Check Your Local Building Codes Although portable and affordable modular homes and units are good solutions for many homeowners, some urban communities’ zoning regulations ban them.

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Because of their modular design, most units can be attached to or detached from the primary home and can be permanent or temporary.

Typically these units feature a bedroom, living area, bathroom and small kitchen.

Ken Dupin, the founder and chief executive of N2Care, says the approaching wave of seniors in need of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities will put a tremendous strain on Medicare and Medicaid.

Henry Racki, the founder and chairman of PALS, acknowledges the industry is in its infancy and that pod manufacturers are still trying to educate the public on cost-effective alternatives.

Nationwide Homes got into the game last year with its Care-Cottage, a 14- by 44-foot modular unit designed with assisted-living needs in mind.

“People coming into the backyard but with a place of their own are less likely to feel like they’re imposing on the family when they move into the house,” says Dan Goodin, an executive vice president at Nationwide.People who go this route tend to find it preferable to a nursing home.Being close to family makes the elder feel less isolated (and could reduce the risk of resulting depression).With people living longer and the cost of care rising annually — not to mention the potential for a shortage of beds and care in nursing homes — he says creative solutions will become more important than ever.And for millions of Americans looking to age in place, a customized mini medical mobile home might be just the ticket.DETROIT -- Buick will introduce a commercial this week that will try to convince consumers once again that its vehicles aren't made for the blue-haired set.