Are you concerned with the safety of older adults in your home? Maybe you have recently had a fall or accident in your home and are looking for ways to make your home safer. Home safety is an important topic in elder care, as many seniors want to live at home as long as possible.
This simple home safety checklist is a good way to get you thinking about the safety of your home – for yourself and your loved ones. Note that this checklist is not comprehensive, and is just meant to get you started in evaluating potential trouble areas in your home.
- Is the carpet torn? Are there throw rugs? Fix any torn carpeting, as it could present a tripping hazard. Secure all throw rugs to ensure they stay in place.
- Does heavy furniture impede accessibility? Remove or reposition furniture so that it doesn’t block access to rooms and corridors.
- Is there enough lighting? Our eyesight tends to weaken as we age, so make sure there are enough overhead lights, or install more floor lamps to brighten dark corners.
- Can you or your loved one get into the tub, or is it too high? Install a new tub, or make sure there is an easily accessible shower on the main floor as well.
- Is the floor slick? Be sure there are bathmats inside the tub or shower and outside of it as well.
- Have grab bars been installed? Getting in and out of the tub or shower or up and down from the toilet will be much easier with grab bars installed.
- Is it easy to reach medications and other everyday items? Move common items to lower shelves, or install lower cabinets.
- Are the buttons on appliances easy to read and manipulate? Bigger knobs with clear labels can help seniors navigate the kitchen more easily.
- Is the bedroom cluttered? Clothing, books, and other loose items left on the floor can pose a tripping hazard. Be sure that all pathways in and out of the room are cleared.
- How sturdy is the furniture? Is the bed in good repair? Is it comfortable? Ensure that any furniture seniors rely on – especially for rest – provide good support.