Independent Living in a Granny Annexe – 5 Tips

Living in a granny annexe may seem daunting to some people. Especially elderly people who don’t want to sacrifice privacy and independence. It can be difficult to accept that you need help and are basically living in your child’s back garden – but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Living in a granny annexe doesn’t mean giving up independent living, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Read on for our top five tips for independent living in a granny annexe.

5 Tips for Independent Living in a Granny Annexe

Living in someone else’s back garden may feel like you are giving away your independence but moving into a granny annexe can prolong the number of years you are able to live independently. Here are some tips to help you remain independent for as long as you are able to.

  1. Agree ‘rules’

One of the first things you should do when planning a granny annexe is talk about boundaries with your children. It may seem strange to discuss visiting hours/protocols with your children, but you will be glad of it later. Nobody likes to live in each other’s pockets and moving into a relatives back garden shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice your privacy. Perhaps you would like a phone call before visitors come to your annexe or not to be disturbed after a certain time. Putting small boundaries like this in place isn’t all that extreme – its standard etiquette.

  1. Future proof your annexe

Our core range of granny annexes are already designed with independent living in mind; providing you with a manageable sized home with all the comfort you could want. There’re practical too, being single story means that there are no stairs to navigate. Our standard annexes also come with practical bathrooms that include a shower cubicle – an essential as you age and find bathtubs more difficult to use. If required, you can upgrade to a wet room, or add on extras such as ‘age-friendly’ higher than standard toilets.

  1. Keep busy

It is important as you age, that you try and be as active as you can. Of course, you want to enjoy your retirement and your golden years is the time to wind down and relax. That doesn’t mean doing nothing; speaking to the Telegraph, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Professor of Psychology, recommends that older people should challenge themselves mentally to keep their cognitive skills ‘finely tuned’. Cognitive skills are used to carry out a huge array of daily tasks; from brushing your teeth to filling out a form. Retaining these skills for as long as possible means you can remain independent for longer.

  1. Get online

Are you a ‘silver surfer’? If not, buy an iPad or tablet and learn how to use the internet! It can open a world of possibilities that can help you to live independently. From ordering your prescriptions to buying groceries. Of course, these are tasks that you could get your relatives to do for you but again, having more control over your life and how you live will lead to a feeling of more independence. If you are online, you can also keep in touch with old friends or other relative who don’t live close by.

image shows an older person holding an iPad

  1. Know when to ask for help

Our final tip is to know when to ask for or accept offers of help. You won’t be able to manage everything as you age and there is nothing wrong with your children sharing some of your responsibilities. Look at it like this; they’re repaying you a favour – you did look after them once! Sit down with your children and decide what tasks you can’t carry out anymore and would like help with. It could be something as simple as the vacuuming or cleaning the bathroom once a week. Or you could agree to eat certain meals with your family in their home to save you cooking.


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If you would like to have a chat with one of our team about your granny annexe, or haven’t got one yet and are ready to take the plunge, get in touch with us on or fill in our contact form.

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