How to Keep Aging Relatives and Parents at Home — Almost

A New York Times article described a family that encountered a common family problem: What to do with our aging mother, living alone, who doesn’t want to move into a nearby nursing home?

Dr. Socorrito Baez-Page, a general practitioner in Alexandria, Va., moved her parents first into a nursing home. She converted a dining room and TV nook on the main floor into a bedroom. But the problem was that the bathroom was down four steps, which were difficult and dangerous for her mother to navigate. It was embarrassing for her mom to use a commode next to her bed.

As an alternative, the Page family found that they could buy a high-tech MedCottage, which is a pre-fabricated 12×24 bedroom-bathroom-kitchenette set up as a free standing structure in the backyard.

According to this report, Australians have been doing this for some time. In the United States, the self-contained units are now called “granny pods.”

The MedCottage is equipped to have its utilities connected to the primary residence. The flooring is made of a special rubber cushion to prevent bone fractures among falling elderly. There is also a means by which to equip the MedCottage with medical equipment that would allow for the tracking of blood pressure, glucose, heart rate and blood oxygen.

This “granny pod” is high tech and designed to provide comfort for the elderly and family members. The standard unit is 20 x 14 foot. The cost starts at about $67,000. A lease can also be reached on a 5-year basis for about $1,700 per month. The only other option is a nursing home or assisted living, which are far more expensive in most cases, so the “granny pod” is a choice many families may consider in the future.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Alsip, Merionette Park, Blue Island, Calumet Park, Chicago (Morgan Park), Chicago (Washington Heights), Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Deerfield, Bensenville, Rosemont and Chicago (Lincoln Square), Illinois.

[The New York Times, Tuesday, May 8, 2012]

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