Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Senior Living in a Med Cottage or Granny Pod

(You can avoid sterile nursing homes.)
If you have an elderly or disabled relative who needs care, but the cost of a skilled nursing home is out of your reach, one new alternative is a Med Cottage, sometimes referred to as a Granny Pod.  These portable, backyard cottages are charming and can be personally decorated.  They also enable your loved ones to have privacy while keeping them close to their families. Even for people who can afford nursing homes, these small homes are far more appealing than a sterile, lonely room in a nursing home, removed from friends and families.  Granny pods can also be more far more affordable than paying for years of care in a nursing home.

Long Term Care in Your Own Backyard

Med Cottages are attractive portable homes.  They are delivered intact  to the backyard of your house where the cottage is then hooked up to the water, electricity and sewer system of your home.  The cottage operates like a portable nursing home with a private bathroom and kitchenette, as well as a washing machine and dryer.

Granny Pods enable family members to care for an elderly or disabled relative while allowing everyone to maintain their privacy.  At the same time, family caregivers are able to use the state-of-the art technology in the cottage to monitor the occupant, when necessary.

Advantages of Granny Pods

Many families have discovered that nursing homes are too expensive to afford for an extended period of time.  In some parts of the United States, nursing homes can cost $6000 a month or more.  Even in locations where nursing home fees are less expensive, having a Med Cottage in the backyard may be cheaper than paying to support a relative who lives in a nursing home for several years.

In addition, some nursing home patients become depressed and lonely if they are moved to a nursing home that is far away from their family, friends and old neighborhoods.  Having their own cottage just a few steps away from family members is a comfortable alternative than many seniors truly appreciate.

Facts About Med Cottages

There are currently three models of Med Cottages, ranging in size from 288 to 605 square feet.

Each one has a kitchenette that contains a microwave oven and a small refrigerator.  There is also a personal medication dispenser to help patients keep track of their own medicines.

The bathroom is handicapped accessible.

Special features make it possible for caregivers to monitor vital signs of the occupant.

For those with allergies and respiratory problems, the air can be filtered for contaminants.

The granny pods have been set up for easy communication between the cottage and the main home.  There are also special sensors that will alert caregivers to problems.  Some will notify family members in the main house if there are sounds that indicate the occupant may have fallen.

The prices that I have seen mentioned for the Med Cottages have ranged from $90,000 to $140,000, depending on the size of the cottage.  While this may seem like a lot of money, as mentioned before, nursing home care in many parts of the United States can run $6000 a month.  The Med Cottages may also be far less than the cost of building an addition onto your home and they can be easily removed when they are no longer needed.

Limitations of Granny Pods

Of course, granny pods will not keep everyone out of the nursing home.  They will not work for families that do not have a suitable backyard.  Local zoning restrictions may limit their use.

In addition, Med Cottages may not provide adequate care for those elderly patients who are seriously ill, need ongoing medical care or extensive physical therapy.  They may also not be appropriate for family members with severe dementia or Alzheimers, especially if they tend to wander away.

Despite these limitations, granny pods may be a caring way for many families to keep their elderly relatives nearby.

You can find more information about Med Cottages at

If you are looking for more medical and retirement information, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page.  It will link you to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

You may also be interested in reading:

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  1. I've never heard of this before. What a brilliant idea. Thanks to you I am enlightened!

  2. Aren't these granny pods a fun idea? I only learned about them recently, myself. Since then, I have thought that I might prefer to live in one, with my children and grandchildren nearby, than be shuttled off away from my friends and family. At least, it is a viable option to consider.

  3. I had never heard of these either! Definitely better than a nursing home.

  4. I am a geriatric care manager and actually went to see a model today. I think it is a great alternative for some families to have their loved ones close as well as maintaining wealth. I've seen complaints in other places about how it is a glorified trailer and too expensive but obviously these people have never had to actually care for anyone within an environment not set up for the needed activities nor priced assisted living facilities recently! While you may pay upwards of $125000 for the full complement of tech gear, in my area you spend $4-6K per month for AL or $48K - 72K per year AND you have no asset when you are done. These can be sold or repurposed. Not right for everyone obviously but a wonderful alternative for many!

  5. Interesting post as for me. It would be great to read something more about that matter. Thank you for giving this information.
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    1. Yes, as we age it is important to get the proper kind of elder care. These granny pods are one component, but there are other things to consider, too.

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