top of page


SICBS Founder and CEO, Rory Rubin, shares her story

When it’s your own parent....

For years we had begged my parents to move closer to us in Chicago but it fell on deaf ears. They, like many elderly couples, wanted to live in their home town, where they felt comfortable and had friends – which happened to be in a different state.

Eventually, we had to put my mother into a memory care unit because she had developed dementia. She passed away almost three years ago. My father moved into a one-bedroom apartment and was seemingly doing fine living independently. About two months ago, he fell and broke five ribs and was in need of immediate care. That fall became a blessing in disguise as we discovered that he was not living well. We realized quickly that his apartment, his bills, and his day-to-day life was not what we had been told. He needed help asap.

There are many challenges to ‘aging-in-place' in the United States. The baby boomer generation is retiring in numbers never seen before and the United States is not ready for the influx of this aging population. This contributes to increased healthcare costs which can quickly deplete savings, especially since people are living longer. Lack of affordable housing often keeps retirees in their oversized, expensive homes that can drain a fixed income household. And, there are less and less qualified caregivers to help them.

One solution is the concept of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). These small secondary housing units are located on the same property as a primary residence. They offer a flexible housing solution that can be used for accommodating elderly family members. This gives them:

  • The ability to age in place. ADUs allow elderly family members to live independently while being close to caregivers

  • Cost savings. By living close to caregivers and living in smaller homes, their medical and household bills are considerably reduced

  • Multi-generational living. A harmonious living situation for multiple generations where sharing and caring for all family members in encouraged

  • A alternative to nursing homes. Nursing homes national median cost is nearly $300 a day

I share this story candidly because of what I do for a living. I founded S.I. Container Builds 5 years ago. We repurpose one-trip shipping containers into beautiful dwellings. Had I been able to have a unit in my backyard as an ADU, maybe my fiercely independent father would have been comfortable moving to the Chicago area and not feeling like he had to give up his true independence.

ADU’s are not just a cute new concept, they are a significant way to help people – be it their business, extra income through rental, or in my case an aging parent. In addition, an ADU adds value to your home.

There are currently 11 states accepting of backyard spaces like this and many towns and cities are changing their zoning laws to accommodate these types of homes. It’s good to check with your planning commission.

Contact us here for a free, 15 minute consultation where we can help you determine if this would be a good choice for your family.


bottom of page