As individuals get older, independence may be reduced by problems they are confronted with in the home. To allow for an prolongation of independent functioning, environmental pressureure on older individuals should be diminished but, at the same time, individuals' ability to solve these problems themselves should also be enhanced. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the problems in older people's homes and the corresponding types of adaptations/solutions, and to test a theoretical exploratory model, describing the various factors influencing adaptive problem solving and the outcome of this process. In this model different types of factors influence the problem solving process. These factors are: (1) the problem type; (2) personal factors of competence such as education, knowledge, and financial resources; (3) factors describing the social network and (4) factors describing the physical environment. Adaptations were categorized as physical/technical, social, personal or mental. The results of an extensive survey among 120 elderly households show that the type of adaptation a person chooses is not only dependent on the type of problem he/she is confronted with, but also on personal qualities (education level, technical knowledge/experience) and physical housing characteristics (adaptability). Implications for future research are discussed.