Rather than moving, work on improving

Alan Wu

September 6, 2011

Joy Loverde, the author of the Complete Eldercare Planner, writes that there is an option for long-term care that can prove to be an effective alternative to other services like nursing homes, and that is improving a home so that moving isn't necessary. While no abode is completely senior-friendly from the start, a few modifications can make it safer and more comfortable for older adults.

First, Loverde recommends inspecting the exterior of the house. Look at parking spaces and the driveway. Even sidewalks should be examined, because these could prove to be difficult for seniors to navigate. If necessary, families may want to consider renovating the area. Ramps may also have to be installed to make the front door wheelchair-accessible.

Likewise, inside a home, it's important to accommodate a multitude of possibilities. Loverde suggests widening doorways and placing living, sleeping and cooking areas on one level so older adults don't have to constantly go up and down stairs.

It's also wise to install additional safety measures, like medical alert systems. These devices enable users to instantly get in touch with emergency services if they require assistance.