A new program unveiled by The Green House Project (GHP) aims to bring telehealth technology to the aging services space as a way to improve the knowledge and understanding of dementia care. GHP said it has joined with Embodied Labs, a virtual reality immersive technology platform, and telehealth platform Project ECHO  (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), for what is called the Best Life Impact initiative.

The project is the first of its kind in the field of aging services and in addition to improving the lives of people living with dementia, Best Life Impact seeks to empower participants to be leaders in dementia care, stakeholders said. 

How it works is that Project ECHO utilizes the Zoom platform for technology-enabled collaborative learning to connect specialists with multiple other health care professionals through simultaneous interactive videoconferencing.  
Susan Ryan, senior director of The Green House Project, tells Provider she believes that ECHO could work for every provider that is willing to step up to equip their care teams with knowledge and practical skills gained from the “telementoring” experience. 

“We have begun our work with providers who are actualizing our Best Life dementia care approach and want to be leaders in the field by ensuring that the care teams are further equipped to best support people living with dementia so that they receive the dignity and respect they so deserve,” she says.

By partnering with Project ECHO, The Green House Project expects to help those providers get knowledge and education to their teams in a proven and thoughtful approach. 

“Project ECHO is a globally recognized model for bringing best practice care to people regardless of their location. By utilizing its telehealth platform, we can ensure that all participants are learning on an equal playing field and sharing valuable information with each other and with our subject matter experts, thus living the adage ‘all teach, all learn,’” Ryan says.   
The goal of the overall program is to positively impact care for people living with dementia. She says by partnering with Project ECHO and Embodied Labs, The Green House Project believes “it has created a three-legged stool that, through its synergistic effect, will bring a best in class dementia approach for people living with dementia.”
The cost to providers will be free of charge with Ryan noting that Project ECHO is a nonprofit organization funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and many other charitable organizations and government entities.

The Green House Project also said three individuals are “integral” to the initiative and who will serve as the Best Life Impact subject matter experts: Anne Ellett, The Green House Project’s dementia specialist and author of the Best Life dementia care approach; Al Power, MD, geriatrician, author, and educator; and Michael Belleville, an individual living with dementia and patient advocate. 

The dementia project is part of the Green House 2.0 initiative launched earlier this year to leverage The Green House Project’s 15 years of work in cultural transformation.