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'Granny Pods' Allow Elderly Family Members To Live In Backyard Nursing Homes

When it comes time to find your elderly loved ones a safe place to live, the financial, social, and emotional burden placed on your shoulders can often be difficult to solve.

Ideally, you want them to live close-by, but you may not have enough room in your own home for them to stay, and nursing homes can be unbelievably expensive, with the average facility costing around $8,000 a month.

As it turns out, there might actually be a solution that somehow manages to find a happy medium between keeping your family members nearby, while also giving them the space they want and need, all without breaking the bank.

MEDCottages are mobile, modular medical units that basically turn your backyard into a mini nursing home.

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You buy the homes in kits, and as long as your backyard is properly zoned for it, you can build the mini space yourself. Or, of course, you can always hire a professional contractor to do it for you.

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These state-of-the-art spaces were designed by Rev. Ken Dupin, who also founded the company N2Care.

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According to HuffPost, he came up with the idea for the MedCottage while overseas on mission trips.

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There, he noticed that care-taking was a burden that the entire family usually took on.

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With his miniature nursing homes, families can care for their loved ones much easier without having their entire lives thrown off kilter in the process.

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Each home (or "Granny Pod", as they've been jokingly dubbed) measures 12 feet by 24 feet and sits conveniently in any caregiver's backyard.

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Blogger David Wolfe recently wrote about his experience with the cottages and explained that they are an "excellent solution for taking care of elderly family members."

"They allow both caregiver and senior to have their own space while remaining connected," he said.

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The pods plug right into the existing home's plumbing and electrical, and have been built with the senior's safety in mind.

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As Wolfe explained, each house has a camera system in case the person inside falls, and also comes with equipment to assist in the patient's daily medical monitoring.

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The pods definitely have sanitation covered as they continuously filter the air for contaminants.

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They also allow for easy communication with caregivers using high-tech video and text cell technology.

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But don't think these seniors are living inside stuffy, hospital-like conditions because these pods look just like comfortable, tiny hotel suites.

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Each pod features a small kitchenette (complete with microwave, fridge, and pill dispenser), a bedroom, and a handicap accessible bathroom with railings and other safety features already built in.

The floors are also padded to cushion falls, as well as to ease the pressure put on patients' joints.

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There are currently three different MEDCottage styles for people to choose from to suit their specific needs and space allowances.

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As outlined online, the the Living Roo (a pod designed to fit inside a two-bay garage), and the Mother Ship (a living space fitted atop an RV platform that can sit in a homeowner's driveway) are the most widely available.

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As for the classic MedCottage backyard unit, it is currently only available in Virginia.

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Exact pricing is currently not displayed anywhere online, but Rev. Dupin promises these mini backyard nursing homes are significantly more cost-conscious than the real deal.

In a cost comparison chart, he breaks down how much money is spent per day at various alternative homing options, and insists MEDCottages are approximately one-third the national average.

As per the chart, the cottage costs an average of $60/day where as a private room at a nursing facility costs $213, and a semi-private costs $193. Assisted living came in at $107.

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Plus, they're the perfect way to keep our loved ones close while also offering them their own much-needed sense of independence.

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"Close proximity is so important when keeping family engaged in our life," the MEDCottage website explains.

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"This solution provides a beautiful dwelling close to the people we love."

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As long as those living in the larger home actually spend time with their elderly loved ones now situated in their yards, these tiny spaces certainly seem like an excellent idea for everyone involved.

h/t: MEDCottage, David Wolfe, HuffPost

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