Med Cottage or Granny Pod?
Article in the Washington Post about MedCottages, 'a portable high-tech dwelling that could be trucked to a family's back yard and used to shelter a loved one in need of special care.'
From the article: 'The MEDcottage would be equipped with the latest technology to monitor vital signs, filter the air for contaminants and communicate with the outside world via high-tech video. Sensors could alert caregivers to an occupant's fall, and a computer could remind the occupant to take medications. Technology could also provide entertainment, offering a selection of music, reading material and movies.
The dwelling would take up about as much room as a large shed and, like an RV, could connect to a single-family house's electrical and water supplies. It could be leased for about $2,000 a month, a cost Dupin hopes will be borne by health insurers.'
Dupin is a Methodist pastor in Salem Virginia, and came up with the idea several years ago as a way to keep seniors close to home and family rather than be placed in a assisted living facility, aka nursing home.
Again, from the article: 'Without even building a prototype or hiring lobbyists, Dupin and his team managed to persuade the Virginia General Assembly to pass legislation almost unanimously this year that supersedes local zoning laws in the state and allows families to install such a dwelling on their property with a doctor's order.' This naturally has city planners and zoning commissions up in arms, as they see the cottages/pods as a way to circumvent zoning restrictions. Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff C. McKay is quoted as saying 'Is it a good idea to throw people into a storage container and put them in your back yard? This is the granny pod. What's next? The college dropout pod?'
From the article: 'The law defines the MEDcottages as 'temporary family healthcare structures' that can be placed only on the properties of single-family homes and occupied only by a relative who is physically or mentally impaired, as certified by a physician. The structures must be less than 300 square feet and conform to local regulations governing sheds or garages. They must be removed within 30 days after the occupant dies, moves or no longer needs to receive care in the dwelling.'
Do you see this as a brilliant idea, or is it ripe with the potential for abuse?
Here is a link that might be useful: Va. launching portable housing for aging relatives