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How to Develop a Home Modification Initiative: A Community Guidebook


Most older adults would like to age in place independently for as long as possible. However, chronic illness and associated disabilities, as well as simple environmental safety hazards, can threaten a person’s ability to continue to live in his or her own home and community. These home environment barriers coupled with the growing aging population highlight the need for home modifications for older adults and those with disabilities.

Key Points

Indiana’s Center on Aging and Community organized this report to guidethe induction of home modification initiatives in communities. Almost 95 percent of Indianans want to remain in their current residence as they age, and are confident that they will be able to do so. And, modifying the home for safety and independence is a key strategy that families, planners and officials can take to help people age in place. 

Other report highlights:

  1. The most common difficulties noticed around the house involve entry into the house, use of the bathrooms and kitchen, and moving through doorways and halls.
  2. The top types of modifications needed include cosmetic/minor repair, structural changes/major repairs, better heating in the winter, and bathroom alterations.
  3. Initial steps in developing a home modification initiative include forming a local or state coalition, developing a vision and action plan, and identifying new allies.

How to Use

Forming a coalition is something that local leaders and planners can both encourage and participate in. Details on what questions to ask when choosing members, as well as a first meeting guide and information on developing a vision and action plan are provided in this guidebook. Additionally, the information provided on the ways home modifications and accessible housing is addressed in various communities provides necessary information on some of the key private and public programs potentially available to financially assist with home modifications.

View full report: How to Develop a Home Modification Initiative: A Community Guidebook (PDF – 1.1 MB)

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