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Getting to Know Granny Pods

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With 10,000 Americans reaching the age of 65 every single day, and an increasing number of adult children tasked with the responsibility of caring for them, new challenges related to how best to care for our aging loved ones continue to arise. One trend with the potential to transform not only the metaphorical landscape of caregiving but also the physical landscape? The so-called “granny pod.”

Let's take a closer look at this phenomenon, along with basic information all potential buyers and users should know.

She wants to live alone, but you want her nearby? For many, granny pods are a winning compromise.

What is a Granny Pod?

With Americans living longer than ever, senior housing is one of the predominant dilemmas facing society today when it comes to senior care concerns. The primary issue? While desire for nursing home care is on a steep decline, the preference by many seniors to age in place is often rendered impossible by the inability to care for themselves. A remaining option — moving in with their adult children — presents unique challenges of its own.

Enter the MEDCottage, also known as the “Granny Pod.”

Created by Virginia-based N2Care, MEDCottages offer older adults and their caregivers a “best of both worlds” solution: small, portable spaces combining all of the comforts of home with high-tech, medical features built into the design.

How Much Do Granny Pods Cost?

These pre-fabricated homes — available in the 299 square-foot MEDCottage ($39,625), the 288 square-foot MEDCottage Classic ($53,750) and the 605 square-foot MEDCottage Grand ($61,125) — are engineered to be installed on the property of the primary residence with hookups to its existing utilities, including power, water and sewer lines. The result? Seniors get the independence they crave with peace-of-mind promoting physical proximity to the people who love and care for them.

Granny Pod Features

What's included in a MEDCottage? The better question might be: “What's not?” Standard features on all three models include safety railings, first aid supplies, soft floors designed to minimize damage from trips and falls, defibrillators, handicap-accessible bathrooms, medication dispensers, and even lighted floorboards. MEDCottages can even monitor vital signs, filter the air for contaminants, and alert caregivers to any problems as they arise. Just how decked out are these living spaces? Country Living describes granny pods as “nursing homes for one” and “portable hospital room[s].”

House-proud seniors, meanwhile, will enjoy both the curb appeal and interior style of these bungalow-style homes where both form and function are in keen alignment. For example, Double French doors aren't just decorative; they're also ADA-compliant and artfully designed to accommodate medical equipment, such as wheelchairs. Most granny pods even have room for a live-in caregiver, should the need arise.

And while MEDCottages can hardly be considered cheap — they run between $85,000 and $125,000 fully installed — many families find the peace of mind and convenience of this innovative living arrangement to be well worth the investment. Not to mention that if the price tag of buying is too steep, granny pods can also be leased. It's also possible to build your own granny pod as long as you have the space, know-how, and zoning permit.

An added benefit of the granny pod? While the need for senior housing is expected to rise in the years ahead, granny pods can also add value when used for other purposes, such as offices, exercise spaces, and even sought-after “man caves.”

Granny pods help keep seniors safe without compromising their independence.

While granny pods are not necessarily for everyone, many families are finding them to be the perfect solution for their senior housing needs. How do you know if a granny pod is right for you? Maintaining open lines of communication when assessing your senior housing options can ensure quality of life-enhancing outcomes for caregivers and aging loved ones alike.

Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here


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