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.