Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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The UPS driver looked very confused when he pulled up to The Homeplace at Midway, so Executive Director Tonya Cox came out to ask him if he needed help.

“He said, ‘I have to deliver something to a nursing home and I can’t find it,’” she recalled. “I said, ‘You’re here,’ and he said, ‘You’ve got be joking. This doesn’t look like a traditional nursing home.’”

He was right. The Homeplace at Midway definitely does not look like a traditional nursing home. This continuing care community is located on 31 acres in the picturesque town of Midway. It is based on the Green House® model of care, created by Dr. Bill Thomas, which emphasizes homelike settings for senior living, complete with all the comforts of home. The design is meant to deinstitutionalize care while still meeting rigorous professional standards.

“We are the first and only facility in Kentucky to build a Green House®,” said Tonya. “It’s a model that is designed to rethink the way we do senior living.”


“Dr. Thomas saw people who were nearing the end of life that were not living in dignified circumstances,” said Julie Goodpaster, director of community relations for The Homeplace at Midway. “They weren’t given choices and they were sharing rooms. That’s why he created the Green House® model.”

Studies show Green House® communities give residents a better quality of life and better emotional health. They have lower bed rest requirements, more engaging activities, fewer falls and hospitalizations and four times more daily interaction with staff than in standard nursing homes. Families are also more satisfied with the level of care their relatives receive in a Green House®. It’s also a good concept for employees: Green House® communities have significantly lower staff turnover. The staff at The Homeplace at Midway are called ezers, a Hebrew word meaning “God’s helper.”

“They are all certified nursing assistants,” Tonya said. “We provide them with additional training as well as culinary training. They all become servsafe certified so they get their food handler’s certificate. They really are the nurturers and the keepers of the home.”

The Homeplace at Midway has a 12-person assisted living cottage with studio and one-bedroom apartments for residents who need periodic assistance with activities of daily living; a 12-person memory care cottage for residents with memory issues; and two skilled nursing cottages serving 24 residents needing short-term rehab or long-term care. Each residence includes a private bedroom and bathroom.

“The houses are designed to really look and feel like home,” Tonya said. “They have residential-style kitchens and the meals are prepared right there, just like at home, so you can smell your bacon cooking and you can smell the coffee brewing in the morning. We have a concept here called convivium, a Roman word that means good food and good company. We have one large farmhouse table that everyone sits at and we eat together.”

“I love to be able to just sit down and listen and eat and have fun,” said Julie. “The staff members are in the same house every shift so the residents get to know them and they get to know the residents. It makes it so much more conducive to quality of life for both of them.”

Each cottage has a screened-in porch and access to a secure courtyard with walking paths that have rest areas and exercise stations and raised garden beds to keep the residents in touch with nature. Many of the residents at The Homeplace at Midway enjoy watching the activities at the neighboring horse farm or seeing the farmer next door planting or harvesting his crops. Also on the campus is the Lucy Simms Lloyd Gathering House, which is used for special events, worship services, community meetings and other activities.

“The one thing that always sticks out to a  lot of folks are the words ‘preference-based lifestyle,’” said Julie. “We take into consideration what the resident’s lifestyle has been, such as their routines in their homes. We want to transition so it’s not this complete change of lifestyle. It makes the most sense.”

“If one of your favorite things is to have a cup of coffee and sit on your porch and read a magazine or a newspaper, then that’s what you can do here,” Tonya said. “You have some planned activities, but we also go on what we call natural day rhythm. Folks wake up when they’re ready to wake up and they go to bed when they want to go to bed. If you’ve been a night owl, you can still be a night owl.”

Services – including medication reminders; spa facilities; assistance with walking, bathing, dressing and grooming; laundry; occupational and physical therapy; and three meals a day – are all inclusive. “If someone needs all of the services we provide they will get them,” Julie said. “If they don’t need any, that’s fine.”

The Homeplace is right across the road from Midway University, and a wonderful partnership has developed between the two facilities. Residents can even take continuing education classes there if they wish.

“We partner closely with the university,” Tonya said. “Midway requires community service of their students, and many of them do it over here. Several of the nursing students are actually employed here while they’re in nursing school. We’ve been brainstorming with the university to get either the equestrian team or the equine studies students to bring their horses over. It has all worked out beautifully. It’s continuing to grow.”

With its lovely setting, family atmosphere and dedication to service, The Homeplace at Midway is an oasis of care and compassion that both residents and staff appreciate.

“I’m so blessed to work here,” Julie said. “We have high expectations for care and quality of life. All of the staff have embraced the Greenhouse concept. It does take a little extra effort because it’s so different and all-encompassing. You cannot just come to work, clock in and clock out. The Greenhouse Model and Christian Care Communities are doing a really good job of making the families and the elders happy. It is all just one big happy family.”

“It’s just like home,” Tonya said.


Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler