A Home for Mom: Small but Cozy

Families have often been obliged to consider a nursing home when aging at home no longer seemed viable. However, now there is an alternative.

They can purchase a MEDCottage, a free standing 12-by-24-foot bedroom-bathroom-kitchenette unit that can be set up in their backyard. More than simply a
miniature house, it features high-tech monitoring and safety features that rival those of many nursing homes.

An example: special rubber floors, so even if an elder falls she will not suffer a fracture. And tracks along the ceiling accommodate a lift or a trapeze hook. Residents who have balance issues can grab onto a hook to provide stability as they move around the cottage. The
lift helps those with more serious mobility challenges.

For those who need more elaborate medical monitoring, the MEDCottage is equipped with a system that tracks blood pressure, glucose, heart rate and blood gases, passing along that information with family and physicians. If the resident fails to take medication from a dispenser on time, the system not only reminds her, speaking aloud. It also sends a text message to the caregiver.

Zoning rules can create barriers, but states are becoming more accommodating as regards MEDCottages and other similar structures. And while at $85,000 they are not inexpensive by any means that outlay represents a considerable savings when compared with the
costs of nursing homes; the company will buy these cottages back for $38,000
after 24 months of use.

And as MedCottages make aging at home – or at least in a new home – more realistic for seniors there is one more dynamic that might be added to this arrangement.  It would be interesting to discover how a monitoring device like those marketed by Grand Care Systems could be added into this mix.

For more information about aging at home you can purchase Rounding the Circle of Love: Growing Up As She Grows Old at Amazon.