News / USA

Backyard Pod Cottage Keeps Grandma Close

Special Homes Allow Elderly to Live Near Loved Onesi
X
February 28, 2013 6:38 PM
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 for that care. But now, for some, there may be a better option. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us about an alternative living concept that provides seniors with a safe environment while keeping them close to loved ones.

 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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid