A little help around the house can go a long way — especially for an older person who may be challenged by some aspects of daily living. That’s why AARP has come up with 100 ideas to help aging family members, friends, and neighbors continue living on their own. It’s as easy as raking someone’s yard, installing a grab bar in the bathroom, or fixing a broken step — and it can make all the difference.

Feel the satisfaction of helping someone stay independent! Check out these nifty year-round ideas — for springsummerfall, and winter.

Article reproduced from: aarp.org/


1.Clean windows.

2.Change storm windows to screens.

3.Replace burned-out light bulbs.

4.Rearrange kitchen cabinets and other storage spaces for easier reaching.

5.Put new batteries in smoke detectors.

6.Clean high places and hard-to-reach spaces.

7.Get your home repair-savvy friends to lend a hand.

8.Install deadbolt locks on doors.

9.Do some touch-up painting.

10.Research free or inexpensive fix-it services.

11.Review bids or contracts for home modification services.

12.Clean out an attic or basement.

13.Inspect handrails on steps or stairs for stability and strength. Make sure they are in place on both sides of the steps.

14.Offer a ride to a community program on home modification or a ride to the hardware store to buy fix-up supplies.

15.Plant some flowers or herbs in a window box.

16.Help develop a budget for home modifications.

17.Check carpet to make sure it’s firmly attached to stairs and floor.

18.Encourage computer-savvy kids to help an older friend find information on home modification on the Internet.

19.If it’s broken, fix it!

20.If it’s peeling, patch it!

21.If it’s leaking, seal it!

22.If it’s squeaking, oil it!

23.If it’s fallen down, put it back up!

24.Wash the curtains, blinds or drapes; have dry-cleaned what can’t be washed.

25.Mulch the garden.



26.Mow the lawn; trim bushes to foil thieves.

27.Help clear out a closet or storage room and hold a joint garage sale.

28.Water the plants/shrubs — but not too much.

29.Put in window air conditioners or have a central air system inspected. Provide fans for your neighbor who has no air conditioning.

30.Defrost a refrigerator or freezer.

31.Run errands to the post office or the store.

32.Give the dog a bath.

33.Wash car windows or the whole car. Check tire pressure

34.Clean the porch.

35.Make sure the house has a sturdy stepstool — preferably one with handrails.

36.Check the house for loose throw rugs, electrical cords that are in the way, torn carpet, or slippery floors.

37.Help choose the best emergency response system for a friend or family member in case they fall.

38.Install lighting in a dark hall.

39.Shampoo a rug.

40.Offer help with high-tech appliance questions, such as how to set the VCR or program the coffeemaker.

41.Install at least two grab bars in the bath.

42.Put a rubber bath mat or rubber strips in the bath or shower.

43.Introduce a neighbor to “Talking Books,” the free federally funded program to help visually impaired people. Call 1-202-707-5100 or go to www.loc.gov/nls for details.

44.Have your kids offer to help out with some chores during their summer vacation.

45.Volunteer to house sit or pet sit while an older person is away.

46.Install inexpensive night lights in bathrooms.

47.Inspect the house for fire hazards.

48.Install raised toilet seats and/or handrails.

49.Make sure all exits and hallways are clear and easy to navigate.

50.Drive an older friend to have her vision or hearing checked.



51.Rake leaves and burn calories. Skip the gym on a whim.

52.Enjoy a daily walk with an older neighbor who is mobile.

53.Offer to drive a friend to his family’s Thanksgiving — or invite him to yours.

54Walk his dog, cuddle her cat, take his pet to see the vet.

55.Exchange favorite nutritious recipes.

56.Make sure the fireplace and the furnace have been cleaned and inspected recently.

57.Mark (with white or reflecting tape) changes in floor levels.

58.Give someone information on bus routes and special senior transportation services.

59.Help with minor auto repairs.

60.Help a friend with hearing problems get a hearing aid.

61.Contact the phone company about amplified telephone handsets.

62.Weatherize the house for winter with insulation and weather-stripping on doors and windows.

63.Install lever-type controls on faucets, door latches/locks, and appliances to make them easier for people with arthritis or other hand limitations to use.

64.Share a catalogue of assistive devices, home modification ideas, and/or barrier-free design products that address your family member’s needs.

65.Mobilize a team of handy-persons to help make a house wheelchair-friendly. Install ramps; reposition counters and sinks to lower levels; adjust doorways.

66.Secure doormats to the floor surface.

67.Remove an inside door that’s not needed or hard to open.

68.Help select a scooter, cane, or walker.

69.Make sure ramps aren’t slippery.7

0.Clean and inspect the gutters or help locate a gutter service.

71.Fertilize plants and clean up the garden for winter.

72.Deliver a bag of salt for melting icy stairs or sidewalks.

73.Review a family member’s home-related insurance and services.

74.Take trash or recycling to the curb.

75.Change screens to storm windows and clean/put away room air conditioners.



76.Shovel snow from a sidewalk, steps, or a driveway.

77.Make an emergency survival kit for bad weather.

78.Bring enough bird seed and fill the feeders.

79.Prepare/share a meal.

80.Head to the discount food club — stock up on staples that will last for the winter months.

81.Offer to pick up and return five rental movies over the winter.

82.Help with holiday decorations, including getting boxes from storage and putting them back.

83.Install a porch light or reflective house numbers to make it easy for emergency personnel to find the house.

84.Clean or replace lint and furnace screens.

85.Clean the oven for holiday baking.

86.Make a New Year’s resolution to help an older person with home maintenance and modification at least once a month.

87.Help a neighbor find easier-to-use tableware, such as plates with lips and specially contoured glasses.

88.Help wrap and deliver holiday packages.

89.Look into public funding sources that provide grants for low-income home owners to modify and repair their homes, such as the Farmers Home Administration (rural areas) and the Veterans Administration.

90.Point out that cost of equipment, furnishings, and permanent changes to improve home access are tax-deductible.

91.Sew some buttons on coats or mend some warm socks.

92.Help investigate options for people who have trouble getting in and out of chairs.

93.Provide an up-to-date directory of local senior citizen services, including home help.

94.Visit and vacuum.

95.Research reverse mortgages.

96.If it’s slippery, de-ice it.

97.If snow and ice damage trees, clean up fallen branches and debris.

98.If the power goes out, build a fire or drive neighbors to a shelter.

99.Check space heaters for safety.

100.When the weather warms, help put winter clothes into storage!