'Granny Pods' Are the Perfect Place to Stash Your Aging Parents


granny kitchenAt some point or another, most of us will be faced with the question of where our aging parents should live -- especially if one of them is deceased and you don't want the other residing alone anymore.

But it can be pretty tough to convince grandma to check into an assisted living center if she's used to being pretty independent, and the idea of moving her in with you may not go over so well and opens up the gate to a whole host of conflicts and problems.

Sooo ... what the heck are you supposed to do with her? Well, now you can literally stash her away in your backyard by setting up a "Granny Pod" for her to live in.

Yes, a "Granny Pod," which is basically a tiny little guest house (12 x 24 feet) that has a bedroom, bathroom, and small kitchen area. And the best part? It'll only set you back $125,000. (Chump change compared to those pricey assisted living centers.)

The pods are formally known as "MEDCottages™," and while their size is fairly minuscule, they are actually pretty futuristic when it comes to features.

The description of the pods on the website says:

Equipped with the latest technical advances in the industry, MEDCottage was made to assist with many care-giving duties. Using smart robotic features, it can monitor vital signs, filter the air for contaminants, and communicate with the outside world very easily.

Sensors alert caregivers to problems, and medication reminders are provided via computers. Technology also provides entertainment options including music, literature and movies.

Good grief. Will grandma even be able to figure out how to turn the lights on and off?

You have to admit, this is a pretty cool idea, and I'm thinking these pods can also serve other purposes, like providing an adequate space separate from the house to put the in-laws when they come to visit. Or even better -- why not invest in one so you have a quiet place to sleep when your husband snores way too loud? Or maybe it could also be a fun place to have a girls' night in without worrying about waking up the kids!

(The possibilities with this thing go way beyond grandma.)

What do you think of these Granny Pods? Would you buy one?


Image via spader/Flickr

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Craft... CraftyJenna

What's wrong with a mother-in-law appartment? Or even just sharing your house with your parents? My mom lives with us, my kid adores her, it's great. 

Trina... Trina.mhmm

I think it would be alot cheaper and more convenient to build one yourself! My bf is a carpenter along with his father and brother. This would be a piece of cake compared to the new Bay Bridge and hospitals ect.

dirti... dirtiekittie

you can put up a small loft/building for the in law(s) in the back yard for a lot less than $125k. granted, it doesn't monitor their vitals in the air and make magic iv drips from the ceiling (i kid, i kid) but if your elderly parents / in laws are well enough to NOT be in assisted living, then do they really need it?

we looked into a 'mil's flat' to put in our backyard. it's basically a small storage size building with a kitchen and bathroom space. i could find them for $15 - $20k at the time, if we assembled it ourself. had my mil not moved in with my sil instead (whew! lol) that's most likely the route we would have taken.

@craftyjenna - i'm glad it worked out for your family... but not everyone wants to share space like that. my mil adores my kids, but she also needs her own space to get away and watch her soaps and have a little peace and quiet too. these types of places are perfect for that.

Christina Mancuso-Henry

All I have to say is... when you get old, do you want your kids to shuck you in something called a "granny pod"? Or hide you away in a cottage in the far corner of the yard? What the hell is wrong with people where they won't take care of their elders properly? People end up in "assisted living facilities" because their kids don't give a damn enough to care for their parents themselves. I would NEVER, ever put my mother in a nursing home. Not for one second! When she is too old to be on her own, she will come live with us... and she'll spend her last days with us. That is what is suppose to happen. Granny Pods my ass. Step up and be the child you are suppose to be.

Karma Grant

$125k buys a decent size brand new house in my area. And having my mother in the backyard is just too close. If I'm going to do that she might as well just be in my damn house.

@Christina, it's great that you plan to do that with your mother but that doesn't mean everyone should with theirs. You don't know the history they've had. I could never have my mother live with me. We both have known that since I was in high school. We just don't get along in close quarters and dealing with her being 1500 miles away is annoying enough at times. She lives in a quaint little apartment full of disabled and elderly people in the middle of nowhere and she's quite happy there.

Carolyn L. Rosenblatt

Granny pods might work fine for some people who don't want to take in the elder in their lives. There can be legitimate reasons for this of course. However, one thing about the marketing of these pods that really bothers me, as a person who consults with families and coaches them about how to manage their aging loved ones is the notion that it somehow will "take the place of a nursing home". Dumb concept. The nursing is what is missing. And, it's a lot. The pod might take the place of a care facility when the elder doesn't need nursing. Or if the elder doesn't like the notion of community living. Or if a tiny cabin in the back yard is the best alternative for all concerned. It is definitely not a replacement for care if the elder needs that. Care is either supplied by family or you pay for it from someone else. Professionals who give it charge a lot of money. I've delivered that care myself, both as an aide and as an RN, so I can assure you, no granny pod can have technology that will substitute for close monitoring by some human beings, whether family or not. Could a pod help? Yes, in some cases. Could it keep your loved one out of a nursing home if he or she needs nursing? Not unless you want to pay for the pod and pay for the nursing both. Doable but pricey.
Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Attorney, Mediator, AgingParents.com

Joan Halloran

I'm the Grandma and I would love it


Jill Imhoff Peters

I found this article very rude and disrespectful. Using the word "stash" when you're referring to your parent is terrible. And saying grandma probably would not be able to figure out how to use the phone is disgusting. You may be surprised at the abilities of the older generaion. Many of the amenities that you enjoy today were developed by them. Grow up!

Silly... Sillybillymel

Umm... These used to be called mother in law suites. Its not anything new... This article is pretty douchey acting like this is a new phenomenon. Move to fl, alot of houses cost less than 150,000 and include a mother in law suite. 

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