Home Modifications for Older Adults: A Systematic Review

J Appl Gerontol. 2023 Jan 19;7334648231151669. doi: 10.1177/07334648231151669. Online ahead of print.


While ≧10,000 Americans turn 65 years old every day, only 10% of American homes are "aging ready." Unsafe homes can exacerbate disability, lead to falls, and increase the likelihood of hospitalization. With increased investments in home and community-based services, public health stakeholders are considering home modifications to promote successful aging. While several home modification models exist, there is significant heterogeneity between models and no consensus on critical features. PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science were reviewed and twelve randomized controlled trials of home modifications for older adults were identified and evaluated for model structure, reported outcomes, and risk of bias. Overall, occupational therapist-driven home modifications supplemented with clinical, physical activity, and/or behavioral components saw the greatest success. This systematic review discusses the components of these models, highlights particularly effective and frequently used features, and the practice and research needed to create effective next-generation home modification models which promote healthy longevity.

Keywords: aging in place; home modifications; older adults.

Publication types

  • Review