It’s never easy to have to decide where mom and dad should live when they hit their 70’s and 80’s. AARP estimated that about 23 million Americans take care of their parents, but that can be difficult if you live in a small space or prefer your privacy. Also, nursing homes can be expensive with some homes averaging $205 per day, or $6,000 per month. Even letting an elderly parent live alone can be scary. So what other options are there? According to this new invention, your mom and dad can safely live right in your backyard, in their own home, giving you the privacy you need, while making sure they are safe.
The Granny Pod, also known as the MEDCottage, is the answer to those problems when your loved ones hit their golden years. Designed by a Blacksburg, Virginia company, with help from Virginia Tech, these little homes are designed for elders and can be installed right in your backyard. According to Country Living, the small 12 by 24 feet home, which is about the size of a master bedroom, features amenities for older individuals including hand railings, defibrillators, first aid supplies, lighted floorboards and a soft floor just in case the person falls. These homes easily hook up to the main home’s existing sewer, water and power lines. These Granny Pods will cost between $85,000 to $125,000.
The pods actually look like a cozy home inside. With attractive French doors and a nicely designed living space, it is a perfect amount of room for your loved one. The pods come in three different styles – MedCottage, Classic and Grand. They include a small kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom all designed with safety in mind. The bathrooms are handicap accessible with railings, while the front of the home accommodates those who are in a wheelchair.
The kitchen holds just enough space and includes a microwave, small fridge, and a pill dispenser. According to davidwolfe.com, the homes microwave can be unplugged and used as a electromagnetically-insulated safe container for supplements. The pill dispenser can be filled with capsules or supplements, superfoods, and superherbs.
What makes the home even more attractive is the safety features. Besides being so close to a loved one’s real home, the Granny Pods include webcams for monitoring family members. The padded floors are great for joints and if there ever is a fall, it would cause less damage. You’ll also feel much better knowing your mom, dad, or grandparents are just a few steps from you, so you can easily check up on them.
The home may cost a pretty penny, but it includes tons of features. These pods also have small robotic features that monitor vital signs. They can also filter air for contaminant while sending alerts reminding when you take medicine and supplements. The pods also include high-tech video and text cell technology. If there is anything wrong, the pods alert system will notify you.
While the invention sounds like a pretty good idea, there have also been mixed reviews. Some people have stated that the MEDCottages can cause problems with neighbors or be looked at as putting a loved one “in storage.” However, others find that having an elder family member so close is extremely convenient and practical. These pods may not be the exact solution for older people, but it is a step forward, especially when nursing homes don’t seem to be the right fit and are just too pricey. Granny Pods are basically a nursing home in your backyard. From the looks of it, they seem easy to install and maintain. Their safety and tech features are also a huge plus.