allow elders to take control of their lives. They can cook if they want, they can make their own schedule, and they can feel a sense of propriety and control in their surroundings.

Along with being a genuine home, a Green House home is also a full service skilled nursing and short term rehab facility, licensed and equipped to care for post-acute short term needs and long-term residence.

Because of the unique interior design of the Green House homes, elders receive a much higher level of staff interaction and direct care than in a traditional nursing home. Since the opening of the first Green House home in Tupelo, Mississippi, more than 360 Green House homes in 32 states have opened and are thriving.

“AARP Foundation supports The Green House model because it helps elders keep their best life within reach. Too many older adults face high housing costs, inadequate housing, and isolation – and Green House addresses those needs. It not only gives older adults a place to live, but also provides stellar care, fosters community, and promotes their personal well-being.”
–Vivian Vasallo, Vice President, Housing Impact Program, AARP Foundation


“What we need is a radical reinterpretation of longevity that makes elders and their needs central to our collective pursuit of happiness and well-being.”  –Dr. Bill Thomas


Fostering Meaningful Lives in Real Homes

Our mission is to enable elders to live the most meaningful life possible in our Navigator Green House homes. We are passionate about fostering control, dignity, and a sense of well-being for elders, their families, care givers, and direct care staff.

The Martha’s Vineyard Green House homes will replace the existing 86-bed Windemere Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center currently located on the campus of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Green House homes are noted as a “promising model” for the future as elder care is re-invented in a post-pandemic world.

Site plan showing Green House homes and workforce housing – LWDA Design

Project Snapshot

  • Located on 490 Vineyard Haven Road, Edgartown, MA.
  • Five separate residential homes totaling 55,960 SF.
  • The five Green House homes are clustered around a central outdoor garden area.
  • Each 11,192 SF home includes 14 private bedrooms and space for sitting and personal storage.
  • Central common area features a fireplace, sitting and gathering areas and open kitchen and family style dining.
  • Project will be constructed on 9 acres that is part of a larger 24-acre parcel located at 490 Edgartown Vineyard
    Haven Road.
  • The adjacent site will construct workforce housing apartments to be completed by Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, an affiliate of Mass General Brigham.
  • The new workforce housing, will help support the employee base needed for the operations at the skilled nursing home facility.


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