These Backyard “Granny Pods” Could be the Solution to Nursing Homes

Since the age of 20, I had known that I would be the one to take care of my aunt when she got older. I love her dearly, but my family enjoys our space. It has always been a stressful notion of what we are going to do once it is time to take care of her, with both of us being so independent, sharing our home was never an option while a nursing home also does not feel right. I had no idea that a solution was already out there.

MedCottages or “Granny Pods” are an excellent solution for taking care of elderly family members. I am actually quite excited about having my loved ones close, but still in their own space. Reverend Ken Dupin invented these 12 feet by 24 feet pods that sit conveniently in any backyard and plug right up one’s existing plumbing and electrical. They allow both caregiver and senior to have their own space while remaining connected.

pic1 Facebook/MEDCottages

These “Granny Pods” are specially built with the safety of a senior in mind. They include a small kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom all designed to house safely a senior. The bathrooms are handicap accessible with railing and safety features built in.

pic2 Facebook/MEDCottages

The kitchen includes a microwave, small refrigerator, and a pill dispenser. The microwave could be unplugged and used as an electromagnetically-insulated safe container for supplements. A BerryBreeze refrigerator purifier could be put in the small refrigerator. The pill dispenser could be filled with capsules of supplements, superfoods, and superherbs. Everything is conveniently located and safe to reach.

pic3 Facebook/MEDCottages

The safety features for these little homes are fantastic. They include webcams for monitoring by family members and a padded floor! Padded floor is great on joints. Also, they protect older relatives from a fall. One can be comfortable having their family member spending time in these homes.

pic4 Facebook/MEDCottages

Talk about high tech! These pods utilize small robotic features that can monitor vital signs. In addition, they can filter the air for contaminants while sending alerts reminding when to take supplements, superfoods, and superherbs. Communication is a breeze with high-tech video and text cell technology incorporated. If anything were to go wrong, these pods have alert systems to notify caregivers as well.

pic5 Facebook/MEDCottages

With three models thus far to choose from, you are sure to pick the right one for your loved one. Knowing that your family member will have a safe space that is close by is worth everything.

Check them out at their website MedCottages.




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Jackie Ferreri - November 27, 2015

This is hardly an elders ideal home situation. Can’t imagine someone older having to climb those open back stairs. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

    eekie - November 27, 2015

    There is a ramp on the other side of the steps (on the left side of the photo).

Vladimir Kosonofv - November 27, 2015

Man, I’m gonna get me one of these for MYSELF haha.

    Rosemary Dallape Gonzalez - February 24, 2016

    make it the mans dog house send his bad butt out there to sleep especially those snorers

Patient - November 27, 2015

Zoning/permitting ordinances will have to changed to accommodate this. We do not have the freedom to do what we want with out own back yards.

    madame48 - November 27, 2015

    Which is actually pretty I prtant if your neighbor wants to put 80 pigs next to the garage. Zoning can be worked with and especially if there is a time limit like the life of the resident to lie in the pod. It IS doe able as a community maybe you could work with the zoning board, set up a volunteer committee etc.

    katz5253 - November 30, 2015


    NorrinRadd - December 20, 2015

    Yep. No one really owns his own home. Serfin’ USA.

      aardman - February 20, 2016

      Yeah, that’s called living in a community. And you’ll be thankful for it when your neighbor puts his beat up heap on cinderblocks in his backyard.

        NorrinRadd - February 20, 2016

        As long as it’s in HIS backyard, it’s fine with me. I’m a firm believer in PRIVATE property rights. Fuck “community.”

    marah natha - February 26, 2016

    I’m betting the original “granny” will not pay the true price of the cottage knowing that it will be “recycled.” If someone wants to keep it, it would probably cost a lot more. But I’ve seen Seniors in family homes that are neglected as well, after meal time or whatever. Everybody goes to their own space and does their own thing.

    Reply - November 28, 2015

they start at nearly $54,000? You can build a pretty sweet casa for that here in Dirt cheap NE coast of Florida

    Dandy Man - November 28, 2015

    You are absolutely right! This Tiny house concept made a lot of sense when it first started out. But then these get rich fast builders seen an opportunity to bilk some people out of some cash, and they started taking advantage of them. Never fails! A lot have to suffer, so a few can over prosper. That house is $20000.00 all day long….

      The Grinning Narcissist - November 28, 2015

      With all respect – you obviously know little regarding residential construction, the expensive government regulations that must be complied with, and the specificity of purpose (and furnishings) for this dwelling.

      Why do you think new cars are so expensive, even when factoring in inflation?

        Dandy Man - November 28, 2015

        I have been a builder for over 22 years, and have built numerous Pods, such as the one shown here. The cost you are referring to are not incurred by the builder on off site facilities.

    SueD - November 30, 2015

    I’ve been studying micro homes for a long time now. I think it is the housing of the future – not everyone in the future will be able to afford a single family dwelling,and there are a LOTof people approaching retirement who did not have the benefit of today’s high salaries, and therefore have little savings for retirement. Added to that the government has been screwing around for decades with old age pension money and by the time my kids’ generation retires there will be no pension money left. People will have to face the fact that elderly parents may “come home” to their kids; kids may come home to their parents. These small homes make a huge amount of sense – and not just for people requiring medical help. You can build a micro home for as little as $14,000.00. The ones this company is advertising are a specialty for elderly in poor health. Not many people need their vital signs checked every minute. You can buy a shipping container for less than $2,000.00 and make a beautiful, functional home out of it. Bypass these commercial asshats – they’re just out there gouging people.

Robyn Annala Sleeper - November 28, 2015

And explain to me why people having one of these on their property is so wrong? Even if after the elder parent or grandparent is no longer using them, why can’t people have that on their own property to use as they wish? Why does the government need to “enforce” these being taken off the property when the person is no longer needing it? If it fits on your property, you should be able to keep it there and use it as you wish. It’s just stupid governmental regulations that would say this is a bad idea (which it’s actually an awesome idea for people to keep their elder relatives, or medically challenged relatives, close to the family and give them the support and dignity to live as they wish, and not to be put in some institution), but they say it’s a bad idea because they can’t “control” what happens with the dwellings afterwards. Leave the dwellings alone and let people use them as they wish. Eventually they may need it for a kid who needs to live at home because they can’t afford rent, or they may want to use it themselves when they get old and have their kids living in the main house. Why waste money putting something in and then taking it out again? Leave people’s property alone and let them use it as best they can to take care of their families and find a way to live, especially in these times of economic distress, and medical insurance and care instability.

    SueD - November 30, 2015

    You get special zoning leniency if you put up a granny flat for an elderly, ill relative. They aren’t likely to become a neighborhood menace. However, once that person has no longer any need of the granny flat (they go to hospital or pass away), then comes the danger of the owner renting the home out to any crackhead that can pay the rent. The neighbor’s nice quiet granny flat becomes the neighborhood shoot-up den. Or the local cat lady moves in with her 34 cats. Or some hoarder who believes he/she can live in such a small space (and use the outdoors for storage of their lifetime collections). Once the original tenant of the flat leaves, then the leniency is withdrawn and the building has to pass the full extent of the zoning bylaws – i.e. must be such a distance from roads and other buildings, must have x amount of square footage around it, must have parking facilities, etc. It’s treated like any other home. That doesn’t mean you would absolutely have to have it removed. There are ways of having zoning bylaws changed. But this is a long process involving public meetings where your neighbors get to have a say, and zoning commissioners can stand up and say “Well, they meet all requirements except distance from the road. They must move the building 6″ further into the yard”, etc. It might end up costing you twice as much as the pod cost you in the first place ! Personally I believe every home should have one of these granny flats to accommodate said granny, or a kid who finishes school and can’t get a job right away, or a daughter flees an abusive marriage with her kids, etc. There would be far fewer expenses falling on the public purse if families could take care of their own people through hard times.

      Brian Keith - October 4, 2016

      Way to always think of the worse case scenario. So you alleviate those fears by restricting to family-only. If the crime element is important, than run a background check. It’s plain dumb to pull them out if they can be used again–ESPECIALLY with the cost of housing these days.

      Tierney Jacobs-Montoya - November 28, 2016

      You mean like Section 8?

    Ginger Haycox - March 21, 2016

    Big Brother is watching…we own our property & pay (usually) high taxes on our property but don’t be fooled into thinking it really belongs to us! Do I sound jaundiced? That’s because I am. I am sick of Home Owners orgs & everything, frankly. I’m paying too much money to belong to this thing that tells me I can’t plant a Blue Spruce on my property because the “community” is deciduous. Nor can I repaint my front door (the same color) without paying for a home improvement fee…we have dug ourselves into a hole!

      rrslack48 - April 3, 2016

      Yah, big brother can go take a flying FUCK in a rolling doughnut !

Bill_Wall - November 28, 2015

An important feature to these will have to be easy removal. For most families, once granny no longer needs the pad, the building could become redundant and no longer wanted. As long as they can be disconnected, resold and moved, then the economic viability increases.

Some cities allow zoning for structures like these in older areas where there are lanes, sometimes called a carriage house and located where a detached garage may have been. They can be permanent and used as a rental accommodation. The idea is to increase density and create affordable housing near city centers. As long as the zoning allows for the granny homes to remain in place and become a rental unit, that becomes another plus for the economics of setting up one for an elderly family member…..then using it for rental income later.

Patricia Butler - November 29, 2015

I can’t imagine it’s so easy to just ”
plug right up one’s existing plumbing and electrical.” You might be able to piggyback the electrical fairly simply (assuming your existing house has enough juice for your own needs as well as the special features in a MedCottage), but you can’t easily do the same thing with a plumbing system.

    Willard Shank - March 3, 2016

    No one seems to be addressing the plumbing issue.

    Spiker - October 11, 2016

    Uh, as a contractor I have to point out that you actually can. It is relatively easy to tap into the sewer and water as well as electrical. I would estimate it would cost about a third of a individual house hook up.

lauriemann - November 30, 2015

My brother and sister-in-law did something similar for my mother a few years ago. They added a small apartment for her. It’s quite similar to the pod though it has a separate living room. It’s worked pretty well so far.

ekitty - December 1, 2015

As I get older, one thing I truly dread is becoming a burden on some hapless family member. I don’t want that.

Diane Purcell - December 20, 2015

I’d rather build onto my existing home and provide them with a bedroom and bathroom for less cost, I’d think. Then it’s not an issue with zoning, as long as you can get a permit to build.

jaaaaay - February 28, 2016

Forget ignoring granny by use of your cell phone when you visit, now just put her out in the yard by herself. Our elderly often do need personel care; care by humans; preferably humans who care about them and love them. It is difficult at best to take care of a senior citizen in our homes. God knows there are families who have moved heaven and earth and disrupted their lives for years to take care of their senior family members, ill or well, rather than send them to a nursing home. Those saints should be commended for their willinglness to put their lives on hold for the sake of taking good care of their elderly relatives. But, if there are family members to do so, the idea now is to actually house the elderly in the backyard in a something like a dog-house?

hammhome - March 2, 2016

this is a great idea, IF your elderly person is a relatively independent person. Mine, not so much. She has early-dementia, is barely ambulatory, refuses her Lasix, is generally non-cooperative and requires over 5,000 minutes per month of assistance, round-the-clock. Can you imagine hiking out to the backyard every 30 minutes, all night long to lift your mother’s legs out of bet to hit the toilet and back again? I noticed the washer and vacuum in the unit. My mom hasn’t vacuumed in 5 years, and hasn’t done laundry in two. Shoot me if I ever get to a mindset where I would make the choices she purposefully has made to have led her to this state.

    AMused - March 20, 2016

    Why couldn’t this tiny medical assist pod also have a short attached hallway that goes directly from the tiny pod into the main house, so that going outside is not a requirement if the condition of the elderly person should require such care like in the case of dementia?

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