Why ADUs Make Great Homes for the Elderly

Why ADUs Make Great Homes for the Elderly

Here is why Cedar ADUs make great homes for the elderly!

Although the media has steadily been pushing the “put your parents in a nursing home and forget about them” trend, many people actually don’t want to (or can’t) do that. 

While assisted living facilities and nursing homes are a wonderful way to ensure that your aging parents and in-laws have proper care, sometimes they aren’t the ideal solution for everyone.

First of all, moving into a care facility is a considerable change. It can make people feel isolated and lonely, which can lead to a whole set of issues. Furthermore, it can make people feel abandoned. 

However, it’s also quite expensive. That’s precisely why over 34 million Americans provide care for their relatives and close family. That means that over 34 million Americans either frequently visit their aging parents to provide them with daily care, or they move in with them (or have them move in instead). 

While living together is the most cost-effective (and the least time-consuming) solution, not everyone has the space to do that. Not to mention, having someone move in with you means you have to give up quite a bit of your privacy (as do they).

So, what’s the solution? Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), of course!

ADUs as Homes for the Elderly — Why Consider It?

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) has many names, one of which is a granny flat. And, as the name suggests, an ADU is the perfect way to have your aging parent move in with you without actually moving in with you.

adus are perfect homes for the elderly

Having a backyard cottage (that’s a fully functional apartment) at your disposal allows you to:

  • have more usable living space
  • have the privacy you’re used to 
  • offer care and support to your elderly loved ones without compromising their independence

ADUs are beneficial in two different ways. They allow for:

  • multigenerational housing
  • aging in place

In other words, people can build ADUs in their backyards and move their elderly relatives in, or the elderly relatives can build ADUs and move into them while having their adult children move into the original single-family home. That might sound overly complicated, but both multigenerational living and aging in place are the perfect solutions for the increased cost of elderly care.

Multigenerational Living | Homes for the Elderly

As mentioned, ADUs are not only a great real estate and investment opportunity (since they increase the value of your home) but also a great way to have the best of both worlds. You get to live with your extended family and have your privacy.

However, those aren’t the only benefits of using tiny housing such as ADUs to expand your living space and invite elderly relatives into your home.


As with anything else in life, safety is a number one priority. Older adults are at a greater risk of injuring themselves than young people are. 

One in four people over the age of 65 will fall over a year. The risk becomes even more significant as our elderly relatives age. People 85 or older are five times more likely to unintentionally injure themselves (oftentimes fatally). 

Most of those injuries happen at home. What’s more, they get exacerbated by the fact that the elderly who live alone and fall often can’t call for help. By the time someone checks on them, the injury might have already progressed beyond repair.

That’s why ADUs are a great solution. People who house their elderly in in-law suites in their backyard don’t have to worry about safety. First of all, they can check on their elderly any time they want. 

cedar offers one-story adus without stairs

Second, depending on how far the ADU actually is (which, of course, depends on the zoning laws and backyard layout), you might also be able to hear them call for help.

Furthermore, if you’re building an ADU with the sole purpose of housing an elderly relative, you can adapt it to their needs, thus making it even safer. ADUs, like the ones Cedar offers, are one-story buildings (which means no stairs!) that you can add safety amenities to.

Privacy And Independence

We’ve mentioned many times that ADUs allow for quite a bit of privacy. Of course, the level of that privacy depends on the type of ADU you go for. However, no matter which one you opt for, both you and your relatives will have more privacy than you would if you just have them move into the primary residence with you.

Just because a person moves in with their adult child doesn’t mean they are incompetent to take care of themselves. In fact, independence and self-reliance are vital for the good spirits of the elderly.

Reduced Cost Of Elderly Care

Of course, no matter how independent they’d like to be, sometimes our elderly relatives aren’t capable of taking proper care of themselves. They might need assistance with some (or most tasks).

It’s a fact of life that as we age, we lose strength and mobility. That can sabotage us and even prove to be fatal if we don’t get some extra help.

However, that extra help can be pretty costly. Depending on the type of care a person needs, elderly care can cost anywhere between $5.529 and $$11.437 per month. So, it’s no wonder that many elderly choose to stay in their homes as they age, even when that’s not the safest option. Sometimes they have no choice.

While care facilities and assisted living are sometimes the only options, many elderly could go without them (and their cost) if they only had a little bit of extra help. But how does an ADU play into that?

Well, if you have one in your backyard, your parent could come live with you. Alternatively, you could move into one or have a professional move into one and keep an eye on your relative while also respecting their independence.

Building an ADU isn’t a small investment. However, it’s worth it, considering that it’s a multi-purpose one. In ten years, when your elderly relatives are sadly no longer with you, you can use the ADU for other purposes (like a home office, a guest house, or extra rental income).

A Better Use of Precious Time

Both your elderly relatives and you have a finite amount of time together. So, why waste it? Having your parents or in-laws close to you has plenty of benefits. 

First and foremost, it means that your kids will be able to grow up with their grandparent’s guidance. Having your parents there means that you actually have a village at your disposal that will help you raise your kids. 

But having a built-in babysitting system isn’t the only benefit. Kids who grow up in a multigenerational household have a more resilient identity. Having their grandparents present during childhood makes kids less agist and less prone to depression.

Of course, it also works both ways. Grandparents who actively see and spend time with their grandkids are less lonely and live longer.

So it’s really a win-win situation. 

Furthermore, having your relatives so close means that you’ll also spend less time traveling for the holidays. It makes the whole ordeal less stressful and easier to organize (especially in these unprecedented times). Not to mention, it also means that your elderly loved ones won’t have to drive to see you. That’s an extra layer of safety to consider.

Aging In Place

Multigenerational living isn’t the only way we can utilize ADUs to help the elderly. As people age, they find it harder to maintain their single-family homes. Just cleaning the entire house becomes increasingly difficult. Not to mention, financially sustaining one is no picnic either.

adus let your elders age in peace

Building an ADU in the backyard of a home allows the elderly to:

  • get an extra income
  • downsize and use the rental income to ease their financial hardship
  • stay on the properties they lived their whole lives on while being less lonely

Every change is hard. That’s especially true if it comes after decades of routine. While the state of California is doing everything to make aging easier on everybody, the elderly might still have some trouble adjusting.

That’s why aging in place in an ADU is the perfect solution. It resolves the financial issues many elderly face, and it takes care of the fact that they can’t maintain and upkeep their original homes anymore.

Build an ADU for Your Loved Ones Today! | Homes for the Elderly

build an adu for your elders

Here at Cedar, family is everything. Our main objective is to build family and elderly-friendly accessory dwelling units that will help people provide extra space to their family members. ADUs are great both for growing and changing families.

So, if you’re looking to take the next step and start an ADU project, look no further than Cedar. Our turn-key solutions that are multi-purpose projects will make a great addition to your family property and provide you with the chance to help your loved ones in their times of need. Call us today, and let us help you help them!