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ADU for Medical Caregiving

MEDCottage offers options for high-tech medical monitoring and security equipment.

The freestanding MEDCottage, has been developed by the Rev. Kenneth Dupin, a retired Salem, Va, minister. Now founder and chief executive officer of N2Care, Dupin says he saw the need for housing that allows for medical supervision in a homelike setting while working with families during his ministry.

The MEDCottage is a 288-square-foot freestanding unit that includes a bedroom and sitting area, a bath, and a kitchen with applied universal design amenities. Available options include much specialized equipment: hospital beds, lifts, and high-tech medical and security devices to monitor an occupant’s vital signs, convey reminders to take medications, send an alert if he or she falls and allow communication with offsite caregivers, A video system can be installed to monitors the floor at ankle level, so the occupant can have privacy but a caregiver would know if there were a problem.

MEDCottages will be fully assembled at a manufacturing facility and trucked to a site to be plugged in, like a recreational vehicle, to the electrical and mechanical systems of an existing home by a local contractor. Before full-scale production begins, a MEDCottage prototype is being evaluated by Virginia Tech engineering students, according to Joe W. Meredith, president of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center Inc. in Blacksburg, Va.

Starting in January 2011, MEDCottage units should be available for lease from $1,500 to $2,000 per month, with the cost to buy estimated at about $75,000, depending on the equipment options selected. Set up and removal, provided by the distributor, is estimated to add about $1,500 to the total cost. Dupin anticipates delivering leased units within 48 hours, once production is up and running. Purchased units will require about 30 days to construct and deliver. Because MEDCottages are portable and available for lease, they may provide the best option where zoning rules don’t permit permanent installation of ADUs.

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