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Home Fitness for Specific Needs

Simple home modifications can make a home more user-friendly and livable for everyone. Here are just a few examples

AARP HomeFit Guide, Livable Communities

Click the image to download the complete guide.


Simple home modifications can make a home more user-friendly and livable for people who have difficulties
with vision, strength or getting around. 

To See More Clearly

  • Install new lights (such as motion-sensor flood lights) or increase lighting on exterior pathways, porches and doorways
  • Increase lighting on all stairs, either by plugging night-lights into wall outlets or installing overhead fixtures or wall sconces
  • Install light switches that glow in the dark
  • In the kitchen, place lighting over the sink, stove and other work areas and be sure your stove's controls are easy for you to see
  • Keep a magnifying glass in the places you may need one (kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom) for reading small print
  • Place automatic, light-sensor night-lights in hallways and rooms
  • Add lighting to closets
  • Install a thermostat that’s easy to read
  • Use full-spectrum bulbs that simulate daylight
  • Use halogen bulbs to reduce glare
  • Open window shades, blinds and curtains for natural light during the day
  • To Lend Your Hands A Helping Hand
  • Replace round doorknobs with easier-to-use lever-style door handles
  • Place a chair or table near the entrance door for placing packages while you lock or unlock the door
  • Replace traditional toggle-style light switches with larger, easier-to-use rocker-style light switches
  • Repair or replace any hard-to-open windows

To More Easily Reach Out And Move All About

  • Use adjustable and low rods and shelves in closets and cabinets. Consider pull-out or pull-down shelves, or drawers designed to close automatically
  • Have the dishwasher elevated to reduce the amount of bending you must do
  • Choose a side-by-side or drawer-style refrigerator
  • Sit rather than stand while working at the kitchen countertop. (If necessary, have cabinet shelves or drawers removed to allow room for your knees.)
  • Place rolling casters on chairs
  • Buy touch control lamps or "clapper" devices for lights and electronics
  • Install a walk-in or no-threshold shower, a bath seat or bench and an adjustable, hand-held showerhead
  • Use a front-loading washer, and place the washer, dryer, shelves and work surfaces at reachable heights
  • Keep a cell phone on you, or install a telephone in multiple rooms (including the bathroom) so you're never too far from being able to call for help

Published February 2015

Next Step

*The AARP HomeFit Guide and "Low-Cost / No-Cost Ideas" pamphlet are available in English and Spanish.


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