Old folks’ homes don’t have the best rap. There’s the questionable food and company and, let’s face it, you’re entrusting strangers to care for a beloved grandmother or grandfather. Plus, for freewheeling seniors used to a life of independence, they now have to abide by someone else’s rules — bummer!
But not anymore. Blacksburg, Virginia-based MEDCottage is the crafty company behind “granny pods.”
Think of them as glorified guest houses that are placed in your backyard, allowing you to take care of aging family members steps from your pad.
Dreamt up by Virginia native Ken Dupin, the 12-feet-by-24-feet pods plug into the main house’s plumbing and electrical, making them an awesome, affordable alternative to a nursing home. Sadly, they’re not available in Canada right now.
The homes come in three styles and range from 299 square feet to 605 square feet. Prices vary from $85,000 to $125,000.
Above is an example of one model. Isn’t the siding sweet? And the double-glass doors make for a grand entrance.
And here’s a pod in transit ready to be plopped in the backyard:
The no-nonsense interiors have a cottage feel and padded floors that are good for arthritic joints and falls. The cottage can also be equipped with a lift attached to a built-in ceiling track, so a caregiver could easily move a patient. The kitchens are kitted out with a small fridge, microwave, washer and dryer and a timed medicine dispenser. Hullo, that’s handy!
The bathrooms feature safety grab-bars in the showers, easy-to-reach hooks for bathrobes and are spacious and comfortable.
Potential newfangled features include a virtual companion that relays messages (basically, you can talk to grandma without leaving the main house); extra lighting at knee-level to illuminate walls to avoid tripping; a video monitoring system at knee level for privacy, so you can keep a watch on things, and a ventilation system that keeps airborne pathogens in for someone with a compromised immune system.
Much better than a nursing home, don’t you think?