Do we work hard for most of our lives so that one day we wake up in some nursing facility or retirement home? Definitely not.
The last couple decades of our lives should be spent in comfort, peace, and security. These facilities say they offer all these things, but how sure of that can we be?
A decade ago, my dad agreed to go to a nursing home so that he could get the care and attention that he needed.
The home was an hour drive my house and my father had to leave behind all his treasured belongings.
I visited him a week later and I couldn't help but notice how low his spirits were. His room evoked no emotion whatsoever, and he constantly talked about how much he missed his old home.
He said having his own place gave him a sense of freedom, and these facilities made him feel restricted and alone, especially being so far from family.
He also mentioned that the visiting hours were strict and the staff were sometimes aggressive.
It broke my heart to hear him say that, and I offered him to come stay at my place, but he refused. Even if he did agree, my house has so many steps that it would be impossible for him to walk up and down from.
My dad, however, is one of the lucky ones. There have been many cases where hidden camera footage has revealed the elderly suffering horrific abuses at nursing homes.
I know this all sounds grim, and the more stories you hear about these places, the more nervous you feel about growing older.
As someone whose almost at the age of retirement, I can understand that feeling.
There weren't a lot options for my dad at the time, but today things have changed and people have come up with some ingenious ways to provide comfort and security for the elderly.
Doctor Kenneth Dupin came up with a brilliant idea: tiny homes for the elderly!
A Brilliant Solution
He calls them "granny pods," but these tiny homes are also known as MEDCottage.
Dupin told NRP that he was inspired to design these home after hearing Katie's story.
Katie lived in a house she loved, filled with treasured memorabilia, but she was forced to leave all that behind when she had to move to a nursing home.
"I went over to her, and she pulled me down to where I could hear her, and she said [through tears], 'Please take me home,'" Dupin recalled.
Dupin wondered if there was a way he could prevent people from having to go to nursing homes and be able to stay close to their families.
That's when he thought of these mini-mobile homes, which are only 400-square-feet. All you have to do is park one in a backyard and hook it up to the main home's water and electricity.
They rent for approximately $2,000 a month and are equipped with the latest technology.
Inside The "Granny Pod"
Because these homes are so small, they can easily fit in a regular-sized backyard.
There are webcams installed in each of the cottages for safety reasons.
"This is something that we call 'Feet Sweep,'" Dupin explained to NPR. The camera can only see a person's feet, so if that person fell, family members would be able to see them lying on the floor and immediately call for help.
I really like this open-concept floor plan. Most tiny homes you see barely give you enough space to stand, but this place seems to have fairly high ceilings and leg room.
The kitchen and sitting area is the perfect size for one person.
The homes can even fit a laundry machine in it's small storage space. Most tiny homes don't even have that.
You can also find defibrillators, rails, and first aid kits in the home. Oh, and the floors are illuminated. Did you think you'd be paying $2,000 for nothing?
I love kitchen sinks that have a window behind it. It's nice to look up and see what's going on outside.
There's so many windows in this home, making the place feel so much bigger than it actually is.
The home also comes with a monitoring system so that you can check your loved one's temperature and heart rate.
The bathroom is quite spacious and is adaptable for disabled persons.
Jumping On The Bandwagon
Jane Baldwin, a 67-year-old retiree, bought a granny pod and moved from Wyoming to California to be closer to her family.
"I am in love with it," she told CNBC. "I can't foresee leaving here until I'm dead."
As for Dupin, he said he'd definitely see himself living in one of these homes in the future.
"I'll probably be in one of the backyards of one of my kids."
Would you ever consider buying this tiny home?
If you liked this article, check out the huge problem with tiny homes that no one talks about.