For most people when they hear the words “Granny Flat”, they immediately have thoughts of elderly family members living in quaint little cottages out in the back garden of a family home. Whilst Granny Flays are certainly not just for “Granny’s” these days, particularly given the trend for young adults to remain living in the family home for longer, due to the current limitations of Australia’s booming property market.
However, Granny Flats are an amazing housing solution for the elderly and provide the perfect alternative to residential aged care facilities, which can be unnecessary, costly and in the current Covid-19 environment, not be an accommodation option that is best suited to the needs of your aging family member in terms of daily visits and on a social basis.
We take a look at why Granny Flats are a fantastic alternative housing solutions for elderly Australians.
Residential aged care – not for everyone
Residential aged care facilities are prefect for elderly Australians who require intermediate or high levels of care and assistance, and for those who do not have a family connection, support of means to assist with an alternative. However, given the costly daily care fees and the means determined bond payments required on entry, residential aged care facilities are certainly not for everyone.
For those with elderly family members who are not quite ready to enter residential care facilities, establishing a space at home, with a granny flat or granny flat extension can be perfect for those who simply;
- Struggle with the maintenance associated with living in a larger property alone, such as maintaining the lawns and gardens and the cleaning of the home.
- those who live considerable distances from their family and are no longer comfortable with the distance and travel required to visit.
- are wanting to assist their extended family by playing an active role in the family unit, such as by providing childcare.
Having an elderly relative live in a granny flat in such close proximity also has benefits for the extended family, creating strong bonds between multiple generations, and social benefits like the ability to visit each and every day, and attend family meals. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many residential aged care facilities have been locked down in order to decrease the risk of transmission to the elderly who are most vulnerable, so having the flexibility and freedom of visiting whenever due to your family member living on your property is a win for all.
What about the pension?
Often one of the biggest concerns surrounding the construction of a granny flat at the family home is cost related. Everything from how much it will cost to build, right through to who is going to fund the build are common questions that families must navigate.
One of the benefits for families, aside from the potential increase to the value of the family home that comes with adding a granny flat to your property, is that your elderly relative could still be eligible to retain part or all of their pension, under specific measures outlined in the Social Security Act 1991.
The governments Granny Flat arrangements under the Act, see the gifting provisions extended, which enables elderly family members who are looking to downsize to a granny flat to be constructed specifically for their usage, to contribute to the costs of the building process, as long as they are reasonable. These provisions are a fantastic opportunity to provide not only assistance to families who are looking for a housing solution for their elderly family member but is also a solution that provides long term stability for the elderly person, as opposed to being forced into a residential care arrangement.
Of course, all financial decisions related to granny flat arrangements and constructions should be discussed with an accountant or financial planner, but the fact that the Social Security Act provides some flexibility in the regard is extremely reassuring for families who are exploring their options.
Granny Flats = Cost Effective Solutions
Another benefit to a Granny Flat, particularly on the Central Coast is the fact that even after construction costs a Granny Flat can be a cost-effective solution, when compared with a residential aged care facility. Care facilities are becoming increasingly costly, with costs driven by the demand of these services. With the aging population, more and more aged care facilities are at capacity, without bed vacancies, which can limit choices for families in terms of securing suitable accommodation.
Nothing beats togetherness!
The major selling point or strengths of the ‘should we construct a Granny Flat’ discussion is the fact that having your elderly family member reside with you, will bring your family together. The sense of togetherness can bring peace of mind as you are able to keep an eye out for yourself, ensuring your family member is happy and safe. Aged Care facilities, on the contrary, often have what is generally considered a ‘revolving door’ in terms of employees, with many facilities struggling to find staff, particularly in the current covid-19 environment.
How Coastal Granny Flats can help
With over 36 years in the building and construction industry, 9 of those being specially constructing customised granny flats right here on the Central Coast, the team at Coastal Granny Flats are the regions premier choice when it comes to a granny flat addition to your home. With a customer centric focus and our ability to work collaboratively with our clients, our granny flats add value and space to any home. Built using aesthetically pleasing designs, and completely customised to suit your property, our no one size fits all approach means your granny flat will be exactly what you need for your family.
Whatever your plans, get in touch today, and chat to a member of our friendly team about your options.