Sooner or later, if you work in Real Estate, you will have a client who is looking for one level living. Sometimes it is for their own health or convenience and sometimes it is in anticipation of an older parent coming to live with them.
In Northern Virginia, there are a fair number of one level-living homes--unfortunately, many of them seem to be in the older (and more expensive) communities. In the newer communities (further outside of the city), it is harder to find a rambler or single level home; many of the builders went 2 stories up, figuring that the increased cost was negligible in return for the higher sales prices.
For clients in those areas, the question of how to age in place or care for an older relative can become tricky. There is a new solution on the market, however, and the first one has been installed in Fairfax County. Welcome to the Med Cottage, or the Granny Pod, as they are often referred.
The Washington Post article, published 11-26-12, describes how one family has adapted the 12x24 cottage to the needs of an aging parent, Pioneering the granny pod: Fairfax County family adapts to high-tech dwelling that could change elder care.
It is an intriguing idea; rather than move to accommodate an older relative, a new structure is put in your yard to allow them some privacy. This new type of housing has been approved by Virginia, contingent on medical need. Once the person moves out, or there is no longer a need, the unit must be removed in 30 days.
Personally, I imagine we will see many more of these Med Cottages in the future.
Have you seen anything like this in your communities? What do you think of this as an alternative to large-scale remodeling or assisted living?
For more information about the develpment of this new housing prototype, Va. launching portable housing for aging relatives