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Building new ideas in senior living

Newswatch 16's Emily Kress shows us why you could call it a cottage industry.

SCRANTON, Pa. — They say home is where the heart is, and that rings true for older adults.

"Most older adults do not want to go into facility-type living, so we really need to look into options for them," said Mary Endrusick of NeighborWorks NEPA.

Last fall, the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging, Simplex Industries, NeighborWorks, and Johnson College found a solution—cottages designed to be placed on the property of an elderly family member or a caregiver.

At Simplex in Scranton, they showed off two cottages that will soon be moved to families in Lackawanna County.

"You can help your loved one with bathing, laundry, meal preparations – all of those services that sometimes we have to bring in to help someone stay in their home longer – the family can help us with, so the person can live independently," said Jason Kavulich, Director of the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging.

From plans on paper to making these homes a reality, students from Johnson College tell Newswatch 16 it's heartwarming to know their skills are helping families stay connected.

"It was fun to see all of our work going towards something great, you know, helping older people be able to live with their families and loved ones instead of a nursing home is something great to work towards," said senior Philip Davitt.

"You cannot say enough about how much work the students of Johnson College and the faculty of Johnson College did to make this a reality that we have in front of us. The work is just spectacular," Kavulich said.

The organizations involved say these homes will help older adults stay close to their loved ones.

"We need to ensure they can maintain their safety, maintain their independence because we also learn from our older adults as well, so we really should take care of them," Endrusick added.

The cottages can be moved to another family once they are no longer needed by the families who receive them. The Area Agency on Aging hopes to get funding for more cottages in the future.

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