Billed as a complete retirement center, Green Hill, which is privately owned, offers a range of housing and care"”from independent living to skilled nursing.
The location is very good"”close to major highways and also close to a major bus route.
As an institution, Green Hill has a long history, founded in 1866 in neighboring Newark. In 1965, it moved to West Orange and added independent living; in 2000, assisted living was added.
On the assisted living side of the building, there is a new addition called Green House Homes Project"”a stab at creating comfortable individualized homes for very sickly people. It features one story, ranch-style homes, very beautiful inside and landscaped beautifully. But because the residents have fairly high needs, it is still unclear whether the experiment will work. It would be nice to see this treatment on an independent living level.
The main building contains the common areas, including a dining room. Each home offers 10 single occupancy bedrooms with a dining room, kitchen and living room. Residents can be outside or in the surrounding gardens. This part of the facility is large and stately, but not set up well for elderly or compromised residents, and may be best for ambulatory residents or those who have help in getting around. For example, the dining room has some windows, but an area in the back, with a stepped up terrace, which can be tough for some residents to navigate.
All food is made on the premises. There is a nice menu, with several choices offered daily.
With the new green homes, more parking spaces were added, which eliminated the parking problem that existed in the past.
Activities and outings are offered daily, including discussion groups, which seem to be well attended. There are also lots of visitors here, which gives the place a lively feeling. There is an old-fashioned library. While there are nice touches"”beautiful molding and original hardwood, the main building feels a little outdated and in need of sprucing.
There are private and semi-private rooms for skilled care, all of which are quite small.
One possible benefit: Green Hill offers what it calls a staycation"”a two-week trial for potential residents with a 20% discount on the first week, the second week free. Many of those who do the trial eventually move in.
Green Hill claims to offer "health monitoring," but there is only a director of nursing and one RN in the building, which would seem to make them very stretched. Staff ratios are six residents to every caregiving assistant. Although aides are plentiful, it can be difficult to find the professional staff people if you need to discuss more of the specifics of care.
Private pay and Medicare for rehab is accepted, but no Medicaid. Studios and one-bedrooms start at $3,574 per month, but there are added fees. For example, there are three levels of care"”each with its own fee structure, a second person fee of $1,300 per month is a spouse moves in, a medication administration fee and if the meds require a nurse, another fee"”in addition to a medication ordering fee for the pharmacy. All these costs add up, and the total may be jarring for some people.