Home Safety for SeniorsExperiencing a fall is the number one reason seniors are admitted to a nursing home. The majority of falls happen at home and many of them can be prevented. Listed below are tips you can use to make your home safer for seniors. Print this list and use it as a checklist to make sure your home is safe for senior citizens!

Home Safety ChecklistBedroom
  • Use a night light to provide a lighted path from the bedroom to the bathroom.
  • Free the path from the bedroom to the bathroom from obstacles. Remove throw rugs, extension cords, and other floor clutter.
  • Relocate bedroom to main floor level.
  • If your area does not have 9-1-1 service, keep a list of important contacts near the telephone (police, fire, etc.) in large print.
  • Keep a flashlight nearby for emergencies.
  • Install a personal response system that would allow you to call for help if you needed it.
  • Use a normal-height bed. Before leaving your bed, sit on the edge for a time to make sure you are not dizzy
Living Area
  • Arrange furniture to provide an open pathway between rooms.
  • Remove low tables, footrests and other items from the pathway.
  • Keep electrical and telephone cords out of the pathway.
  • Add glow-in-the-dark strips to stairs and areas where linoleum becomes carpet.
  • Install lever-type faucets, or a faucet with a single lever to control flow and temperature.
  • Install pull-out shelves under counter to enable you to work from a seated position.
  • Lower existing cupboards.
  • Install "D" type handles on cupboards or drawers.
  • Provide electrical outlets for small appliances in more convenient locations.
  • Install a smoke alarm outside, but close to, the kitchen.
  • Install a fire extinguisher near the kitchen exit.
  • Avoid climbing and reaching to high shelves.
  • Use a stable step stool with handrails.
  • Arrange storage at counter level.
  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen and don't wax floors.
  • Place textured strips or non-skid mat in bathtub.
  • Install non-slip flooring throughout the bathroom.
  • Use a non-skid mat on ceramic or tile floors near the shower.
  • Provide a bath bench for seniors who have trouble standing.
  • Grab bars can help get into or out of the shower and prevent falls. Make sure they are attached to studs or other structural support.
  • Add a bathtub safety rail to side of bathtub.
  • Lower the temperature on hot water heater to “low” or 120 o.
  • Install a night light in the bathroom.
  • Consider replacing the light switch with a glow-switch that can be seen in the dark.
  • Have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) installed in the bathroom.
  • Keep appliances unplugged when not in use.
  • Hot and cold water faucets should be clearly marked.
  • Never use an appliance for anything other than its intended use. Blow dryers should not be used to thaw pipes or dry clothing.
  • A raised toilet seat can be attached to the toilet for those with difficulty rising or lowering.
  • Add a grab bar near the toilet to assist with sitting or standing.
  • Make sure all medications are clearly marked.
  • Have a hand held shower head.
  • Ensure medication is stored in a safe dry well lit place.
  • Install shelves beside basin for storage.
  • Install additional light fixtures near the mirror or medicine cabinet.
  • Install lever-type faucets or a faucet with a single lever to control flow.
  • Leave the bathroom door unlocked, so it can be opened from both sides.
  • Add a ramp to bypass existing steps.
  • Install light fixtures or floodlights to illuminate entrances, steps and walkways.
  • Add a grab bar or handle near steps or doorway.
  • Install a delayed-action door closer.
  • Install lever-type door handles.
  • Install easily accessible light switches or sensors to control outside lights.
Stairs and Hallways
  • Provide enough light to see steps clearly.
  • Keep stairs free of clutter.
  • Cover stairs with tightly woven carpet or non-slip treads.
  • Repair or install sturdy handrails on both sides of the stairway.
  • Install two-way light switches at top and bottom of stairs.
  • Extend handrails beyond the top and bottom of steps.
  • Install handrails along corridor walls.
Basement and Laundry Area
  • Provide shelves or storage near appliances so that washing supplies can be conveniently located.
  • Consider a basement telephone to save climbing steps.
Closets and Storage Areas
  • Add or lower shelves.
  • Install lights in closets.
  • Add or lower rods.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes with non-skid soles.
  • Tied shoes with a fairly snug fit are preferred, but keep the laces tied.
  • Avoid shoes with thick heavy soles.
Home Safety Tips Provided by: 
American Red Cross
Canada Safety Council
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons 
Home Safety for Seniors, Senior Citizens Home Safety Checklist
Compiled by Soundview Medical Supply, Seattle, WA, www.



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