Independence sometimes seems like a distant dream for individuals with special needs. Having a place to call your own is often impossible. Not because you are incapable of self-care, but because the number of already, accessible homes is limited.
With the convenience of a dwelling unit, customized to address your needs, many people special needs are gaining not just independence, and a private, comfortable way to enrich their personal life.
If you own a piece of property big enough to house an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) for someone with special needs, it is definitely worth looking into. Not only will you be providing that sense of independence, but you’ll also gain peace of mind knowing that the people most important to you are close by.
ADUs are not a new concept, they’re well trodden ground for creating flexible living spaces and a great way to invest in the long term housing capabilities of almost any property that permits one..
And for people with special needs, an ADU can be one of the best investments out there.
What is an ADU?
ADUs have been around for over a century and go by many different names: granny flats, in-law suits, even.
The separate dwelling is added to a residential property and have multiple uses. Most people use ADUs as a monther-in-law suite or for family. , guest house, detached offices, or den.
But, adding a dwelling unit it isn’t the same as an addition or building a new house. ADUs are full, independent homes, and in most jurisdictions, matching the exterior treatments, roofing, windows, and doors, is required.
In the age of Airbnb, a dwelling unit can come in handy as a source of extra income, as well. However, they cannot be sold separately from the main home.
When done right, they can add to the overall value of your home and make the property more desirable for families when placed on the market.
Apartment prices in most cities across the United States are soaring. The ability to add an ADU to your property is a big advantage. Providing this option to a family member can help in many ways.
A Dwelling Unit can be Customized
There are times when your home isn't designed for someone with special needs. Limitations with mobility can prevent them from walking upstairs. As a result, to address the issue a lower level space has been converted into a bedroom.
With an ADU placed on your property, you can reclaim that space for its intended purpose. At the same time, giving the family member space and privacy they deserve.
An adult with special needs will love the idea of having their own place. The best part of adding a dwelling unit for their accommodations is they are easily customizable.
Whether you need a place that is wheelchair accessible or requires appliances set at a special height, you can create exactly what they want and need.
The person with special needs can play a pivotal role in the design of their housing. This will make the space, truly their own. If changes are required the need can be met quicker and easier than if they lived elsewhere.
Moving your loved one into a facility or apartment complex will not give them this added level of comfort.
It Gives a Sense of Security to the Family
Having a family member with special needs can be stressful on its own. Worrying about their safety and security adds another layer to the stress. With the convenience of a backyard dwelling unit, you can sleep at night knowing they are only feet away.
An ADU designed for someone with special needs can be equipped with security features, as well. You can install the same safety alarms in the unit that you would in your own home. In addition to fire and gas alarms, you can also add sensors to detect a fall or if they are in distress.
If needed, you can even install cameras and communication devices for visual monitoring. For those who are more independent, a call button will work.
The ADU Will Save Money
Assisted living facilities (ALF) can cause a huge dent in your monthly budget. Home care facilities and personnel can ranged from anywhere between $5,000 and $12,000 per month for care. Even with insurance, you may not be able to afford the cost of giving your family member the option of moving into their own space.
With your own special needs housing on your property, you can absorb the cost into your mortgage by refinancing to cover the expense. Not to mention your investment into the wellbeing of your family member, is no longer a sunk cost, but rather a long term investment that benefits the family generationally. It will be less costly than having the person in an apartment group home, or assisted living facility (ALF).
If the person is receiving benefits such as Supplemental Security Income or disability payments, they can pay their own utilities. In an accessory dwelling unit, these costs should are much less than full sized homes.
You Keep the Family Together
The assurances of having a family member with special needs close by means a lot. Providing the convenience and independence of their own home, is a win for everyone.
Your family remains close even though the person is in their own place, with a sense of community where they have an extended support system. That’s vital. It also eliminates a sense of loneliness and any feelings of abandonment that can come when people are placed in housing away from their family.
By keeping your loved ones close, you make it much easier to monitor any medical or occupational services they may be receiving.
On the flipside, if the main home belongs to someone who has developed a special need, having an ADU is a blessing. Often these backyard units are used to house an adult caretaker, so there is someone available around the clock.
Are You Looking to add an ADU?
If you're looking into adding a dwelling unit to your property to accommodate a family member with special needs, look no further. We can help you ask the right questions on how to approach a backyard home. Having a professional to walk you through the design process, from feasibility to warranty, really improves the likelihood of getting the finished product you envision and need.
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