Tabitha has been pioneering the next chapter in senior living communities, residential living. Gone are the days where white sterile walls are the only option for individuals in need of skilled nursing and long-term care. But how is Tabitha tearing down the white walls and moving Elders into home-like environments?

In May 2006, Tabitha opened Nebraska’s first—and the nation’s second—Green House® Project. A Green House transforms the way care is delivered, departing from the traditional nursing home model by bringing long-term care into a home setting. Since then, Tabitha has added three additional Green House homes to its Lincoln campus and two additional buildings that draw on the same residential living principles (Journey House SNF for Hospice Care and Tabitha at The Landing in Lincoln’s Williamsburg neighborhood). Later this year, a new residential-living house will open near Tabitha at The Landing.

What’s Life Like in a Residential Skilled Nursing Community?

One of the first indications that life in a residential senior living  is significantly different from a traditional nursing home was when one of our Elders asked to eat her first meal outdoors on the patio. Her wish was immediately granted. Since then, her love of the outdoors has been served every day weather has permitted. Why is this remarkable? For years, the same Elder was cautioned “never to go outside alone." Now, because she has the assistive technology to keep her in touch with caregivers whenever she is on her own outdoors, she is living on her own terms.

Although residential homes can't promise medical miracles, its true that their residents have made remarkable clinical strides. One Elder who consistently—and dangerously—had been losing weight in a nursing home began to gain healthy mass as a Green House resident. Another Elder, who was nearly bedfast upon admission, today walks to the dining room with a little help from a caregiver. And, an Elder determined to walk again by her upcoming birthday took independent steps just days prior to entering her 101st year.

One evening, the a house family welcomed three newly trained caregivers to the household during an evening punctuated with music, dancing, eating, champagne popping and a warmth that can only be felt when one is truly at home. That night, in one beautiful and spontaneous moment, an Elder leaned in to one of the guests of honor and whispered, “You know, there just isn’t time to be lonely here.”

Learn more about the National Green House Project

Learn more about Tabitha’s Green Houses