Safe Aging in Place: The Three Ms

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What comes to mind when you think of your home? Maybe comfort, safety or the familiar. Many of us spend decades in our homes, if not our whole lives. But as we get older, our homes may not be as suitable for us as they once were. They might cause us difficulty getting around or up the stairs. Some things may be out of reach for us, or perhaps the bathroom becomes a hazard. When we get to the stage that our home doesn’t provide a safe, comfortable haven for us, decisions have to be made.
Put simply, we have three choices regarding our home, what we might call ‘the three Ms’. Make-Do, Move or Modify. Here, we’ll look at them in more detail.

The First M – Make-Do

Making big decisions is never easy, and unfortunately, many of us tend to put them off for as long as possible; we settle for what we have and just make the best of it. We Make-Do. So, what does that mean when it comes to seniors who want to age in place? They might start to struggle to get around their home and, as a result, lose some of their independence. Stairs might become a problem, or the bathroom may be uncomfortable to use. Making-Do might mean losing out for seniors in their homes.

Unfortunately, Making-Do just isn’t sustainable for elderly family members who opt to age in place. The chances of them having an accident, a slip or a fall, gets higher and higher, and eventually they will have to decide between one of the next two Ms.

The Second M – Move

When it gets to the point that we can no longer Make-Do, the next option may be to Move. Move where? That depends. For some, it may mean moving in with relatives, moving to a care home or to a more suitably designed home to remain independent. However, the upheaval of a Move can be stressful, expensive and take a long time. In fact, in the last decade, multiple surveys have found that seniors don’t want to Move; they would rather remain in their own home and age in place.
So, if seniors are reluctant to Move, that leaves them with the last M…

The Third M – Modify

The third option is to Modify the home. These home modifications could involve significant renovations, especially in older houses, which can be off-putting. However, many modern devices can be easily installed to help a loved one get around their home more comfortably and sometimes, only minor changes may be necessary. Home modifications can literally be life-changing, making seniors comfortable in their own homes for years to come.
Home modifications are a great option for many seniors. However, if a family decides that the best option is to Move, it’s worth keeping in mind that Modifications may need to be made to a new place or relative’s home to accommodate the new arrival.

So, there you have a brief summary of the three Ms to give you an idea of what may be best for you and your family. as understanding the options and planning for the future is vital for seniors and their loved ones to help them feel at home and live safely, comfortably, and happily for many years to come.

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