The newest idea in senior living is coming. They are called “Medical Cottages” with each private unit termed a MEDCottage.
A Salem, Virginia based company, N2care, is responsible for the innovation. Kenneth Dupin of Salem, VA came up with the idea to help solve what he calls “the greatest problem of his generation” which is caring for the aging adult population. His solution is the MEDCottage.
The MEDCottage offers remote monitoring capabilities via Internet for the caregiver in the main home through their PC in real time. Areas monitored include security, communication, environmental controls, telemetry, and medication dispensing.
Keeping aging adults out of hospitals and nursing facilities and close to loved ones is his goal in creating the MEDCottage, a mobile apartment for the elderly. The modular unit is designed to sit next to the home of a family member or friend, allowing the elderly loved one to live independently in his/her own unit.
The MEDCottage contains what Dupin calls “Smart Features” which include several amenities to make things easy and safe for the elderly resident. Some of these features include a computerized pill dispenser located in the kitchen and in the bathroom, a toilet that monitors vital signs.
The unit has lighting that is specially designed to prevent falls. As soon as the resident’s feet touch the floor, a special ‘runway’ of lights comes on to lead them to the toilet from any place in the unit.
Two prototype MEDCottages are now in production, thanks to two grants Dupin recently received. A mid-June completion date is planned.
An even higher tech feature has recently been added to the prototype. It is a virtual companion named Sydney. This ‘little girl’ (voice) would be programmed to come on and say, “Grandma (or grandpa) you need to take your medicine”.
The units are costly, running approximately $60,000 to $100,000 each, but the most cost-effective plan is to lease a MEDCottage for about $2,000 a month. This is a fraction of what a hospital or nursing facility would cost.
Dupin’s MEDCottage appears to be a very workable solution to the ever-growing problem of safe, cost-efficient care for our aging population, and with perfect timing as 78 million aging babyboomers are just coming into their ‘silver’ years.
The MEDCottage is due to be available for sale or least in January, 2011.