Care Home Alternatives: Is A Garden Annexe Right For Your Family?
As our parent’s age, there comes a time when it’s no longer suitable for them to stay in their home. Perhaps you’ve noticed they’re a little more forgetful than usual, or they’ve had yet another fall, or perhaps they’re struggling to keep on top of the housework.
When this time comes, there’s a number of options available to our elderly parents, such as a smaller property, care home, retirement village and of course, moving them into your own home. However, one option you may not have considered yet is a garden annexe, or granny annexe as they are more commonly referred to.
A garden annexe is a luxurious custom-built, prefab building that fits comfortably into your back garden. If you’d like your parents to live closer to you, whilst still maintaining their independence, a garden annexe may be the perfect choice for you. And it’s often the more cost-effective option!
How Will Your Family Benefit From A Garden Annexe?
There is a reason why the number of garden annexes has sky-rocketed in recent years. Garden annexes have a range of benefits for your elderly parents, yourself and the family as a whole.
Garden Annexes Bring The Family Together
They provide the perfect solution for those who are wanting to downsize and move closer to the family. And with your ageing parents living so close to your home, you’ll know they’re being properly looked after. You can help them out with housework or cooking etc. and you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ll be there if they need you. Better yet, your family will get to spend quality time together.
Garden Annexes Are Designed With Seniors In Mind
They’re basically a luxury mini bungalow! A garden annexe usually has one or two bedrooms, a bathroom or a wet room, a living area and a kitchen/dining area. These spacious annexes are also accessible and can include optional aids, such as grab rails and wheelchair ramps. So, your parents won’t lose the quality of life if they become less mobile.
Help Your Parents Maintain Their Independence
Another benefit of a garden annexe is that it will help your ageing parents maintain their independence. They will have their own space and a place to call home without feeling as if they’re intruding on other people’s lives. Your parents will be able to live independently, safe in the knowledge that they can call on you if they need to.
Garden Annexes Combat Health Issues
Having your parents living so close enables you to keep an eye on their health. It’s the small things that often make the biggest difference. For example, you’ll be able to ensure your parents are taking the correct medication, remind them of an upcoming doctor’s appointment or drive them to the hospital. Similarly, your elderly parents won’t feel lonely or anxious if they have family nearby.
A Cost-Effective Solution
With care home costs always on the up, a garden annexe can offer a cost-effective elderly care alternative. For example, some of the most economically priced annexes available start at £58,500 for a full turnkey service. The average cost of a care home in the UK, in 2017/18, was £32,344 a year or £44,512 a year with included nursing care. It goes without saying that paying £30k-£40k per year will quickly drain your parents’ hard-earned retirement pot.
Garden Annexes Are Financially Beneficial
Moving your parents into a garden annexe has plenty of financial benefits. Aside from being far more cost-effective than other elderly care options, garden annexes have other benefits. For example, if your parents are downsizing into an annexe, they will have fewer monthly costs. Also, having an annexe in your garden can increase the value of your house if you ever come to sell.
What Space Do You Need For A Garden Annexe?
If you live in a home with a very small back garden, it may be obvious that an annexe won’t fit. However, the average British back garden is usually large enough to accommodate a garden annexe comfortably.
Garden annexes are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The smaller annexes are often around 6-7 metres long and just 3-4 metres wide. These small, cosy annexes still include everything mum or dad needs to live comfortably, such as a bedroom, living space, kitchen area and bathroom. They are designed to maximise space and fit easily into most back gardens.
If you have a decent-sized garden and flat surface, there’s a good chance you could have a luxury garden annexe installed with no problem at all. And if you have a spacious garden, you could opt for a much larger annexe with two bedrooms and an open-plan living area, providing its footprint is no larger than the main house.
Do You Need Planning Permission?
If you’re considering a garden annexe as an elderly care alternative for your ageing parents, it’s essential that you’re equipped with all the information. And that includes planning permission. Planning permission is usually required for most garden annexes, but don’t let it be a deterrent!
Your Local Planning Authority will have some rules when it comes to having another building in your gardenF for example, your garden annexe can’t have a larger footprint than the main house. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that garden annexes are designed to fit in gardens, meaning they are small yet spacious.
We’re not all experts in applying for planning permission, so when choosing a garden annexe supplier, make sure you choose one that’s going to take care of the planning permission process for you.