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Is An Echo Unit The Best Senior Housing For You?

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Getting older brings a number of challenges, including finding a housing option that meets your needs. One of the more intriguing housing choices for older people is known as Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities, or ECHO. Although not as well known as other alternatives, such as assisted living facilities, this type of housing is becoming more popular.

Here is a closer look at some of the key factors to consider when deciding if an ECHO unit is right for you:


An ECHO unit is a temporary structure that typically sits atop a mobile chassis rather than a foundation. It is usually placed on a property near the main residence. Because these structures are not generally meant to be permanent, some jurisdictions may impose restrictions on them or ban them altogether.

Also, neighborhood associations might have restrictions as well. Before pursuing this option, make certain that your plans are approved by the local zoning board, as well as any neighborhood associations. 


ECHO unit manufacturers usually make certain that the living area is friendly to seniors. This often include amenities such as grab bars next to the tub and toilet and large doors that allow wheelchairs to pass. In some instances, the units come with elevated toilets. 


These structures are a great choice for elderly people who want to remain in close proximity to family members. For example, it's often difficult for family members to visit older people living in retirement centers regularly. When you live in an ECHO unit on your family's property, however, your family in the main house is always nearby. But even with your loved ones so close, you still have complete privacy within your own residence. 


ECHO units are tailored to seniors who want to experience independent living while still maintains a close relationship with their families. This allows the family members to act as caregivers should the need arise. Seniors who can perform most daily tasks independently tend to make the best candidates for ECHO unit living arrangements. Older people who require a great deal of help performing simple tasks might need to consider other options, such as retirement facilities.  

ECHO units are clearly an interesting alternative to more structured living arrangements for senior citizens. Although they are not the answer for every older person, they have a number of benefits that make them worth considering if you have have a property or lot on which to build them. Have more questions? You might try contacting a company like Carriage Oaks Retirement Community to learn more.