ADUs for Age-in-Place

Have aging parents or in-laws? In this blog post, we explore why ADUs are perfect for aging in place.

Last updated 
December 5, 2022
ADUs for Age-in-Place

ADUs for Age-in-Place

Are your parents or in-laws getting older and needing more help with daily tasks? A backyard ADU just might be the perfect solution. Accessory dwelling units make great homes for older adults, as the ADU’s compact design makes them easier to navigate and maintain. In fact, more and more aging Americans are choosing to downsize into ADUs. Here are some of the benefits of building a granny flat for the beloved elders in your life.

Intergenerational Living

Having your parents close by means you can spend treasured quality time with them during their golden years. It just might help them live longer, too: older adults are at higher risk for social isolation and loneliness, which can have a serious impact on their health. Having frequent interactions with family members makes older adults feel more connected and valued, which in turn reduces stress and makes them happier.

Building an in-law unit for your aging parents means they can develop a closer relationship with their children and grandchildren, and you can breathe easy knowing they’re safe and close by. If your beloved older relatives can’t live alone anymore but don’t want to move into assisted living, an in-law unit in your backyard might just be the ideal option.

Save Money Now, Make Money Later

If you’re considering moving your parents into an assisted living facility, you might want to consider an ADU instead. Though it costs more up front, you’ll save money in the long run.

The total cost of building an ADU is less than two years’ worth of payments for the average assisted living facility in Los Angeles County. And if your parents or in-laws ever decide to move out, you can rent out the ADU for some reliable passive income.

You'll reap even more benefits when it’s time to sell your home, as an ADU increases your property’s value by an average of 18%. An accessory unit makes your home more attractive to potential buyers, who appreciate the income potential of renting out an additional dwelling unit.

Intentionally Designed for Aging-in-Place

Many aging adults live in large multi-story houses, which are difficult to navigate and put their occupants at risk for falls. With their open floor plan and single-story design, ADUs make ideal housing options for older people. Plus, new construction or renovation allows for the addition of extra lighting, padded & non-slip surfaces, and built-in technology. But not all ADUs are created equal, and you want to make sure the company designing yours knows what they’re doing — like Otto ADU.

Industry leading experts

At Otto, we work closely with experts from the National Institute of Aging, The Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, and USC’s School of Gerontology to ensure that our ADUs are designed with seniors’ health, safety, and comfort in mind. Every aspect of the design is carefully chosen for optimal mobility and safety, from strategically placed handrails to non-slip surfaces.

Our age-in-place design element options include:

  • Grab bars
  • Curbless shower
  • Under-counter appliances
  • Handheld shower fixture
  • Accessible thresholds: ADA threshold doors, ramped/sloped entries, no threshold at bedroom/bathroom doors)
  • Induction cooktops (helpful for those with cognitive disabilities and dementia)
  • Accessible, user-friendly hardware (e.g. large pulls, lever handles at doors, etc)
  • Dimmer and/or sensor controlled lighting (helpful for people with ocular sensitivities or physical impairments)
  • Durable, easy-to-clean flooring that can withstand mobility devices
  • Sensor controlled faucets

Unlike prefab ADUs, Otto can customize customize designs to include all of the design features you need and leave out the ones you don’t. We can also plan for future adjustments as needed by adding blocking in walls during construction. This allows makes it simple to add more grab bars in the future.

We also design flexible plans that allow for the space to be laid out differently in response to the changing needs of its occupants.

Otto can design for either privacy or more visibility between main house and ADU through the careful placement of windows, doors, fences, and other design/privacy elements.

Because Otto takes care of everything, you don’t have to worry about filing permits or finding and managing a contractor. When you hire Otto ADU to design and build your granny flat, you know your folks are getting the very best.

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