One Doctor’s Innovative Alternative to Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse is still a huge problem in the United States. According to statistics, more than 2 million cases of elder abuse are reported every year, and almost 1 out of every 10 seniors will experience some form of abuse.

Likewise, this number doesn’t account for the unknown number of cases that go unreported. Elder abuse is an insidious problem, particularly in nursing homes. The population of seniors needing long-term care will only continue to grow. However, one man, Dr. Bill Thomas, might have a solution.

The founder of The Eden Alternative and The Green House Project announced his next project at the Senior Living Innovation Forum. He named this new project MINKA™. In Japanese, the literal translation of Minka is “the people’s house.” It is the name of traditional post-and-beam homes in Japan that emphasize simple design and natural materials.

The first house in this project was conceived as a small backyard cottage for his 21-year-old daughter, Haleigh Jane Thomas. She lives with Otahara Syndrome, a type of neurological disorder, and requires 24-hour care.

Haleigh’s home is designed to be a compact smart home, where he and his team can test out technology optimized for state-of-the-art independent living for people of all ages and abilities.

The small house uses CNC-cutting technology to rapidly create modular, “panalized” homes that are customizable for the customer’s needs. They use standard, low-cost plywood and building materials and are printed based on about 500,000 lines of code. They can also be assembled on site in a matter of days using only hand tools, meaning the expense of hiring a construction company isn’t included in the total.

The post-and-beam construction is created by “folding” the plywood into nearly indestructible columns and girders. The walls are also easily exchangeable and have customizable interior and exterior finishes. They also feature a single mechanical wall that effectively holds all plumbing and sewer hookups.

These houses will be for anyone looking for an affordable housing option that also supports their desire for independence. Many can use the Minka for an accessory dwelling unit, but Dr. Thomas also imagines stand-alone Minka homes will be a possibility.

Dr. Thomas’s program appears to be exactly what seniors might need. While they can no longer live alone in a large and empty house, particularly with stairs, they can still maintain their independence in a home that provides for their needs. Families who wish to keep an eye on their aging parents can help them purchase one of these low-cost homes and set it up on their property, avoiding the cost and risk of a nursing home altogether.

For more information about Minka homes, visit the article written by Michael Owens on the Senior Living Innovation Forum here or sign up for more information on the Minka website here. However, if your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, make sure to speak to our skilled Greenville nursing home abuse attorney. William Ashley Jordan, III is proud to serve the Greenville community, where he was born and raised. Jordan Law Center is dedicated to helping the victims of personal injuries seek compensation for their medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. Let us see what we can do for you.

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