AARP’s HomeFit: A Guide to Making a Colorado Home “Aging Friendly”

Recognizing that most houses and apartments are designed for young, able-bodied adults and don’t meet the needs of older residents or people with disabilities, AARP has compiled a guide to making homes more compatible with what older adults typically need. Through color illustrations and detailed captions, this “HomeFit” guide explains how a strategically designed or carefully modified home can meet the varied and changing needs of its residents. AARP points to key features of the guide, including that it comprises more than 100 tips and suggestions, room-by-room, that “are doable regardless of housing type (single-family house, apartment, mobile home, etc.) or ownership status (owner, renter).” Also, the guide presents “ways to help people live safely and comfortably by enabling where they live to be a ‘lifelong home’ and ‘aging friendly,’ suitable for themselves and others in their household, no matter a person’s age or life stage.” AARP says America’s housing stock doesn’t fit a rapidly changing and rapidly aging population. The elder advocacy organization points out that in much of the nation, most housing was built more than a generation ago to serve a population of family households, generally consisting of two parents and at least two children. “But in America circa 2020, the dominant household type, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all households, consists of single adults living alone. By 2030, one in five people in the U.S. will be age 65 or over.” Add to that the fact that most surveys consistently find that older adults want to remain in their current homes and communities for as long as possible. And other research shows that home modifications can reduce the need for costly medical care, increase the ability of older adults to manage activities of daily living, and enhance independence. AARP says that’s where the HomeFit Guide finds its purpose. The HomeFit Guide was published by the AARP Livable Communities initiative. Visit www.AARP.org/HomeFit to order it or download it for free. (AARP is an AgeWise Colorado Provider. See https://agewisecolorado.org/provider/aarp-colorado/ to learn more.)

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