Most people prefer to age in place, wanting to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Fortunately, there are simple ways to modify your home to make living more convenient and safe—for everyone.
Home modifications can range from simple no-cost modifications to extensive modifications. Clearing clutter and trip hazards such as stacks of magazines or newspapers, throw rugs and electrical cords can prevent a bad fall and a trip to the hospital. Some modifications include lever handles, safety bars, shower seats, and improved lighting.
Five basic principles for creating a “home for a lifetime”
- Usable. Designs are uncomplicated, safe, and can be easily used by people with differing abilities.
- Adaptable. The home can be cost-effectively adapted to meet changing needs over time.
- Accessible. Everyone can easily access the home and move around freely within it, especially doorways and access to transportation.
- Inclusive. The design accommodates everyone regardless of age, size, or ability.
- Lifetime value. The improvements must be cost-effective and save the user money, time and energy over time.
Watch the “Homes for a Lifetime” video (25 min.) from the Dakota County Communities for a Lifetime Initiative. Complete the follow-up survey to be eligible for a drawing. (Dakota County residents only.)
For more information
Practical Guide to Universal Home Design (Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging)
Homes for a Lifetime - 10 Simple Universal Design Tips
Home Modifications Fact Sheet (U.S. Agency on Aging)
National Association of Home Builders
National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification
Center for Energy and Environment
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
Lifetime Home Project