Dylan Talks! AARP exclusive interview and in-depth look at the American icon. Read now

Introducing RealPad

The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Bob Dylan Talks!



Life Reimagined Renew Year



Rewards for Good Sweepstakes



New Year's Resolution Contest 2015



Life at 50+ - Discover. Engage. Enjoy.





Life at 50+ - Register for the Digital Experience



Life Reimagined $10,000 Sweepstakes



Happy African American couple







AARP Auto Buying Program



AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy






Military and Veterans Discount




New Book

Dating After 50: How to get back in the game

Dating After 50 For Dummies

Contests and

$10,000 Life Reimagined Sweepstakes

Enter for a chance to win up to $10,000 to help make your dreams a reality. See rules


Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.


Home & Community Webinars

Family & Caregiving Webinars

Popular Articles



AARP Games - Play Now!

Poll: Are You a Real Techie?


Home Improvements for Your Future

Workshops will promote safer, more accessible homes

Missouri homebuilders

Paul Lillig, owner of a Kansas City design and building firm that focuses on making homes more accessible for older people and those with disabilities, will participate in AARP Missouri Home Fit workshops. — Photo by Jared Soares

Three years ago, Paul Lillig helped a woman in her late 80s who was a virtual prisoner in her home because rotting porch steps and a wobbly railing made it unsafe to go outside.

The repair work was simple for Lillig, but it was a life changer for the woman. And for him.

See also: How well is your home caring for you?

"I realized I could change a person's life by fixing her porch and steps," he said. "She got back something that had been taken away from her. The heartwarming part of the story is everyone in the neighborhood reattached themselves to her. She literally came out of a shell."

That realization led Lillig to a career decision. His Kansas City design firm would focus exclusively on making homes accessible for older people and people with disabilities.

Lillig, 54, will participate when AARP Missouri holds six Home Fit workshops across the state aimed at ensuring residences are accessible, safer and more energy-efficient. The workshops — starting this month and continuing through November — will be held in the areas of Springfield/Joplin, St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City. To find a workshop near you, go to the AARP Missouri website or Facebook page.

Craig S. Eichelman, AARP Missouri state director, said older people overwhelmingly want to live in their homes as long as possible.

"The workshops will be very powerful. They are designed to deliver practical information on a range of home modifications, which can help older Missourians live more independently," he said.

Adult children and caregivers who may need to help with home modifications are also encouraged to attend.

Participants will receive a "Home Fit" checklist to determine whether a residence is "fit" for independent living. The checklist also includes tips for hiring a contractor. If you are unable to attend a workshop, you can request a free copy by calling 1-888-687-2277 toll-free. Ask for the 'AARP Home Fit Guide' and give the publication number: D18959, or go to the AARP housing resources website.

Home modification projects can cost as little as $500 and be as simple as removing loose carpeting or electrical cords stretched across the floor. Another quick fix, Lillig said, is replacing traditional faucet handles and doorknobs with levers that can be opened or turned with a wrist or elbow. People with mobility limitations or arthritis or a parent carrying a child can open doors more easily this way, he said.

Next: Plan ahead when remodeling. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.


Members can download and print coupons for cereals from Kellogg's®.

grocery coupon center member benefit aarp

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by


Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points