What Type of Tiny Home Is Best for Seniors?

Tiny homes can be great for seniors, particularly when they need more mobility to travel, looking into saving money, or are living with a family member that wants to have their own space. Tiny homes can be small houses that offer elderly parents the chance to stay close to their caregivers and still maintain their own privacy and space. These houses can also be designed particularly for the seniors, as well as for the physically disabled. Tiny homes are also cost-effective to build and maintain. Since they are small, they are easy to clean and provide affordable housing for financially challenged older adults who want to avoid the high cost of a care facility. 

If you are searching for the best tiny home for seniors, we are here to help you. In this post, we are going to give you more information about the type of tiny home that is best for seniors.

Are Tiny Homes for Senior Housing a Good Idea?

inside a tiny home

If you have an aging parent who lives with you, you may realize that you need more space and time away from each other. However, the challenge is if the senior parent needs some help with some tasks and you really won’t want them to move out because of that.

Unlike an in-law suite in your home, a tiny home is a detached little house that is located ideally on the family property. They are a great option that will provide you with both more space and privacy while enabling you to be right across the yard or driveway from your loved one. Here are some of the things that can be installed in the tiny home that would benefit the seniors:

  • Video monitors to see them in case of an emergency.
  • Floor lights that are activated by motion.
  • Monitors that can display the time their medicines should be taken.
  • Intercoms for easy communication.
  • Grab bars in the bathroom and shower for support. 

Tiny homes are great for seniors as they can live in these homes while still maintaining a sense of independence. However, if you really plan to put a tiny home in your backyard, you also need to consider the zoning laws in your state, as they vary from one place to another.

The Best Types of Tiny Homes for Seniors

a simple tiny home

If you are searching for the best types of tiny homes for seniors, whether they will be placed in the yard or some other place, we’ve found the best ones for you. Some of these can be relocated easily if needed, and they also offer the best at-home care solution for seniors or elderly parents and loved ones.

Granny Pod

This is a type of tiny home that has been around for a few decades, and they have grown more popular continuously over the years. This is because many Baby Boomers are retiring, and they wish to live close to their families.

A granny pod is also referred to as a “mother-in-law suite.” It is a tiny modular home that mostly has 300 to 500 square feet of living space. Most of the time, they are placed in the backyard and contain all the important home amenities, such as bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchen.

However, you have to note that granny pods are ideal for only one person. But it is also common for a senior couple to live comfortably in them. There are also granny pods that can be set up with a monitoring system that can keep track of the health of your senior loved ones. These systems can monitor heart rate, blood gases, glucose levels, and blood pressure.

If you are wondering if granny pods are legal, this depends on the zoning laws in your city. Therefore, before getting one, ensure that you find out first what your community allows legally. You may also find that your city allows building a granny pod, but the homeowner’s association in your area may not allow it. There are also times when zoning laws regulate depending on the size of the pod and other types of tiny homes.

Elder Cottage

An elder cottage is a type of tiny home that is quite similar to the granny pod. It is a tiny, self-contained dwelling that is usually seen as a temporary placement for senior citizens. They are also secondary housing units that are found in the backyard where a family is monitoring a loved one. Some also refer to them as echo housing or accessory dwellings.

What differentiates elder cottages from other tiny homes is that they can be moved easily. Elder cottages are more temporary housing solutions for seniors. They are usually preferred by seniors who want to stay with their families for a while or whose loved ones are more likely to move for various reasons.

Elder cottages are customizable and are built to look like the home most of us live in. It can help them blend into the community. In terms of zoning restrictions, there are elder cottages that can be attached to an existing house, making an instant home addition. Most of them have features like wheelchair-accessible doorways, kitchen and baths, and elevated toilets.


This one is a brand of a tiny home that is high-tech and attached to the main home. It runs off the homeowner’s utilities, like water, sewer, and electricity. It comes as a kit that you can build yourself, but you can also hire a contractor to build the tiny home for you.

Compared to a granny pod and elder cottage, a MEDcottage is usually smaller. Even though it is small, it has great features for seniors. They have air filtration systems, bathrooms that are accessible even for the handicapped, medical systems, safety railings, soft floors, defibrillators, and more.

MEDcottages are perfect for seniors who need medical care, as they are essentially portable hospital rooms with living amenities that make them more comfortable to live in. They are also prefabricated. This means you no longer need to go through the trouble of hiring a contractor or architect to build one. And if ever you think you no longer need it, it is also easy to disassemble and move to another location.

Off-The-Grid Cottage

If the seniors are healthy and are planning to have a peaceful retirement life, then living in an off-grid cottage is perfect for them. This is a single-level tiny home that is made to be fully self-contained. It runs off solar power generated by solar panels. However, it should be placed in an area that allows enough sunlight to reach the solar panels and also near a water source.

Most of these tiny homes come with a half refrigerator, double-sided sink, and kitchen cabinets. Their bathrooms have a composting toilet, shower, and vanity. The bedroom mostly fits a queen-size mattress and has some storage space on the walls for clothes. Some of these cottages also have a wood-burning fireplace in the living area and LED lights around the space.

Off-the-grid cottages are usually built using steel, which can withstand various weather conditions. Some can also customize the tiny home depending on your design requests. It sits on a flatbed trailer with wheels, which can be used if you want to move.


A tiny home is indeed great for seniors. But when you choose one, ensure that they will be able to live there comfortably. Some of the factors that are ideal to have in a tiny home for seniors include a full bath, easy-to-reach storage, main-floor bedroom, and it should also be accessible, particularly if wheelchairs will be used. We hope this post helped you learn more about the best type of tiny home for seniors.