Home Safety

There's No Place Like Home.


Your Aging Loved One

Most people want to remain in their homes and neighborhoods as they age. But as needs and abilities change, our environment and our habits may need to change too.

As health begins to fail, it is difficult to begin the conversation with a loved one about staying at home versus seeking alternative arrangements.  AARP offers tips for adult children preparing to talk with their parents about independent living. Click here to learn more.

Do you have an aging parent? Review these ten warning signs from the federal Administration on Aging that your older family member may need help.

Good safety habits and simple home modifications can increase the chances of remaining at home. Below are some home safety suggestions — focused on five danger areas: pathways, bathrooms, kitchens, stairs and entries.

Home Safety Check List

Safe Passageways


Safe Passageways

Diminished eye sight and difficulties with balance increase the changes of a fall when moving around the house. Prevention includes:

  1. Sufficient Lighting
  • Install bright lights and use night lights in the bedroom and bathroom.
  • Keep flashlights handy.
  1. Safe Floors
  • Remove or replace rugs that may slip. Use non-skid backing and tack down edges.
  • Store shoes, newspapers, pet toys and other frequently used items out of walkways.
  • Take care before stepping on uneven surfaces, such as between carpet and tiles.

Safe Bathrooms


Safe Bathrooms

Bathrooms can be dangerous, especially when wet. Prevention includes:

  1. Put grab bars in the tub, shower and toilet area. Don’t depend on towel bars.
  2. Use a non-slip mat or install adhesive safety strips or decals in tubs and showers.
  3. If using a bath mat on the floor, choose one that has a non-skid bottom.
  4. Consider using a shower or tub chair.
  5. Keep electrical appliances away from water.


More Safety Tips


Home
  1. Ask medical professionals:
  • To do a fall risk assessment.
  • To review medications and their side effects with you.
  • About exercises that can improve balance.
  • About the benefits of assistive devices.
  1. Make sure the phone has a lighted, readable dial and keep emergency numbers handy.
  2. Keep smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level and check batteries every six months.
  3. Keep a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen and garage.
  4. When rising from bed, pause on the side of the bed first for 30-60 seconds.
  5. Consider having an emergency response system at home.

Safe Kitchens


Safe Kitchens

Kitchens can be the source of many safety concerns, but most are easy to fix. Prevention includes:

  1. Stove Safety
  • Make sure the stove is free from flammable objects like towels, potholders and curtain cords.
  • Keep baking soda handy for grease fires.
  • Be alert to the odor of gas.
  1. Cabinets
  • Store frequently used items within easy reach.
  • Store cleaning products away from food.
  1. Refrigerator
  • Pay attention to food expiration dates:  "when in doubt, throw it out."
  • Make sure the refrigerator door seals properly.
  1. Floor
  • Promptly clean up grease, water and other spills.

Safe Stairs


Safe Stairs

Balance and clutter are among the concerns. Prevention includes:

  1. Consider installing handrails on both sides of the staircase.
  2. If handrails are already in place, make sure they are secure.
  3. Make sure carpet on stairs is securely fastened.
  4. Keep steps clear of clutter.
  5. If needed, mark the edges of inside and outside steps with bright paint or special tape.

Safe Entry


Safe Entry

Lighting and uneven surfaces may need attention. Prevention includes:

  1. Fix cracks in the pavement and sidewalks.
  2. Remove or repair uneven surfaces, such as tree roots.
  3. Put bells on pet collars.
  4. Adjust lighting. It should be bright, but without glare.