MEDcottage: A Hospital Room in a Shed for Your Backyard

medcottage hospital room house photo

Screen shot from sketchup video here; I do hope they hire an architect.

The Reverend Kenneth Dupin just wants to make it easier for people to take care of aging adults and keep them close to home; he has developed what is essentially a hospital room in a garden shed. But in Fairfax county, Virginia, it is controversial and the NIMBY's are out.

medcottage information hospital shed photo

The Washington Post's image of what it might look like. No explanation why they propose a double bed filling up a space when only one person is allowed, or why they have a monster fridge in a separate kitchen.

One supervisor, who probably has a garage in his back yard, says in the Washington Post:

"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?"

While many would not consider that a bad thing, given the need to intensify the suburbs, the MEDcottage is an interesting idea. While they talk about the "78 million baby boomers entering the silver years of their lives", they are just entering retirement and the demographic is a few years away from a MEDcottage. But may boomers are taking care of elderly parents right now.

MEDcottage describes it:

The MEDcottage is a charming modular construction that may be placed on the caregiving family's property with little site preparation. It maintains an umbilical relationship to the primary dwelling through water and electrical hook-ups. Due to the creative effort in design, we believe communities will embrace its aesthetics and attractiveness. This is no ordinary grandmother's cottage; it is outfitted with the latest technical advances in the industry, including dynamic smart robotic features. It offers remote monitoring capabilities via Internet for the caregiver through their PC in real time. Some of the areas monitored include security, communication, environmental controls, telemetry, and medication dispensing.

The Virginia State General Assembly just passed legislation that overrides local zoning ruls to allow their installation, defining them as "temporary family healthcare structures" that can only be occupied by a relative who is certified by a doctor to be physically or mentally impaired. It must be removed within 30 days of the occupant dying or moving out. The units are projected to rent for about $2,000 per month.

But should they be so strict? The installation has to comply with local regulations for sheds and garages. Why not have college dropout sheds?

More in The Washington Post and MEDcottage, via the Tiny House Blog

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