What’s the biggest fear for 88% of aging senior citizens? Becoming unable to live independently, and ending up in a nursing home. Well, in the very near future, the solution could literally be in your own backyard: A high-tech “granny pod.” A 12-by-24 foot prefab bungalow with a bedroom, kitchenette, washer-dryer, and a bathroom big enough for a wheelchair. It’s decked out with the high-tech monitoring and safety features found in many nursing homes, like emergency call buttons. And all you have to do is pop it on a cement slab, and hook it up to your home’s utilities.
One company, MED Cottage, installs special rubber floors that can cushion falls, and they say you could drop a raw egg on it from 18 inches, and it wouldn’t break. Granny pods also provide “night-light mats” that automatically light up when you step on them, and lead from the bed to the toilet. They also have a camera system hooked up to a computer in the main house; the cameras are aimed at the floor, so they mostly show feet and ankles. But if grandma falls, you’d be able to see them.
Granny pods can also track things like blood pressure and heart rate, and alert you if there’s a problem. And if grandma doesn’t take her meds from a dispenser on time, the system verbally reminds her, and sends you a text message.
Of course, granny pods aren’t cheap; they cost about $85,000, installed. But a year in a nursing home can easily cost that much. But the best thing is granny pods gives seniors and families privacy, and their own space, while reassuring grandma that someone’s there to help if they need it.