Anyone who expects to get old, or who cares for someone who is getting old, should celebrate the creation of a new kind of elder community in Central Kentucky.
A dedicated group in Woodford County worked for 16 years, overcoming pro-institution bias and bureaucratic and financial obstacles, to make Homeplace at Midway a reality.
Opening this spring across the road from Midway College, Homeplace will provide assisted living and nursing care and will be the first in Kentucky to use the Green House model.
Green House describes itself as "a radical reinterpretation of long-term care" that supports "meaningful lives for elders" and empowers staff in residences that feel like "a real home" not a hospital. More staff contact with residents and less employee turnover are tenets of the Green House model.
The Midway Nursing Home Task Force's persistence, never taking no as a final answer, should also serve as a model for Kentuckians who want to expand the options for long-term care in less institutional settings.
The Midway group raised $2 million, which made it possible to build a smaller nursing facility than the 60-bed standard minimum in the industry.
The non-profit Christian Care Communities, which is managing Homeplace, hopes its success will help spread the Green House model across Kentucky.
Let's hope Midway's grass-roots advocacy and work for better long-term care options also take root and spread.