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A Home for Dad

Three retirement home solutions for a disabled father

En español

The Scenario: Three choices close to home. Which one is best?

Check out the choices Bob Grant had.

nice looking apartment or condo building from the outside


1. Bay Area, California - Community Living ($3,500/month)

Moving Grant to an assisted living community would allow him to maintain his independence — to “have someplace he could call his own,” as one son points out — but still have care, support and social opportunities.

hands shot of a caregiver holding hands with an older adult

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2. Bay Area, California - Home With More Help ($23/hour)

Hiring a home aide for Bob at an hourly rate would provide some caregiving relief for the family and allow him to remain at home. “Dad hates the thought of being a burden on the family, so he liked this idea,” says son Bobby Arte.

accessory dwelling unit tiny house

Gabriela Hasbun

3. Bay Area, California - You Do You … in an ADU ($150,000)

A large old shed in daughter Bisa Grant-Gurganious’ yard had the architectural bones to be upgraded to a simple accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, so Bob could stay at home with Bisa and her family but have a separate space. Building a roughly 300-square-foot grandpa unit would cost around $150,000.

robert grant and his family on the porch of his new tiny home accessory dwelling unit

Gabriela Hasbun

His pick: Option 3! Behold the ADU!

Bay Area, California ($150,000)

The family constructed a backyard studio that lets Bob remain king of his castle while also being mere steps from his kids and grandchildren. The initial costs are higher than hiring an aide, though there will be big savings in the long run. “We can check on him regularly, but he can also close the door so the little ones don’t run in and wake him at 7 a.m.,” says son Bob Arte. A key-coded smart lock on the door means never worrying about losing keys. Handrails and knee-level lighting help Bob navigate the apartment even at night. A curb-less shower reduces fall risks. “By keeping costs down, we can afford to pay for housecleaning and laundry services as well as a senior companion who comes and spends quality time with Dad,” Arte adds. As for the intangibles of having Dad at home in a space he loves — without this being a drain on the family? “To say it’s amazing doesn’t begin to describe the feeling,” Arte says. “It almost makes me cry.”