elderly man fell on floor near cane needs home safety tips for seniors

Home Safety Tips for Seniors

With aging relatives living longer and needing more care, many families struggle with the best way to help them. Each year, millions of seniors fall, and less than 50% of them tell their doctor. In addition, falling once will double their chances of falling again. We review home safety tips and provide a free downloadable home safety checklist for seniors so you can help keep your elderly senior safe by proactively implementing fall prevention.


Click here for our Free Downloadable Home Safety Checklist for Seniors.


Falls are Serious Health Risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that approximately 25% of falls cause serious injury, including broken bones or a head injury. At least 300,000 seniors are hospitalized for hip fractures each year. Falls can make it difficult for seniors to complete their daily activities or live independently, and many who were not injured are afraid of falling again.

Most U.S homes are not ready for seniors.  Meaning, most homes do not have safety features like a first-floor bathroom and bedroom and bathroom accessibility features like grab bars, so please review these home safety tips for elderly.


Some Health Conditions Make it More Likely Seniors Will Fall

Studies have shown some health conditions make some seniors more at risk of falling.

These conditions include:

  • Weakness in your lower body.
  • Trouble with balance or walking.
  • Some medications can impact balance or cause dizziness.
  • Difficulty seeing or vision problems.
  • Poor footwear or foot pain.
  • Home safety hazards, like uneven steps or clutter that can make seniors trip.



home safety for elderly woman walking with walker in her house




General Home Safety Tips for Seniors

  • Keep floors clear of clutter, watch for loose carpet or rugs, and ensure surfaces are non-slip.
  • Look for uneven or changes in floor level, and make sure they are well marked (or leveled, if possible).
  • Make sure rooms are arranged safely and walkways have enough space, especially for a walker or wheelchair.
  • All stairs should be non-slip and have a sturdy handrail on both sides.
  • Ensure adequate lighting throughout the house and place nightlights where needed.
  • Heating and air conditioning units require maintenance and should be working correctly.
  • Ensure electrical outlets are working and properly grounded.
  • Consider removing sharp objects like razors or scissors. In addition, it may be better for your senior to use an electric razor for shaving to minimize the risk of cuts.
  • Have a telephone available for emergencies, and emergency contact numbers are easily accessible.


Kitchen Safety Tips for Seniors

  • Keep frequently used dishes and food items within easy reach to prevent reaching and climbing.
  • Remove slip hazards from the floor, including loose rugs, and ensure the floors are not slippery.
  • Consider using appliances with shut-off features.
  • Clean up any spills immediately.
  • Color code or label hot (red) and cold (blue) faucets.
  • To prevent hot scalding water, set the hot water heater to 120 degrees F.
  • If the oven or stove use is a concern, remove knobs or install a hidden circuit breaker.


Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors

  • Use non-skid mats or secure rugs with non-slip rubber pads or double-sided tape.
  • Add a non-slip mat or decals to the bottom of the shower or tub.
  • Install grab bars near the toilet, shower, and anywhere else needed.
  • A raised toilet seat makes getting on and off the toilet easier.
  • Consider using a handheld showerhead and a shower chair.
  • Color code or label hot (red) and cold (blue) faucets.
  • To prevent hot scalding water, set the hot water heater to 120 degrees F.


Living Rooms – Home Safety Tips

  • Keep walking areas free from debris and clutter.
  • Secure rugs and flooring that may cause tripping.
  • Make sure electrical cords are not in walking paths and are secured to the floor.
  • Ensure good lighting in all living spaces, including hallways, especially at night.
  • Make sure all stairways have sturdy handrails.


Mobility Safety Tips

  • Encourage the use of assisted devices such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, and make sure walking paths are easy to navigate.
  • Ensure your senior has sturdy shoes with rubber soles to prevent slipping. Velcro or slip-on shoes can prevent issues with loose shoelaces and may be easier for seniors to put them on.
  • Be mindful that pets can be a tripping hazard.


Bedroom Safety for Seniors

  • Keep shoes, clothing, and personal items in easy to reach locations for home safety for elderly.
  • Ensure adequate lighting, especially if your senior may get up at night to use the bathroom. Consider using nightlights or motion sensor lights.
  • Keep walk areas clear of loose rugs and clutter.


Doors and Window Safety for Seniors

  • Ensure windows and doors can open and close and that they have locks your senior can operate.
  • Check if the doorbell is working and that your senior can hear it throughout the house.
  • Front doors should have a peephole or view panel so seniors can see who is at the door before opening.
  • Hide a key outside or make sure someone has an extra in case your senior locks themselves out of the house.


Fire Safety

  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (per your city code), check to make sure they all work, and change the batteries annually.
  • Have fire extinguishers in easily accessible areas, and ensure people know where they are and how to use them.
  • Consider removing lighters and matches if open flames, like fireplaces and candles, are concerning.
  • Restrict or supervise smoking in the house as smoking can be a fire hazard if contact is made with anything flammable.


Medication Safety

  • Keep a current list of your senior’s medications, including over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and drug allergies. Keep this list someplace where it is easily accessible. Have their physician or ask a pharmacist to review the list for drug interactions.
  • Ensure you and your senior are aware of potential side effects and any possible drug interactions.
  • Ensure your senior is taking the correct dosages at the right times. A pillbox organizer may be helpful, and some seniors may need supervision when taking medications.
  • If your senior struggles to swallow their medications, ask their physician if they can be ordered in a different form, such as liquid form.  Don’t crush pills unless the physician or pharmacist says it is okay because some medications may become ineffective or harmful.



Outdoor Safety Tips

  • Make sure walkways are clear of debris, leaves, ice, or snow.
  • Fix any loose or uneven steps for home safety for elderly.
  • Make sure there is a sturdy railing next to walkways and stairs.
  • Ensure there is adequate outside lighting.
  • If needed, add a ramp to the front and back doors.



Click here for our Free Downloadable Home Safety Checklist for Seniors.




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