Granny Pods are a growing trend as a different way of senior living.
Some factors like the shortage of affordable housing and a growing sense of appreciation for the family following the COVID epidemic definitely play a role, but there’s more to it than that. Let’s take a look at why seniors are choosing to live in “Granny Pods.”
The most common reasons are:
Being close to family
Living in a social community
Helping with to the family (babysitting, dog sitting, cooking, etc)
It’s no secret that as we age there comes a time in our lives when we need to plan for the future, and the assistance we will need. Common activities that become more difficult for seniors are things like:
Mowing the lawn
Overall responsibilities of owning a home
As seniors grow older, they need help with basic tasks and ultimately need to find assistance in one form or another.
One benefit of Granny Pods that is often overlooked but greatly valuable is the diversity of age that comes from having multiple generations living together. This is a win-win situation in a variety of ways.
Seniors have much to offer to their younger family members and the same is true vice versa. Seniors in their earlier years are able to help around the house with things like babysitting and cooking but are also full of wisdom and life long lessons. It is incredibly valuable for children in their youth and young adults to be around seniors as it gives them perspective and allows them to better appreciate the later stages of life that they will one day experience.
In the same breath, seniors benefit greatly from being around young people. It keeps them youthful and being part of a younger functioning family unit gives them a sense of purpose. Being around youth provides seniors with new quality experiences every day and brings back memories of earlier years as well.
The obvious benefit for seniors is that there comes a day when they need help with daily activities. When that day comes their family is right next door to give them a helping hand. At times it may be as simple as a few activities a day that are too much for seniors to handle. In other scenarios, they will be needing almost full-time help. Some seniors will be able to remain in a granny pod their entire life with only moderate help from family while others require more assistance.
In situations where seniors need more help than the family can provide there are different options depending on the level of care they need.
Paid in Home Care
If the issue is not enough time, families can hire a paid aid to come into the home and help their parents. Having separate living spaces is a big benefit when using paid caregivers as they can come and help without being in the rest of the family's living space. This is a good solution that allows seniors to still live with their families and at an expense that is less than most assisted living options.
Despite in-home care being a viable solution for many, assisted living facilities are also sometimes the best living arrangement. When a senior is needing more serious medical care that requires specialized treatment and equipment that is not best brought into a home, there comes a time when moving a senior to a skilled care facility will be the best option.
Despite some seniors reporting that they feel like they are burdening their family, many children report interest in taking their parents into their own homes.
In a Gallup & Robinson research project they found that more than half (51 percent) of adult children expressed willingness to have an older parent move in with them when they could no longer live on their own. These adult children report that having their parents living next door gives them great peace of mind and is more convenient than attempting to care for them at a different property or worrying about if they are getting the care they need living elsewhere.