ALFA - Assisted Living Federation of America

ALFA - Assisted Living Federation of America

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Brian G.


High Tech Granny Pods? A disruptive senior living product?

Clinical Director, Commonwealth Care Alliance; Founder, CareNetworks, LLC; Faculty, Yale University

As seniors age, it becomes increasingly difficult for family members to care for them. Many opt to place their loved ones in a nursing home, but a new, more high-tech option is now available.

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  • November 29, 2012
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  • Jaclyn A.


    Jaclyn A.

    Vice President of Marketing and Communications at ALFA - Assisted Living Federation of America

    Brian- what an interesting concept. I think for some families that have the land to place a MedCottage, this business model might work. But, providing assistance with any necessary ADLs would still lie on the family's shoulders instead of a a trained professional, and the senior would miss out on the camaraderie of staff and social activities with residents at traditional senior living communities.

    What do you all think of MedCottages? What are the benefits/issues?

  • Yvonne Parkel B.

    Yvonne Parkel

    Yvonne Parkel B.


    I agree with Jaclyn. I would add: At the cost of $85,000.00 for a "doll house" (yes I watched the video) I'd have to know for positive sure that my loved one was going to live a long time in good health both mentally and physically. And the social activities and friendships and excellent care avaialble at extended care facilities, I would have to know that I would be able to provide the equal or better level of oppoirtunities to my loved one or else I would not be doing what was in their best interest. And I'm thinking you could buy a travel trailer for lots less and have the same amount of room and you could move it when the time came. Concept sounds good, looks good - I 'm just not sure it is the answer to the aging population across the board. Under some circumstances I can see that it would work. For the most part, when a person gets to that point in their life, they need to be tended to a little more closely than "out in the back yard".

  • Alissa S.


    Alissa S.

    Director of Sales and Marketing | Lake Prince Woods at United Church Homes and Services

    Another factor that is 'top of mind' for me is the lack of access to social activities. Yes, it is in the same yard as the adult child & family, but they have their own lives going. I can see this type of lifestyle for a couple, but view it as somewhat challenging for a single. While I would like to be near my children, if my life comes to this stage, I would not want to be in their backyard. It does not feel intuitively good for the family or the senior. I do know a family that has recently built a new home (on 1.5 acres) with a connected (but separate) addition for his parents, who are both very healthy. What I like about their design is the separate housing, but connectivity without enduring the elements to go from one abode to the other. The parents and adult child combined resources to create this new living situation, and they seem to be having a great time. Time will tell how it works out as the parents age.

  • Robin

    Robin W.

    Professor at Robin Wexler Associates

    Not every elder or familywants or needs the same solustions. Some people want assisted living, others live with family or have care givers. There is not only one solution for elder care. Med Cottages are another option for the people who want this option and have the resourses. Not every community will permit this sort of housing nor does everyone own a free standing house with sufficient land to build a Med Cottage. It is a fit for some but not for everyone, just as a nursing home works for some, assisted living for others and home health aids in the elders home is a fit for other people.

  • Jeremy S.


    Jeremy S.

    Director at Karisma Community, Senior Placement Specialist, Visionary Entrepreneur.

    I think there are many creative ideas which come standard in these, "Granny Pods."
    I just don't quite think they have been utilized to the best of their potential. I am very impressed by the creators of this concept and their willingness to implement such a creative idea.