News / USA

Backyard Pod Cottage Keeps Grandma Close

 As the U.S. population grows older, more and more adult children are looking for ways to care for their aging parents.

Many turn to assisted living facilities or nursing homes to provide that care. But now, for some, there may be a better option: an alternative living concept which provides seniors with a safe environment while keeping them close to loved ones.

Granny Pod

In a quiet neighborhood just outside Washington, D.C., two homes sit within several feet of each other.

The only thing that separates them is a wooden walkway.

The larger residence belongs to Soc Page and her family. The dwelling behind it is home to her mother, Viola Baez.

The smaller home is a MEDCottage, a custom-built unit to accommodate the medical and safety needs of an older person.

For Soc Page, it was the ideal solution to her dilemma of where to place her mother.

"She absolutely refuses to even consider a nursing home. That was completely out of the question," says Page. "And my home is just not safe for her. So this is an alternative. She’s here, but she has her own space, it’s set up for her, it’s safe for her and it’s not a nursing home. We are actually her primary caretakers."

At just 28 square meters, the cottage is compact, but has separate areas for sleeping, dining and bathing.

These cottages cost anywhere from $45,000 to $125,000. The Pages are the first family to get a unit, and have the expensive version, because of all the medical features it offers.

Keeping tabs

That includes Viola's medical equipment, such as devices which check blood pressure and vital signs, which is sent electronically to her doctor.

There's also an eight-compartment pill dispenser that dispenses the designated pill or combination of pills when medications are scheduled.

The cottage also has many safety features.

There are lights along the floor boards so she can easily navigate her space at night without having to turn on lights, and the floor is made with special cushioning so in the event of a fall, she would be less likely to break a bone.

The bathroom has a walk-in shower with a seat, and there are railings all around.

From her own house, Page can check on her mother with intercoms and a video monitor, or even a smart phone.

Family affair

Page says having her mother nearby, is just part of the natural order of things.

"We’re from Puerto Rico...that’s what it is, grandma lives with you," she says.

Viola Baez feels fortunate to be near her daughter, son-in-law and her grown granddaughters.

"I watch television with the girls, or I have dinner with them," she says.

She also attends church and special outings to the city with the family.

"I have a full life," she says, "I’m very happy."

Soc Page feels having her mother nearby also sets a good example for her two daughters.

"It’s good for them to realize that families have to hang together," she says, "even under perhaps less than ideal circumstances and that you can work it out."

Older daughter Erin Page says she appreciates having her grandmother nearby.

"I think it’s made me closer," she says. "I’ve certainly learned new stories about her life and her thoughts on the world and what she thinks should be done that I would never have learned otherwise."

Labor of love

A desire to help families stay together is what motivated Ken Dupin to establish N2Care, the company that makes the cottages.

"Several years ago I was traveling and working on a PhD in international development and one of the things I began to notice was how differently other cultures throughout the world dealt with aging," he says. "In virtually every other culture in the world they celebrate that, they see it as a privilege. But for whatever reason in the culture that I live in, we have resistance to that. And that’s my mission is to change that."

MEDCottages are built and assembled in Martinsville, Virginia, a few hours from Washington. They are then transported and set up on the homeowner’s property.

For Ken Dupin, each sale is meaningful.

"If I have a purpose for the rest of my life it is somehow challenging and motivating people to accept this responsibility, and it’s funny in that it’s its own reward," he says.

Dupin has received more than 3,000 inquiries about MEDCottages, from the U.S. and overseas. He says he's working hard to keep up with demand.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid