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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid