Home Adaptations for Independent Living


Home Safety Checklist

Posted on June 15, 2012 at 2:24 PM
 June is Home Safety month highlighting the need for fall prevention within the home.  Just to set the stage,

  • 1/3 of the population over the age of 65 falls each year and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age.  Half of seniors over the age of 80 fall annually.
  • Those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again.
  • About half (53%) of the older adults who are discharged for fall-related hip fractures will experience another fall within six months.
  • Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly 87% of all fractures in the elderly are due to falls.    
  • 55% of all falls take place inside the home.

Outside of our homes we often have to deal with uneven pavements, crossing lights that change too quickly and force us to hurry, sidewalk and step materials that get slippery when wet, stairs without railings, and poorly lit entrances to name just a few commonly found 
hazards.   Our homes, however, are under our control which gives us the opportunity to remove risks to our safety.   So what can we do within our homes to reduce unnecessary hazards that contribute to our risk of injury and falls?  

Home Safety Checklist


 Check driveways, sidewalks, and walkways to make sure they're free from cracks and 
  uneven surfaces
 Steps should have a non-slip surface
 Handrails are installed on both sides of stairs 
 Install outdoor lights at all entrances
 Outside walkways and sidewalks should be well lit
 Make sure the entrance threshold is not a tripping hazard
 Door knob, lock, key, peephole & package shelf all work and are easy to use
 Place stickers on glass patio doors to prevent walking into them


 Sinks & tub faucets, shower controls and drain plugs are accessible & manageable
 Under sink hot water pipes are covered
 Task lighting is sufficient
 Grab bars installed in shower/tub area
 Non-slip treads or coating installed in shower/tub
 Mirror height is appropriate to sit & stand
 Kitchen shelves are reachable without step stool
 There is a surface adjacent to stove for hot food placement
 Scatter rugs are secured with non-slip, double sided rug tape
 Adjustable height shower head is installed
 There is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen


 Doorways are wide enough for entry
 All windows and patio doors open easily, are easy to lock & operate
 Stair railings run full length of stairs on both sides and extend slightly beyond them
 Stairs have adequate lighting
 Light switches are installed at the top and bottom of stairs
 There is contrast/texture for floor level changes
 Doorway thresholds are not a tripping hazard
 Runners and scatter rugs have non-slip pads or rug tape
 There are clear pathways in all rooms
 Carpeting should lie flat and be securely fastened
 All stairs to be in good repair, not loose, broken, missing or worn
 Pathways, exits, and halls are clear of miscellaneous items, toys, and cords


 Thermostat is easy to read
 Extension cords are tied and out of the way
 Add nightlights to increase visibility especially in hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms
 Maintain a light or light switch within easy reach of the bed
 Always turn on a light before entering a room
 There are no scald valves on all faucets
 Smoke detectors/CO detectors are in place
 Phones are located near bed, sofa, chair
 Doorbell & phone are loud enough to be heard

  Susan Luxenberg
  HomeSmart LLC


Categories: Fixing To Stay

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