The devastating impact to the lives of those living in community care has made the discussion about finding new and better care models a priority.
For my clients that are still at home and living independently, and those who are in community settings and have been basically sheltering in place, the change in their cognitive and physical health is notable.
Heck, I think we have all felt the impact and worked hard to retool and find outlets to replace connections. However, for some this just isn’t easy to do if you don’t use technology, or you are unable to walk around freely in your community.
I wanted to share two interesting options that have been shared with me lately. I’m hopeful more of these multi-generational models will blossom.
Carehaus (Baltimore, MD) In a Carehaus, disabled and older adults, caregivers and their families live in independent living units clustered around shared spaces. In exchange for their labor, caregivers receive good wages, childcare, and various benefits. An additional team engages residents in shared meals, horticulture, art, fitness, physical therapy, financial literacy courses, and more.
Granny-Pods A granny pod is a modified ‘guest house’ that allows caregivers close proximity to aging loved ones. They are also called ADUs, or accessory dwelling units, and are designed with safety and accessibility top of mind (for example, slip-resistant floors, wide doorways, and rounded countertops). Some versions offer high-tech medical extras.
I have seen a few 3-D printed homes that integrate universal design and technology into the home and am hopeful more of these options will emerge in the coming years.
What I have learned is that I don’t believe a “forever home” is truly a practical option. At least for now, I see moving to a new setting can offer many more benefits to our emotional and physical health. I’m working hard to keep an open-mind. Hopeful.