Grand-Pods? Keeping Parents Nearby But Not In the House

Oct 10, 2012

The Inspired In-Law Cottage, one of the new “accessory dwelling units” being offered by home manufacturers. See more photos here.


Having parents move in (or kids hang around into their adult years) has been fodder for situation comedies on television since the 1960s. “All In the Family” with Carroll O’Connor, for example, enjoyed a long run from 1968-79 exploring (or perhaps exploiting) the political, societal, sexual and generational fault lines in America.

But having the parents move in, moving back with the parents to help care for them, or having adult children living at home is no laughing matter for millions of American families.

To deal with these issues, American ingenuity is at in again. The housing industry has created the “accessory dwelling unit.” Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, these new housing units are designed to put aging parents close to caregiving children — but allowing the older generation to maintain as much independence as possible. The brand names are interesting: “Practical Assisted Living Structure” (PALS) and “Inspired In-Law Cottage.” Read an article here.

Houses define much of Americans’ lives. Where do you envision living your retirement?

— Sharon Emek, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO


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