AARP to mark Home Depot products with seal of approval for older Americans

Wednesday, December 1st 2004, 2:59 pm
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) _ AARP, the nation's largest organization of senior citizens, is testing out a plan to put its seal of approval on hardware products such as bathroom and electrical fixtures that can help older people live at home more independently.

AARP is joining forces with The Home Depot, the nation's biggest chain of hardware stores. The Atlanta-based company said it plans to start rolling out the seal of approval items in an unspecified number of its 1,835 stores by next year.

The criteria and types of products that will get the seal are still being determined, but some being considered include bath and electrical fixtures. The chain also will begin offering clinics to teach senior citizens home improvement skills.

AARP chief executive William Novelli said older Americans want things like grab bars in bathrooms, ramps and wide doorways. He said more senior citizens want to live independently and home improvement projects will help them do that.

``They don't want to go into nursing homes. They don't want to go live with their children. They want to live at home,'' Novelli said.

Home Depot, in turn, is hoping the program will allow it to tap into the growing number of older customers.

``They are very home-oriented with significant disposable income,'' merchandising chief John Costello said.