Cute ‘Granny Pods’ Are Innovative Substitute For Elderly Nursing Homes

Taking care of our elderly parents or grandparents becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Putting a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision, but if the person needs extra medical attention, it may be unavoidable. For families who wish to keep their loved ones as close to home as possible, MEDCottages or “granny pods” are another option.

Prefabricated MEDCottages are medically equipped homes that allow anyone to care for elderly family members at home. A MEDCottage can be built in the backyard of a home depending on the zoning laws of the municipality. In addition to being easy to install, they can easily be connected to pre-existing power lines, water supplies, and sewers.

The pods were created by Dr. Kenneth Dupin to keep families together for as long as possible, regardless of whether the elderly person living in the pod needs medical care. Many safety features in the homes ensure the comfort of the elderly, making them ideal for the elderly. Beginning prototypes of this home, however, can be expensive due to their many special features, costing upwards of $125,000.

Even so, given how much nursing homes cost per year, MEDCottages might still be a viable option for some families. The downside is that state zoning laws prevent the homes from being built just anywhere. Currently, only a few municipalities allow these homes, but hopefully they will become more common in the future.

You can see the full video at the end of this article.

MEDCottages go one step further than tiny homes by providing state-of-the-art medical equipment and features in a small living space. Defibrillators, first aid supplies, and hand railings are provided in the pods. Even the floorboards are softer than average to reduce the pain and damage caused by an unexpected fall.

These buildings are equipped with electronic devices that can monitor vital signs such as blood pressure and glucose levels, further enhancing their safety. Real-time information is provided by interactive cameras to caregivers and medical professionals.

There are several types of these homes, but the standard MEDCottage measures 12 by 24 feet, the size of a typical master bedroom. However, there is a small kitchen, a bathroom, and a living area, which are features of a hotel suite. There is vinyl siding on the house and French double doors that are large enough for wheelchairs or hospital equipment to pass through.

By investing in one of these bungalows, one can take care of an aging parent or grandparent with minimal travel since they are on one’s property. Having family around while maintaining some sense of independence in their own space will allow them to enjoy the company of family. Families are able to act as primary caregivers when needed, while the homes take care of their quality of life and medical care.

When the MEDCottage was first announced in 2012, it quickly went viral due to its innovative nature. Personal stories and family experiences of using it were featured on a wide range of news media. Social media users commented on how impressed they were with the concept. According to one person:

It’s a great idea…I hope you do well…families all over will greatly appreciate this as an option to house multi-generational families.”

However, even with how popular the MEDCottage is, it isn’t yet a widely accepted reality. Despite over 1 million inquiries after the homes went viral, Dr. Dupin revealed that only five had been purchased and set up. In the United States, zoning laws played a major role in preventing its widespread use. The homes cannot be set up just anywhere, but only in municipalities that allow such tiny homes to be placed on private property. Change at the state level is the only way to turn things around, but that will undoubtedly take time. 

For families who wish to remain together and avoid nursing homes by living close to home for as long as possible, MEDCottages are an exciting prospect for the future. They provide the elderly with high-functioning residences that allow them to live independently and close to family members.

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