Green House Cottages opens in Carmel

Joan Hilger and her mother Marilyn Klotz in Carmel. (Submitted photo)
Joan Hilger and her mother Marilyn Klotz in Carmel. (Submitted photo)

Joan Hilger was desperate to find a nursing home for her mother, Marilyn Klotz, who has dementia and Alzheimer’s. Klotz lived on her own but needed help, so Hilger began the search for a safe place for her to live.

“I said, ‘It’s ridiculous, they are building so many places I have to be able to find something for her,’” she said.

She said she looked at 17 places. She heard about elder abuse, terrible food, awful smells and institutional feels.

“I was crying because of the reviews,” she said. “I was depressed because I didn’t want to put my mom in a place like that because it would be detrimental for my mom’s mental state. I looked at one and it made me feel like my mom would be put in storage. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.”

Finally, Hilger and Klotz decided on Green House Senior Living, the new senior care living facility created by Old Town Design Group on East 126th Street.

Green House is the first nursing home in the state of Indiana to be licensed to construct “small house” homes for providing nursing care.

There are six cottage buildings that are each 8,000 square-feet with 12 private bedrooms including private bathrooms and showers.

Each building has a central “hearth-room” with an open kitchen and dining area that seats more than 12 people. Friends and family can come and cook with their loved ones in the shared kitchen. If residents feel like cooking or baking, a staff member will assist them.

There’s a fully-equipped physical therapy center for exercises in each building. There’s also a library and a spa/salon in each building.

Caregivers live and work full-time in each cottage. Steven Tyler, of Old Town Design Group, said the goal is for the caretakers to “almost become a family” with the residents they serve.

“I just want to be with people,” Klotz said. “It would drive me crazy if I had no one to talk to.”

Social workers, therapists, physicians, activity coordinators and dietary professionals are available on an as-needed basis.

The buildings themselves are meant to look similar to Old Town Design Group’s homes that can be seen around Carmel. They have natural light throughout the homes, granite surfaces and outdoor areas.

“This will be a nice addition to Carmel,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard.

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