The modular Care Cottage by Nationwide Homes
NAHB Building Systems Councils member Nationwide Homes, based in Martinsville, Va., has created a modular alternative to full-scale home adaptations — a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, 642-square-foot home that can easily fit in a back yard — for people with disabilities or the elderly who want to live independently but close to their caregivers.
Nationwide Homes has created what it calls a Care Cottage for Angie Plager — who was paralyzed from the chest down in an auto accident — to give her the independence and privacy she craved while also enabling her to live on the same property of the home she shared with her mother, who helps her with her daily tasks.
Plager and Nationwide worked together to custom-design the wheelchair friendly Care Cottage, which was installed 10 feet from her mother’s home. The Heartland model modular cottage provided the family a cost-effective alternative to the extensive and expensive home renovations Plager would otherwise have required.
After the accident, Plager moved back into her mother’s two-story, farm-style home in rural Iowa, but since the bedrooms were all on the second floor, they converted the living room into Plager’s bedroom. Those living arrangements changed once the Care Cottage was installed.
The cottage features wide doors as well as a custom-designed kitchen, bathroom and shower facilities that are easily accessible — without looking or feeling institutional.
“It’s awesome,” Plager said. “It has increased my independence, improved my accessibility and enhanced my quality of life.”
The cottage gives Plager the ability to live independently, except for caregiving assistance and occasional help cooking meals.
Dan Goodin, Nationwide’s director of sales and marketing, said Care Cottages are ideal for families assisting loved ones who want to live independently. He said the cottages can be freestanding, like the Plager cottage, or added onto an existing home.
“Our typical clients are people with health or disability issues who need the assistance of family members, but also want to live their own lives and maintain a certain level of independence,” Goodin said. “The market potential is limitless when you consider the aging demographics of the nation.”
To view The Heartland floor plans, click here.