Curious Parents

Granny Pods Are Backyard Spare Hospital Rooms For Your Aging Relatives

Reaching old age often means a decline in independence—and that's not fun for anyone to go through. But what can you do when your grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles approach that stage of life? Nursing homes, sure, but they're not ideal for everyone. Having granny move into your house? Also not a picture-perfect scenario. MEDCottages, sometimes called granny pods, keep your aging relatives close enough for you to help them, but far enough to give both of you some privacy.

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Say Hello To Your New Neighbor

Think of granny pods as backyard clubhouses for your aging parents. NPR describes the MEDCottage as "basically a mini mobile home that rents for about $2,000 a month. You park one in the backyard, hook it up to your water and electricity, and it becomes a free-standing spare room for Grandma and Grandpa."

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This tiny home for grannies and grampas was designed by a Blacksburg, Virginia company with help from Virginia Tech. According to the MEDCottage website, the product is "designed as an affordable alternative to nursing homes. 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." There are three models of MEDCottages: the classic model is a free-standing room designed for the backyard, Living ROO fits into an empty two-car garage, and MotherShip sits on an RV platform. Most come as a kit you can assemble yourself, or have a contractor do it.

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For Future Caregivers

Though this may not apply to you quite yet, there's a good chance it will. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, the number of unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. will hit 37 million by 2050, an 85 percent increase from the year 2000. U.S. News reports on the serious costs of nursing homes: "In 2016, a private room cost an average of $253 daily, or more than $92,000 annually, according to a 2016 survey by Genworth Financial." You're probably thinking, ouch. MEDCottages might be a more cost-efficient option, with the added bonus of giving your aging relatives a renewed sense of independence. The little homes cost anywhere between $40,000 to $60,000, plus cost of installation.

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