Online Buzz: Backyard, High-Tech Cottages for Seniors Provide Peace of Mind for Caregivers

Mom is moving to be closer to her family, so close you can see her right out the back door. In the 1970s, the Australians introduced free-standing, backyard dwellings for the elderly, and these mini-cottage-style suites are now catching on in the United States—but with a high-tech upgrade. Some call these prefabricated homes "granny pods," or specifically a MEDCottage™, a brand designed in part by engineering students at Virginia Tech.

The prefabricated MEDCottage™ comes in varying sizes, up to 600 square feet, with a living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette and a number of innovative features to monitor safety and health. Worried about Mom's blood pressure and glucose levels? Medical technology in the cottage can measure an older adult's key body functions, including heart rate and blood gases, and can send the data to the caregiver and physicians. Are falls a concern? A camera sends live feeds from the cottage to the caregiver's computer in the main home. The senior's privacy is still respected, as the camera only sweeps about a foot off the floor.

Learn more about the safety features and zoning issues of these "granny pods" on the Right at Home blog, where you will always find the latest information about senior health and home care.


Right at Home, Inc. is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned providers of in home care services.