Small House. Big Difference.

How our skilled nursing and rehab small house neighborhoods are making care safer for everyone during COVID-19.

Statistics show that smaller long-term care settings are safer for residents during COVID-19. At Otterbein SeniorLife, our small house neighborhoods are taking every step to keep residents safe and healthy.

Learn more about our commitment to health and safety at our small house neighborhoods and see how they’re different from traditional nursing homes.

Our Small Houses are Getting National Attention

See Our Neighborhood Expansion Progress

"...during the pandemic, Green House homes have been one-fifth as likely to have cases of COVID-19 as traditional nursing homes."


- NPR

Otterbein SeniorLife
2021-01-08T09:56:33-05:00
"...during the pandemic, Green House homes have been one-fifth as likely to have cases of COVID-19 as traditional nursing homes." - NPR

"The [Green House] model has been praised by academics and doctors and seems far better suited than traditional facilities to stave off the spread of infection and the isolation that has devastated the elderly in recent months."


 - The Washington Post

Otterbein SeniorLife
2021-01-08T09:57:23-05:00
"The [Green House] model has been praised by academics and doctors and seems far better suited than traditional facilities to stave off the spread of infection and the isolation that has devastated the elderly in recent months."  - The Washington Post

"Although the coronavirus has ravaged many long-term care facilities, small group homes are seeing success in minimizing effects of the virus."


- U.S. News & World Report

Otterbein SeniorLife
2021-01-08T09:58:34-05:00
"Although the coronavirus has ravaged many long-term care facilities, small group homes are seeing success in minimizing effects of the virus." - U.S. News & World Report

"A June [2020] report showed that 95% of Green House facilities had stayed COVID-19-free between early February and late May."


- MarketWatch

Otterbein SeniorLife
2021-01-08T09:59:19-05:00
"A June [2020] report showed that 95% of Green House facilities had stayed COVID-19-free between early February and late May." - MarketWatch
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Otterbein SeniorLife

Otterbein’s Big Difference

Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Our model, with 10 (soon to be 12) elders and dedicated partners in each house, means the spread of COVID-19 can be controlled dramatically better than in large, institutional nursing home environments.
  • Otterbein tests and re-test elders (residents) and caregivers weekly. Unvaccinated partners are tested daily and vaccinated partners are tested 2 times a week. We use rapid tests, and we also have a partnership with a private laboratory that provides results in less than 3 days, most often less than 2 days.
  • Our aggressive approach with testing helps to identify asymptomatic elders/caregivers before they spread the virus widely. It is proven that early identification means effective tracking, quarantining, and recovery in specially defined COVID.
  • In all of 2020, with thousands of tests completed, the 47 Otterbein small houses identified only 31 elders testing positive. In most cases, the elders were asymptomatic.
  • Otterbein has gradually, and safely, opened up outdoor visitation options at each location. With safety in mind, stringent precautions for the setting, social distancing, masking and other health guidelines are in place at all times. Visitors must pass a COVID screening in order to visit and are recommended, not required, to test prior to the visit. Tests are provided by Otterbein.

The Small House Model: A Safer Approach

Otterbein Small House Neighborhoods were built on the Green House model, a way of senior living that completely revolutionized traditional nursing care. Emphasis is on choice for our residents – called elders – in how they want to plan their days, what they want to do, and more.

  • Private rooms with bathrooms for better social distancing
  • Open family room and kitchen
  • Access to secure outdoor area
  • Choice of when and what to eat
  • 24/7 small team of nursing staff
To the caretakers at Otterbein: I know that dealing with the coronavirus has made your lives very difficult. I’m sure you come to Otterbein each day worried about your health and the residents’ health. I know that all of you are doing your best to care for my mother. She appreciates everything you do and understands the need for extra precautions. I equally appreciate how you assist my mother each day. Words cannot express the gratitude in my heart for all for you in these challenging times. Please take care of yourselves, stay safe and healthy. God bless you.

Marsha J., Daughter of LTC Elder at Otterbein Middletown

Otterbein SeniorLife
2020-09-18T07:35:32-04:00

Marsha J., Daughter of LTC Elder at Otterbein Middletown

To the caretakers at Otterbein: I know that dealing with the coronavirus has made your lives very difficult. I’m sure you come to Otterbein each day worried about your health and the residents’ health. I know that all of you are doing your best to care for my mother. She appreciates everything you do and understands the need for extra precautions. I equally appreciate how you assist my mother each day. Words cannot express the gratitude in my heart for all for you in these challenging times. Please take care of yourselves, stay safe and healthy. God bless you.
I feel that the staff are my friends and they are so important to me. I love everything about Otterbein. They have wonderful activities to keep me busy. If there is anything I need there is always someone there to help me. The home and the patios are beautiful and this is my forever home.

Jill H., Otterbein Small House Elder

Otterbein SeniorLife
2020-09-15T13:50:36-04:00

Jill H., Otterbein Small House Elder

I feel that the staff are my friends and they are so important to me. I love everything about Otterbein. They have wonderful activities to keep me busy. If there is anything I need there is always someone there to help me. The home and the patios are beautiful and this is my forever home.
I have been here at Otterbein for 5 years and it is much like being at home! I have a private room, bathroom, and shower, all of which I can decorate to my liking. I live in a house that includes a spacious kitchen where all meals are prepared, a dining room where we gather for meals and activities, and a lovely patio that is surrounded by nature. I enjoy the quiet, relaxing atmosphere of Otterbein and am proud to call it my home!

Helen A., Otterbein Small House Elder

Otterbein SeniorLife
2020-09-15T13:53:10-04:00

Helen A., Otterbein Small House Elder

I have been here at Otterbein for 5 years and it is much like being at home! I have a private room, bathroom, and shower, all of which I can decorate to my liking. I live in a house that includes a spacious kitchen where all meals are prepared, a dining room where we gather for meals and activities, and a lovely patio that is surrounded by nature. I enjoy the quiet, relaxing atmosphere of Otterbein and am proud to call it my home!
She's no longer just existing - she's part of a family, a routine. She's very much thriving in this environment. She loves it - she's happy as soon as you come in.

Nicole Bussard, family member of an Otterbein Small House elder

Otterbein SeniorLife
2020-09-15T13:54:03-04:00

Nicole Bussard, family member of an Otterbein Small House elder

She's no longer just existing - she's part of a family, a routine. She's very much thriving in this environment. She loves it - she's happy as soon as you come in.
When we leave and go home, I don't worry so much about her anymore. I know that she's being cared for.

Mickie Sizemore, family member of an Otterbein Small House elder

Otterbein SeniorLife
2020-09-15T13:54:46-04:00

Mickie Sizemore, family member of an Otterbein Small House elder

When we leave and go home, I don't worry so much about her anymore. I know that she's being cared for.
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Otterbein SeniorLife

What Are We Doing During COVID-19?

Get a closer look at how we’re making life safe and meaningful for our elders during this time.

Learn More About Our Small Houses

With locations throughout central, northwest, and southwest Ohio, you’ll find an Otterbein Small House Neighborhood near you.

Small Houses Vs. Traditional Nursing homes

Download your free guide to compare what our small houses include that you won’t find anywhere else.