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A Portable Alternative to Nursing Homes

On Sundays, the Rev. Kenneth Dupin of Salem, Va., delivers sermons to his congregation, and now he is delivering an alternative to nursing homes. 

Recognizing a need for aging adults to be closer to their loved ones, Dupin, 55, invented the MEDCottage, a portable 12-by-24-foot high-tech hut with living quarters and a system to transmit an occupant’s vital health information to offsite caregivers. The cottage may be placed in the backyard of the primary caregiver.

Cities from Santa Cruz, Calif., to Seattle to Faribault, Minn., are allowing or expanding zoning for cottages like Dupin’s. Virginia has passed legislation to supersede local zoning laws for the dwellings on single-home properties with a doctor’s order.

Dupin plans to start selling the MEDCottages—which will go for $65,000 to $75,000, depending on outfitting—this fall.

Tauren Dyson is an intern with the AARP Bulletin.

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