Granny Pods: Caring for Aging Relatives in Your Own Backyard


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 2, 2016. Housecall continues to share this piece due to ongoing requests and reader interest.

Caring for aging parents is a growing concern for many Americans. For those among the Sandwich Generation, homeowners typically in their forties who are responsible for their own families and their aging parents, what to do with grandma or grandpa is always a trying, stressful question to answer. While nursing homes may feel wrong or unnecessary, and having the elderly family member move into your family’s home may have its own inherent difficulties, the Granny Pod is here to finally provide a nice middle ground option for families in need.

Granny Pods, aka MedCottages, are 12 x 24-foot pre-fabricated pods that sit conveniently in one’s backyard. The structures hook up to existing plumbing and electrical systems and allow both the caregiver and senior citizen to have their own space while still being available and connected. The pods are quickly growing in popularity and are a win-win for both parties: the aging family member has his or her own space, while the caregiver doesn’t have far to travel to assist family members in case of an emergency.

The mobile homes are built with safety in mind and include many of the basic amenities any adult would need. They include a small kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom all designed in a small scale space with easy access in mind. The bathrooms are handicap accessible with railings and safety features, while the floors are padded to help lighten the load on joints.

Not only are they safe, but they’re tech-savvy, too! Granny Pods can incorporate webcams for family members to monitor from afar. Even more impressive, robotic features can monitor vital signs, with alert systems armed to notify caregivers should a problem arise. The air can be monitored for contaminants and reminders can be sent to the inhabitant to remind them to take pills or supplements accordingly.

The MedCottages encapsulate all the functions of a proper nursing home, while providing grandma or grandpa with the freedom and privacy they may still desire.

For more information, visit the MedCottage Facebook page.

So what do you think – would you purchase a Granny Pod for an aging relative? Tell us your thoughts!

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