Many times when it becomes apparent that mom or dad can’t safely live along any longer, the first reaction is for the family to consider having mom or dad move in with an adult child. This is a supportive and loving plan but in today’s world, not always a practical plan due to the space and privacy needs of mom or dad and the adult child and his or her family. Too much togetherness can quickly escalate into stress, hurt feelings and family division.
A viable solution may be to have a cottage installed in the adult child’s back yard for mom or dad. Cottages are small modular homes specifically designed for elderly or special needs family members. Local zoning laws permitting, the cottages can be delivered and set up in the back yard of the main house. The cottages come in various sizes and styles and are equipped with universal design features such as lever handles and wide doorways. The cost of installing the modular cottage may be much more affordable than modifying the exisitng home to add an in-law suite.
The cottage can be a practical way to have mom or dad safely close by without either mom, dad or the adult child giving up the privacy and space they need to peacefully co-exist. The cottage can also help to satisfy mom or dad’s understandable need for some independence and control over their own environment.
Leaving a house is not an easy transition for mom or dad. Many times, because of the memories associated with the house, it isn’t just a house, it is a home. A cottage in your back yard won’t mean that leaving the home and making downsizing choices about what comes along for the move won’t be any less emotional for mom or dad, but it could be a desirable enough alternative to give mom or dad the opportunity to see the move as both an end and a beginning and not just as an end.