> Making homes and communities more “livable” for people
as they age is one of AARP’s long-standing priorities. Our
members seek ways to remain in their homes for as long as
possible. Together, we created opportunities to help people
grow into their homes, not out of them.
Home Safe Home
Remaining in a home is much easier if it is well-designed or updated to meet residents’ changing
AARP took a new approach during 2009 to
promoting user-friendly homes that eliminate
physical barriers and make appliances easier to
reach, see or use. To encourage more builders and
designers to get involved, we brought together
a wide range of experts to begin developing
Universal Design (UD) standards. AARP-backed
UD ordinances were passed by two New York
The AARP Recession Remodel Room Makeover
Contest showcased the low-cost, high-style
changes that average people can make to a North
Carolina kitchen and a Washington bathroom.
Affordable housing was a priority, too. Our
advocacy helped persuade county officials in
Massachusetts, New York and Oregon to preserve
housing options for those with low incomes.
Wheels or No Wheels
A record 47,000 people refreshed their driving
skills through the online AARP Driver Safety
Program. Even better, 98 percent of participants
said they were “very” or “somewhat” satisfied.
Montana became the latest state in which auto
insurers can offer discounts to graduates of our
classroom and online courses.
Meanwhile, Hawaii and Connecticut adopted
“Complete Streets” laws designed to enhance
safety for drivers, transit users, pedestrians
and bicyclists, and Lansing became the first
municipality in Michigan to pass a Complete
Streets ordinance. To stimulate even further
easier Living Unique combinations of style, universal
design and energy efficiency were showcased in the
home and community designs honored by the 2009
Livable Communities Awards, presented by AARP and
the National Association of Homebuilders.
action, AARP’s Public Policy Institute issued a
report titled Planning Complete Streets for an
Mobility advancements involving public transit
and streetscape improvements were positive, too.
For example, North Dakota will test how to get
people where they need to go more efficiently via
public transportation. City officials in Newport,
Rhode Island and Indianapolis, Indiana, decided
to improve sidewalks, curb cuts and traffic signals
after reviewing assessments compiled by AARP.
AARP volunteers in 22 states made 53
presentations to Metropolitan Planning
Organizations and other local bodies in support
of expanded mobility options.