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What Home Modifications Do:

  • increase your comfort, mobility, and safety by adapting the physical environment of the home;
  • help you remain living independently; and
  • increase your convenience and ability to maintain your own home. 

Modifications Can Include:

  • widening doorways;
  • building a ramp;
  • installing signal systems to cause a pillow to vibrate or lights to flash in response to door bells, telephones or security systems;
  • adding a roll-in shower & fold-down seat;
  • installing a door opener; and
  • remodeling the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom, etc. 

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Different needs mean different modifications - here are some examples:

Typical Needs

Possible Solutions

Difficulty getting in and out of the shower

Install grab bars, shower seats or transfer benches

Difficulty maneuvering wheelchair

Eliminate thresholds at room entrances; widen doorways; remove thick carpeting

Need for non-audible systems

Install doorbells, fire alarms, telephones with visual cues (flashing lights)

Difficulty turning faucet handles or doorknobs

Replace with lever handles

Access to home, climbing stairs

Install ramps, door openers, lifts

Need for non-visual aids

Arrange furniture to create clear paths; use tactile warning strips to mark floor changes and steps; install Braille label tape to switches and controls

This information was excerpted from Housing Highlights Home Modification and Repair. (http://www.homemods.org).


What Home Modifications Are Not 

Home modification refers to the physical space of an environment.  It does not always mean adaptable or specialized equipment, devices, or assistive technology.  For further information on assistive technology visit MaineCite at http://www.mainecite.org/at.htm

Assessing Your Needs

Everyone has different needs. What worked for a friend, may not work for you. It is a good idea to have your home modification needs assessed by a professional.  Start by asking your provider or case manager. Programs that support independent living often assist with references. Contact AARP, Alpha One, Cerebral Palsy Center, Multiple Sclerosis Society, etc., to locate a professional in your area.

The Iris Network provides home assessments at little or no cost for persons who are blind or visually impaired.  They do an environmental assessment that reviews lighting in the home, arrangement of furniture, and increasing access. 

Contact Information

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