granny pod, medcottage


There's a new  alternative to elder care in the U.S., and it's in the backyard.

A company called MedCottage is now selling high-tech cottages, nicknamed  "granny pods," to families looking for affordable ways to care for aging family  members, according  to Fredrick Kunkle of  The Washington Post.

The pods, which cost $85,000 but run closer to $125,000 after installation,  are 12x24 feet and come equipped with a security system, small kitchen area, and  medication dispenser.

Technology in the pods, which connect to the main home for water and  electricity, can monitor vital signs and filter air.

The MedCottage is "essentially a portable hospital room," Kunkle wrote.

And while they aren't cheap investments, they can prove to be money savers  over a couple of years, given that assisted living can run $40,000  annually.

So how is it going for the first MedCottage resident, an 88-year old named  Viola who lives with her family in Fairfax County?

Convincing her to move into the backyard pod was difficult, but once she got  there, she seemed to like it. Wrote Kunkle:

Relatives brought photographs of Viola’s  grandchildren and knickknacks, including a colorful row of miniature  houses...

But Viola wanted nothing to do with the place. As  the standoff dragged on, [her daughter] Soc worried that their money had been  wasted, that their MedCottage would end up being the biggest, most expensive  storage shed on the planet. Then the air conditioner in the house went kaput,  and Viola retreated to the MedCottage for relief.

Viola now seems used to her new home. On a  cabinet in the kitchenette sits a row of faded black-and-white photographs of  Viola, wearing a pretty dress and an alluring smile, that she sent to her new  husband when he was away on duty.