Taking Care of your Aging Relatives in your own Backyard, Literally

Posted on February 18, 2012 by - Caregiving

Paving-the-Way-for-More-Senior-EngagementAs our family members begin to age, long term, quality care can become a big concern. Most would prefer to become the primary caretaker but many times it is not an option due to work schedules, space constraints and resistance from the aging relative still desiring independence and not wanting to move in with a relative. First thoughts for many go to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. However, costs and proximity can be an issue for some family members. Just recently an alternative solution, in the ever expanding elder care market,  has popped up that may appease both the family and the older adult  in need of care.

Kenneth Dupin, a Virginia Minister, understood the need for another option for senior care. While Dupin was pursuing his doctoral degree, his studies took him to countries abroad where he made the observation that other cultures had a much different attitude towards the aging than there was here in the United States. Caring for elderly family members was an honor in other countries. Bringing them into the home and sharing the emotional and financial responsibility was a given. These observations gave Dupin an idea to develop a dwelling, equipped with the latest technology, in which the elderly adult can live right on their family member’s property, giving peace of mind to all by knowing they are so close. He dubbed his creation Med Cottage.

The Med Cottage is approximately 300 square feet and comes equipped with some notable features including a lift, video system for checking in on the older adult, special lighting on both the floor and ceiling, and technology to dispense medications and monitor vital signs.

The cost?  The Cottage is $85,000 plus another $5000 for the software. The company will buy the building back for half of the purchase price when no longer needed. Look for the Med Cottages in the backyards of the Chicago area in about another year. Another very creative and useful idea to market to seniors and their families.

I am always amazed at the new and creative products being designed and marketed to the elderly.  The aging field is burgeoning daily and it is and has been an honor to work in such an exciting industry.

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, President and Founder of Focus on Aging, has successfully been providing marketing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service-related professions in the Chicago area for over 20 years. Use the contact tab to email Marla for additional information about her services.

12 Responses to “Taking Care of your Aging Relatives in your own Backyard, Literally”

  1. Barbara Boustead on

    Love this practical and creative idea! Great to hear about solutions for elders and their families. Thanks for sharing.

  2. debbie on

    This is a great option and that is what we need for our wonderful seniors is options. They want their independence and what to know someone is close. Facilities do not always offer them the independence they want. These might not work for everyone but what a great option. The space is small but we as Americans are used to believing everything has to be big, that is not what we need the size works, I lived in an apartment that was only 200 sqft and I loved it.

  3. Wendy Borow-Johnson on

    It will be 6 years in June that I brought my mom to live in my home in the guest house. I had built it 10 years ago to use as a home business environment or for any aging parents who needed to be independent but close to the people she knew and cared about. She loves seeing me daily and also being with her grandchildren, my grown children when they come home for holidays. I would not want it any other way. Sincerely Wendy

  4. Yolanda on

    Personal experience reinforces that an aging parent needs more than their own space….interaction and observations from the family members is vital. Mood swings and feelings of isolation can still occur. I have moved in with my Mom to keep her in familiar surroundings and she has her own master suite. However, it is a constant challenge to keep her engaged!

  5. Sarah on

    I think this is great idea for elderly parents or even a disabled family member. It sounds like it is equipped with all the equipment that an aging person would need.


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