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The 3 M’s of Aging in Place


The 3 M’s are important elements of the decision-making process as we decide what action to make in regard to our housing as we age and want to remain independent and active.

In this post we will look at a simple formula of the 3 M’s and how they can trigger your decision path.


Make-Do is what a lot of us tend to do when faced with a complicated and potentially life-changing decisions.

“I’m alright, I will be fine”, is often overheard when a loved one is confronted with health and safety issues within the home. They have mastered the short-cuts and enabled themselves to continue to get around. But oftentimes these shortcuts come at a price and its either tasks that are evaded or areas of the home avoided. Both of which limits someone’s life experience within their own home.

Make-Do can only last so long and the longer it happens the more opportunity for accident and injury arises. Make-Do is a place holder and usually becomes the trigger point to the next 2 M’s.


The second M maybe just as difficult to comprehend as the first M of Making-Do. It involves the very complex exercise of investigating a Move. Multiples surveys of the last 10 years have seniors stating that they do not want to move and want to remain in their homes as they age so the Move M is somewhat confrontational as it is but nonetheless needs to be used as a comparative.

Albeit everyone if given a choice would decide to stay in their own home (once the Make-Do concept is removed) but there will be a time where a Move to a more suitably designed home, a care home or in with relatives will be the solid decision.

However, if there is no clear reasoning to move then a move to the third M is next…


The third M is to Modify the home. The word Modify can be a scary word and it conjures up visions of work crews, dust and disturbance…in some cases, maybe that will be the case as timely renovations to an older home can be done when safe AIP and modern aesthetics are combined. Oftentimes though, the third M can be small changes that allows for the elimination of that first M of Making Do.

There are many new devices that can be installed and that can allow for safe journeys throughout the home, between levels, on and off chairs and fixtures, removing those choices made when the first M, Making-Do, was in charge.

Keep in mind that if M number 2 is the decision and the Move is into a relative’s home then M number 3 also needs to be considered and make Modifications to accommodate the new arrival

We appreciate that this is a simplistic summary of some very difficult decisions but when viewed in this manner it assists in seeing what the current issues are and helps layout a future plan of safety and happiness.