Many people are familiar with accessory dwelling units (ADUs), the small backyard dwellings that are often used as offices, income properties, and artist/exercise studios. Now, granny pods have joined that list, offering senior citizens and their loved ones a new option for care. The tiny homes can be designed in a variety of styles to suit your budget, lifestyle, and needs.
The senior population is expected to more than double in the next 40 years, and today people are living longer than ever before, which makes senior living a topic to consider. While many seniors prefer to stay on their own, this can often be unrealistic or unsafe due to their inability to care for themselves. The granny pod is a tiny home that typically houses one or two senior residents, making it a good compromise. The granny pod allows seniors to be close to their family while still maintaining their independence while living in a safe environment that is customized for senior care.
Granny pods are designed to accommodate a senior person's needs. The homes often feature ramps, railings, wide doorways, rounded countertops, and softened flooring to cushion any falls. They are an alternative to assisted living or care homes, with the benefit of giving a senior family member a level of independence and privacy. The dwellings, similar to tiny homes are designed to be installed on the family property, near the main home. And, when no longer needed, you can turn it into an office, guest house, studio, or Airbnb.
The typical size of a granny pod is between 250 and 900 square feet. Common features include lighted floorboards, handrails, ankle level monitoring systems, and soft floors to minimize injuries upon a fall. Residents can use smart technology to control the door locks, and lighting with voice commands.
The tiny homes typically contain the basic necessities of a larger home including a kitchenette, bathroom, and bed, but many granny pods offer additional amenities, such as a small living room, bedroom, closet storage, and an independent HVAC system. The accessory dwelling unit is designed to connect to the water supply, electrical wiring, and sewer system that serves the main house.
Some of the benefits of granny pods include proximity to loved ones which provides, social and emotional support, continued independence, privacy, customized safety features, and cost-effectiveness. If the granny pod is used for several years, it can be less expensive than nursing homes and assisted living homes. Other benefits include increased property value and better quality of life.
Before investing in a granny pod you will want to check with your local bylaws as not all municipalities allow granny pods, which are considered ADUs. Some communities that do not typically allow ADUs have written special ordinances that make exceptions for healthcare-related accessory dwellings. You should check with your local authority to find out if you can legally install a pod on your property. Granny pods vary in price depending on whether you choose to buy a prefabricated model or convert an existing outbuilding or shed.