Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

AARP Real Possibilities

New Book

Dating After 50: How to get back in the game

April Discount

40% off of the AARP Smart Driver Course!

 

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Webinars

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

 

Home & Community Webinars

Family & Caregiving Webinars

Popular Articles

Viewed

Commented

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Poll: Are You a Real Techie?

Missouri

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

Processing

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.

Cereal

Members can download new coupon offers available monthly from Kellogg's.

ADT Home Security

Members save 20% off installation of any NEW ADT Home Security System.

Members can earn exclusive points offers from Walgreens.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today