Concerned About Costly Nursing Homes? “Granny Pods” May Be an Option to Consider

The median annual cost of a private nursing home is over roughly $84,000 per year, according to A 2013 survey by Genworth revealed that the cost of private nursing home care spiked 24 percent in a five-year period (2008 to 2013). Given the exorbitant cost of nursing home care, many people are struggling to figure out what to do with an elderly loved one who is living alone, and shouldn’t be at that stage of their life.

Some people may be thinking, “Well, what about a semi-private nursing home where your loved one shares a room?” Unfortunately, this arrangement is not much cheaper than nursing home care where your loved one enjoys a private room. The Genworth survey indicated that a semi-private nursing home will cost, on average, about $75,000 per year.

If you are considering assisted living, it is more cost effective, but still a large expense. For example, the aforementioned Genworth survey revealed that the median annual cost of care in an assisted living facility is over $41,000.

Another option families consider is having their loved on live with them. However, there are always issues of space in the house and strain on the family. In addition, many elderly feel they would be a burden on their family by moving in.

Possible alternative – “Granny Pods”

A new long-term care option that is gaining notoriety is moving your elderly loved one into a “Granny Pod” (also known as a Med Cottage).

A “Granny Pod” is essentially a mini-house that can be placed in your backyard and actually be plugged into your plumbing and electrical. They allow you to provide care in a convenient manner (since they are residing in your backyard) while your elderly loved one gets to have their own space, but still be connected with family.

Here is a video on Granny Pods:

Most “Granny Pods” are built with an emphasis on the safety of a senior citizen who will be residing in them. For example, the bathrooms in a “Granny Pod” are handicap accessible with railing and safety features built in. In addition, some “Granny Pods” come equipped with webcams so family members can monitor the loved one and padded flooring to help ease stress on joints. Some pods even feature technology where your loved ones vital signs can be monitored 24/7.

Cost of a Granny Pod

The cost of a “Granny Pod” depends on the type of pod you purchase. On average, a standard pod will run you close to $70,000. Though, there are companies that offer the pods on a lease basis, according to the New York Times.

Sit Down with Your Loved One to Talk About Long-Term Care

Whether you decide to purchase a Granny Pod is entirely up to you, your elderly loved one, and your family’s situation. There are various ways to ensure your loved ones are taken care of during their “golden years.” The key is to sit down and talk with your elderly parent(s) or other elderly family member and figure out what they prefer be done when they reach a point where they should no longer be living alone in a big house with no assistance. In addition to figuring out what your loved one would prefer, have an honest conversation about finances and determine what funding mechanism are available for proper long-term care.  Communication is key.

To learn more, check out this blog on long-term care and why having a plan in place early is absolutely essential.