Written by Alanna Ketler
In many countries around the world, families stick together. Parents who have raised and cared for their children will in turn be cared for by their children in their old age, at least in most cultures, but in much of Western society, the elderly face neglect and loneliness, often ending up forgotten in retirement or nursing homes.
I’m sure many people would like to think that they would care for their parents into their old age and even offer them a place in their homes, but unfortunately, this just doesn’t happen very often, for a multitude of reasons. But what if we could have the best of both worlds? What if we could have our elderly parents live in a separate dwelling that is close enough to visit and care for on a regular basis, but not so close — in our own homes — that we have no privacy and they lack independence? Well, of course there is! We can thank “Granny Pods” for this.
A Granny Pod can best be described as a tiny home for senior citizens, and an alternative to retirement homes or assisted living facilities. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could have your parent(s) close by enough that you can have them over for dinner or to play with your children (if you have any) anytime you like? Or be able to check up on them and see how they are doing any time of day, all while still maintaining some space and privacy for everyone involved?
Approximately 15% of the American population is 65-years-old or older, and that percentage will increase to 20% — from about 50 million senior citizens to 70 million — between now and 2030, as the last of the Baby Boomer generation will be entering retirement age. This shift is already posing some major challenges to American society, with an already-overburdened health care system set to be overwhelmed, not to mention the issue of providing pensions and affordable housing options for a much larger elderly population soon to become pressing. We are also living much longer than we used to, which means we need care for longer. In fact, Pew Research Center projects that the number of centenarians will increase 800% by 2030 — wow!
We should not only be thinking about our parents, but ourselves as well. Currently, the average monthly price for a comfortable assisted living complex is a whopping $3,500 USD. This is insane, and completely unnecessary.
MedCottage offers their own line of Granny Pods that are far more affordable and desirable than nursing homes. One of their popular products, the CottageClassic, is a modular home that can be assembled in one’s backyard. It is essentially a tiny home — about 300 square feet, with a bedroom, small kitchen, and bathroom — but also has some smart devices that cater to the needs of its elderly residents.
A built-in computerized system, for instance, can remind residents to take their meds at specific times during the day, while customizable webcams can be built in with alarms set to alert loved ones of a fall or another emergency. Lifts can even be installed to help them get to the bathroom. Simply put, these pods are fully customizable to suit your needs.
This is just one example of a prefab Granny Pod, but you could definitely run into some difficulty trying to put one in your backyard. A more traditional tiny home might be better suited in this instance, and if it is on wheels, you won’t need permits to store it in your backyard or elsewhere on your property. And if you were to build the tiny home/granny pod yourself, you could customize it even further to create a design that makes the most sense for your needs. Opting for this route would be much cheaper, too.
Check it out:
Would you consider this for your loved ones or for yourself? Let us know in the comments section.
Originally posted @ Collective Evolution