Home Modification Resources

Consumer Knowledge of Home Modifications

Margaret A. Wylde, Ph.D.
ProMatura Group
428 North Lamar
Oxford, Mississippi 38655

Written as part of:
A Blueprint for Action: The Second National Working
Conference on Home Modification Policy
April 22-23, 1996
Washington, DC

The full version of this paper will appear in the January / February 1998 issue of Technology and Disability.

1. There have been many outstanding efforts and excellent results from several programs supporting development and dissemination of home modification solutions.

2. Living environments being built today have as many, if not more demands than the environments of the 1970s.

3. Most ease-of-use and accessibility features will create an improved, safer environment for people of all ages and abilities.

4. Home accessibility and ease-of-use modifications continue to be viewed as an exception to the rule. Builders will not include them unless consumers ask for them, and consumers won't ask for them unless they have a significant need.

5. People will purchase items they want.

6. Home improvements need to be the focal point of educational efforts of all consumer segments: users, home builders and product developers, and intermediaries.

Next Steps to Increase the Consumer Knowledge of Home Modifications

1. Understand the consumer.
Be informed about what consumers know, understand and want in relation to home modifications.

2. Change the perspective.
Home safety should take a front seat and personal deficits should be forgotten. Expand solutions beyond those for people with mobility limitations.

A project of the National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification,
in affiliation with the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, funded by the Archstone Foundation.
Located at the University of Southern California Andrus Gerontology Center, Los Angeles, California 90089-0191 (213) 740-1364.