AARP and Iowa State University partnering on pilot housing renovation program in Charles City | News

CHARLES CITY, Iowa – For senior citizens, staying in your home can be challenging due to age and health issues. A pilot program in Charles City aims to help seniors make their home comfortable and accessible. 

AARP Iowa is partnering with Iowa State University on reviewing floor plans of older residents’ homes, with students drawing up blue prints and using 3-D animation to design specific construction plans and cost estimation.

John Peterson with AARP says the students found many problems that prevent comfortable senior living.

“They saw narrow hallways and door swings like that that make it difficult to maneuver, not so much when you’re still ambulatory, but when you end up with a walker or wheel chair, those things are impossible to navigate. You lose part of your home because of those changes.”

Interior Design professor Daejin Kim, who is helping lead the program, says even swapping out a door knob for a lever or removing a wall can make a significant difference.

“By changing a small design element like putting in a grip bar, changing a lightbulb, even a small design change, it can make a huge…change.”

A recent AARP survey found that the majority of Americans over 50 years old want to stay in their home, yet 33% said major modifications would be needed. 

For more information on how you can make your home more comfortable and safe for older adults, click here.