Last Updated: April 30, 2015
Due to the growing popularity of in-home care for seniors, it's
important to make sure you and your loved one are aware of the
potential dangers present in the home for seniors living alone and
prepare accordingly. You can help prevent falls and accidents by
making changes to unsafe areas in the home with these tips.
General Home Safety
The following home safety tips can help keep you and your loved
- Consider a medical alert or a buddy system.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every
- Never smoke when alone or in bed.
- Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Take your
time, and make sure you have your balance.
- Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels.
- Use a correctly measured walking aid.
- Remove or tack down all scatter rugs.
- Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
- Avoid using slippery wax on floors.
- Wipe up spills promptly.
- Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.
- Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house,
or, if necessary, purchase a stairlift.
- Use only non-glare 100 watt or greater incandescent bulbs (or
the fluorescent equivalents.)
- Make sure that all stair cases have good lighting with switches
at top and bottom.
- Make sure that staircase steps should have a non-slip
- Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
- Use recommended bath aids, securely installed on the walls of
the bath/shower stall and on the sides of the toilet.
- Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip
- To avoid scalds, turn water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or
- Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
- Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
- If possible, bathe only when help is available.
- Keep floors clean and uncluttered.
- Illuminate work areas.
- Mark "on" and "off" positions on appliances clearly and with
- Store sharp knives in a rack.
- Use a kettle with an automatic shut-off.
- Store heavier objects at waist level.
- Store hazardous items separate from food.
- Avoid wearing long, loose clothing when cooking over the
- Make sure food is rotated regularly and check expiration
- Review your medicines frequently with your doctor or pharmacist
and when you take new medication.
- Make sure medicines are clearly labeled.
- Read medicine labels in good light to ensure you have the right
medicine and always take the correct dose.
- Dispose of any old or used medicines.
- Never borrow prescription drugs from others.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you mix alcohol and
- Have medication dispensed in a bubble pack or convenient
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before mixing
non-prescription drugs and prescription drugs.