The Veterans Administration’s Community Living Centers

… “ the Community Living Center (CLC) concept ” … “ is a departure from previous nursing home models.” (2)

And Boy … is it ! The VA’s new Community Living Center concept is based upon the latest evidence based design elements and current resident centered principles. The concept is concerned with personal dignity, privacy, special needs and the use of individual choices. Choices wrapped up in the how, when and where’s of personal life. What we eat, where we eat it; when we go outside, if we go outside; when we get up, if we get up; when we watch television, if we help with preparations for dinner. Choices that make up our days. When we are deprived of these choices and viable alternatives of day-to-day life we experience helplessness, isolation and depression.

Think “Small House”, think “Planetree”, think “Greenhouse” and for all you “old hippies”, think commune. Think about a community, based on incorporating many elements of home while minimizing the institutional aspects. A Community Living Center ( CLC ) about staff and residents alike … looking out for each other, eating together, socializing together, and living life together. Involved “Care Givers” as an intricate piece of the 12 bedroom home. Staff, intimately involved in daily activities, critical to the culture of the neighborhood and the engaged care that is vital to the spirit of place!(3)

Whether it is fishing with your Buddy or Gardening alone … it is about Choice and Home (4)

Private Pay, Non-Profits and now the VA, all are struggling in the weakened economy, to maintain the coveted principles of the Seven dimensions of Wellness. All have been paying close attention to such things as the Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA ), Bariatric Requirements, and Wheelchair Clearances. However; now they are thinking alike about not only Traumatic Brain and Spinal Injury but “Personal Dignity, Privacy and Special Needs”! (5)

(6) It Makes Me Proud?

It makes me proud of an administration that has made the care of our Veterans & “Wounded Warriors”, front and center in importance; proud of the Veterans Administration for the careful handling of the lives and property entrusted to them, and proud of the multitude of Healthcare Design providers, both government and the private sector alike, that have worked toward one collaborative goal; the transformation of the “culture of care” by VA Community Living Centers (CLCs).

Good For You VA …. You Make Me Proud !


[2] Department of Veteran’s Affairs; Office of Construction & Facilities Management, Community Living Centers (CLC) Design Guide, June 2011 Pg. 1.1

[3] Photo: Veterans Administration, Two Veterans -Fishing8|19|2011

[4] Photo: Veterans Administration, Asheville CLC , Residents Initial their Tomatoes

[5] Department of Veteran’s Affairs; Office of Construction & Facilities Management, Community Living Centers (CLC) Design Guide, June 2011 Pg. XV

[6] Photo: Veterans Administration, Yellow Ribbon 8|25|2010

[7] Photo: Veterans Administration, Flag 6|16|2012

Resources for Senior Living & Healthcare providers:

Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Construction & Facilities Management: Community Living Centers (CLC) Design Guide, June 2011 Available for Internet Download.

Recent articles on Veterans CLC &Building Design + Construction:

Veterans Hospitals Utilizing Green Globes for Continual Improvement, by: Jane Rodhe, AIA, FIIDA, ACHA, AAHID, LEED AP & Sharene Rekow, CAE, HEALTHCARE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE MAGAZINE, March 01, 2011

Culture Transformation in Action … The Experience of One VA Community Living Center , by: You-Ying W. Whipple, MSS; Mick Magil, MSW; Cathy Decker, MSN; Dee Anne Koegel, BS; Dantelle Keen, BD-HSN; and Marc Wooten, MD, FEDERAL PRACTIONER, Pg. 40-41 October 2009

Country First Green House for Veterans Completed, By BD+C Staff, BUILDING DESIGN+CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE, February 06, 2012

Housing Americans’ Heroes 7 Trends in the Design of Homes for the Military, by BD+C Staff, BUILDING DESIGN+CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE, January 01, 2010

Perkins & Eastman launches The Green House Prototype Design Package, by BD+C Staff, BUILDING DESIGN+CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE, March 17, 2011