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Transitions in Aging

Aging in Place

Home Assessment: AARP HomeFit

A wheelchair ramp leading to a suburban house

  • Step-free entrance
  • One bedroom, full bathroom and kitchen on the main level
  • Wide doorways
  • Light switches, thermostats, and outlets within reach
  • Removal of hazardous materials (rugs, clutter, furniture)
  • Grab bars


NEXT: Assistive Technology


Notes and References

AARP provides a simple home assessment tool to help us understand whether our home is fit to be a lifelong home for us.



The modifications suggested can help avoid barriers and prevent hazards within the home. Some key items we should look for are if there are stairs in front of the house. If so, consider installing a ramp. That way, if we experience any changes in our mobility, we can continue to live in the same house. The same idea is to check whether we have wide doorframes inside the home, as well as a bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen on the main floor. With these features, we can live independently even if we have changes in our mobility level and need to use a walker, wheelchair or another assistive device.

Other things to consider are that light switches, thermostats, and outlets are within reach, removing hazardous materials (rugs, clutter, furniture), adding grab bars in the shower and by the toilet, using lever handles instead of doorknobs, and even using a roll-in shower.1,2 All of these features can reduce our chances of falling and having accidents in our house.

References:

  1. National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification. (n.d.). Home modification resources: Safety for older consumers. Retrieved from: http://www.homemods.org/resources/pages/safety.shtml
  2. Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. (n.d.) What is Vistability? (Flyer). Retrieved from: http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/styles/iidc/defiles/CPPS/VisitabilityFlyer.pdf