These portable units are equipped with high-tech medical facilities and standard features like hand railings, defibrillators, first aid supplies etc. to ensure safety of the seniors.
Growing up, your parents were the ones you fell back on when you were in a rough spot. And looking back, you probably wondered how they had the patience and love to take care of you through all your antics. They were the ones that gave you the ability to survive as an adult and even be a good parent to your own kids.
Now, that they're older, you just want to be able to care for them the way they cared for you. And that's where the "Granny Pod" comes in, especially for people who want to keep their aging parents closeby. CNBC reports the story.
The Granny Pod, otherwise known as the MEDCottage or in-law cottage, is a tiny home as well as a portable hospital room. Designed by a Blacksburg, VA, company with the help of Virginia Tech, the MEDCottage is one of the best alternatives to moving your aging parent to a nursing home.
It is affordable in the long run and will allow your parents to feel comfortable in their advanced ages. The units have been created such that they can be installed in your backyard and Country Living states that these furnished Granny Pods are much like guest houses with a number of high-tech medical accessories.
The company website claims that the "MEDCottage is a mobile, modular medical dwelling designed to be temporarily placed on a caregiver's property for rehabilitation and extended care. Simply stated, it's a state-of-the-art hospital room with remote monitoring available so caregivers and family members have peace of mind knowing they are providing the best possible care. Close proximity is so important when keeping family engaged in our life. This solution provides a beautiful dwelling close to the people we love."
In each 12 by 24 feet-cottage, there is space for a bed, a living room, a bathroom, and a kitchenette. But what makes it special is the fact that there are a set of standard safety features installed in it, including hand railings, defibrillators, lighted floorboards, first aid supplies, and a soft floor to help reduce the effects of injuries caused by falls.
Almost the size of a master bedroom, it also contains double French doors and facilities for wheelchairs and vital hospital equipment. This Granny Pod is perfect for those who want to care for their ailing parents and want to keep them close.
Three variations of the cottage exist:
1. The LivingROO
2. The MotherShip
3. The MEDCottage Classic Redesign
These cottages are connected to the main residence's existing sewer, water, and power lines for which approval from local agencies is required. Keeping in mind the laws and policies, you can purchase one of these pods. However, these MEDCottages don't come cheap. Speaking to CNBC, financial planner Carolyn McClanahan mentioned that though the price is steep initially, it's a good investment in the long run, especially when you compare it to the cost of nursing homes or assisted living care.
"If people can age in place and age at home it’s much healthier, and the family is happier, but it can be very expensive. Granny pods can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000. So you got to weigh longevity in there with it."
McClanahan also states that these pods are not the best option for "someone with dementia or in need of help with daily tasks."
Building industry consultant, Jane Marie O'Connor said, "One key element that can still be missing would be human contact. Living in or near the home of an adult child who is likely gone all day provides little or no stimulation if there is no opportunity for socialization, which many assisted-living facilities are good at providing."
"Make the choice with thoughtful purpose, and don’t plan to just park somebody there. Plan how to help her stay engaged in the wider community. And don’t forget that at-home health care always takes a toll on the caregiver. Again, plan ahead for support and relief from care duties," she continued.
67-year-old Jane Baldwin, a retiree living alone, wanted to live closer to her family. Moving to Oakland, California, she knew that she wouldn't be able to purchase a property due to the extremely high housing rates. So living with her family was her only option but she didn't want to lose her independence by sharing the same roof. For her, the Granny Pod was perfect. “I am in love with it,” said Baldwin. “I can’t foresee leaving here until I’m dead," she told CNBC.