- High-Tech “Granny Pods.” Technology experts joined forces with a home manufacturer to create modern cottages for elderly individuals. The cottages can be located in the backyards of adult children, family, or friends. The space affords the senior privacy, independence, and several high-tech features, while still ensuring a nearby support network should it be needed. Optional features include built-in medication dispensers, extra space for a caregiver, special air filtration, sensor alerts (such as medication reminders and contacts for help), a toilet with urinalysis capabilities, and more. This new cottage option comes on the heels of the “Tiny House Movement.” Many Americans have sought out ways to simplify, minimize possessions, reduce expenses, and subsist on less. This has prompted a wave of individuals, couples, and families in recent years to ultra-downsize into a Tiny House—generally a small home built on a trailer that is approximately 100-400 square feet.
- Communal living. Our Chapel Hill elder law attorneys recently devoted a post to communal living options for seniors. Communal living allows residents to share expenses and domestic responsibilities while also providing for companionship among one’s peers.
- In-law suites. Many families have accommodated for an elderly relative by creating a separate living space from a garage renovation or building an addition on one’s home. Sometimes home modifications impose limitations; building codes, utility lines, and other factors could prohibit a space from having all the features that are desired. Instead of modifying a home to create a space that is less than ideal, families may opt to invest in a new home equipped with an in-law suite. The demand for in-law suites is greater than in the past. Many new home builders respond to this demand by offering suite construction as an option. Selling both the senior’s home as well as the family home can help to contribute to the cost of a new space, satisfy family needs to stay close, and preserve the senior’s eligibility for certain public benefits.
Care options should also be considered when choosing or developing living spaces for seniors. Nearby medical treatment options, home health services, and other health care providers should be researched in advance. For individuals considering caring for an aging loved one, our elder law attorneys provide a complimentary Caregiver’s Guide. The free eBook offers suggestions for minimizing financial burdens, maximizing Medicare benefits, and remaining eligible for Medicaid, as well as discussing important legal documents that should be in order. November is National Caregivers Month. Contact our firm for more information, and request a copy of your Caregiver’s Guide here.
By Attorney Katie Muhlenkamp
By Attorney Katie Muhlenkamp