While public policy has long emphasized the importance of health care and social services in helping elders to accomplish their usual goal of living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, the key role of adequate, supportive housing is also increasingly recognized. Although greater policy emphasis needs to be placed on adaptations, as noted in earlier chapters, it is also important to address home upkeep and repair ([1–3]; see also Chapter 9, in this book). Housing adaptations will be less than successful in homes that need repair:
Frail homeowners will need assistance with major and minor repairs, with routine chores such as changing light bulbs and putting up storm windows [as well as with accessibility or safety modifications]. In addition … older people, not surprisingly, tend to live in older homes. Older homes often require not only more maintenance but also replacement of major items like roofs, furnaces, and hot water heaters [4, p. 35].