Have you ever thought of building a granny flat?
Also known by their more professional name, ADU (accessory dwelling units), a granny flat is a detached living space on your land for older parents to live. They don’t have to be just for grannies; all granddads are welcome, too!
ADUs are becoming more and more popular these days and are a great solution as your parents or loved ones get older. But, why should you build one? Is it really worth it?
Check out the accessory dwelling unit benefits in this guide to work out whether it’s the right option for your family.
What is a Granny Flat?
A granny flat is a small home you build on your own land, such as in your garden, for an older person or people to live. They’re usually made for family members, like parents, but can also be used if you have a close friend who’s getting older. The style and size of an ADU can vary entirely depending on what you want, from a small granny pod to large, full-size bungalows in your backyard!
Acton ADU, for example, have a huge range of different prefab dwellings they’ve designed for various families and their older loved ones. Check it out for inspiration!
Now you know a little more about what an ADU is, let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
1. An Alternative to Nursing Homes
As loved ones get older, they often need more help with day to day living. Ageing can lead to declines in strength, mobility, and overall health, which can be scary to see happen to your parents or grandparents! A lot of people place their loved ones in nursing homes so that someone else can care for them, but this isn’t ideal.
For starters, your loved one loses a lot of their independence and privacy, which often isn’t what they want. Nursing homes are also very costly, and you might not like the idea of handing the responsibility of your loved one over to someone else. Although they might give you peace of mind, they aren’t always ideal.
This is where a granny flat is perfect! You can design your unit to cater to their needs, such as with no stairs and with support around the flat, like rails for walking and sit down showers. You can also hire a nurse to help them every day, and take on some of the responsibility yourself.
2. Less Anxiety
It can be worrying to have your elderly loved ones far away, but by having them in a property in your own garden you won’t have anything to be anxious about! Just make sure they have an alarm for slips or falls, and you can pop in on them every day to see how they are. Rather than going to bed worrying about them, you can pop down, say goodnight, and go to bed worry-free.
3. Spend More Time Together
No matter if your loved ones live across town or across the country, it can be hard to make time to see them when you have to travel. With busy schedules and a life of your own, you can’t always drop everything to pay them a visit! This can all change with an ADU.
When your parents or grandparents live on your property, you can see them every day easily, even if just to pop in and say hello. They can also come up to you much easier and you can all spend time together in the garden on nice days, creating memories that will become invaluable. As people get older, spending as much time with them as you can should be a priority – you’ll regret it if it’s not.
It’s also much nicer for them! Rather than being on their own in their house or surrounded by strangers in a care home, they’re with their family. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
4. Make Sure They’re Comfortable
While care homes are great, they’re not always the most comfortable or welcoming of places. With a room that’s been used by many before you and living areas shared by many, it’s not an ideal home for the elderly. With a granny flat, you can create them a lovely, comfortable home that’s entirely theirs.
You can surround them with their own belongings, help them buy new furnishings to brighten up their space and make sure it’s always kept clean. Being in the right environment can do so much for an individual’s mental health, so this shouldn’t be overlooked!
5. Just Enough Independence
Even with your help and perhaps a daily nurse, your elderly loved ones will still have much more independence living in their own flat than they would in a nursing home. They can eat when they like, go outdoors whenever, and have the final say over any activities. It may seem small, but even things like watching what you want in your living room and getting a cup of tea from your own kitchen can make a huge difference to their happiness!
Giving up independence is always tough, but with a granny flat your loved one won’t have to. They’ll have their own home and their own schedule, living the life they want to in a space they love.
Start Planning Your Granny Flat
A granny flat is an ideal living space for elderly family members. They can see you more, keep living a life they love, and retain their independence, and you get to spend some quality time with them and return the care they gave you when you were little. If you’re converted, start planning your granny flat today!
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