No, these are not alien pods that pop out grandmother aliens. These are hospital size structures that get dropped into your backyard to give your elderly parent an option to living in their children’s home or a nursing home. The official name is Auxillary Dwelling Unit (ADU) .
Several companies make these dwellings, MEDCottage in VA, FabCab in Seattle and Practical Assisted Living in CT. HomeStore, here in MA builds modular additions. That would, of course, work only if you have enough land to support the addition.
The 12×24-foot prefabricated house starts at $85,000 — less than the cost of traditional long-term elder care — and includes innovative safety features like webcams and cushioned floors that allow the family member privacy and the caregiver freedom.
Basically, a large free-standing hospital room, features of these homes include:
- Models that can run from approximately 300-600sf.
- Electricity and water connected directly to homeowner’s utilities
- A kitchen with a small refrigerator, microwave, and medication dispenser.
- Bedroom and additional accommodation for a caregiver’s visit.
- The bathroom is handicapped accessible.
Virginia is recognizing them as “temporary family health-care structures.” It will be interesting to see whether or not towns in MA will accept them. It seems they are a great alternative that avoids the friction of having an elder parent in the house without putting them in a nursing home, which is a struggle for most children.
It also preserves the family wealth for the time that the parent is not in a nursing home at $5K-$10K per month.
More information can be found at http://www.medcottage.com/
If any of our Massachusetts readers look into it, we would love to get your thoughts.
Contact Me if you are ready to talk about options for your parents.
Michelle J. Lane
Century 21 Commonwealth