Home Safety Tips for Seniors

*You should consider having a professional install/perform these Long Term Considerations.


Free/Low-Cost Home Improvements
1. Set the hot-water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce energy costs and prevent scalding.
2. Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
3. Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
4. Use a rubber-suction bath mat or anti-slip floor strips or decals in the tub or shower.
5. Increase contrast: Avoid low contrasting items. Adding contrast is as simple as a blue tub mat in a white bathtub or painting the edge of the steps a contrasting color from the rest of the step surface.
6. Install a handheld adjustable showerhead for easier bathing.
7. Install user-friendly lever handle faucets in your sinks and in tubs or showers. Some faucets even
8. Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.

Long Term Considerations*

1. Install a raised height toilet or sink/vanity.
2. Place a sturdy bathtub or shower seat in the tub and/or shower.
3. Mount grab bars next to the toilet and bathtub and in the shower for help getting up or down.


Free/Low-Cost Home Improvements
1. Keep floors clean and uncluttered.
2. Illuminate work areas.
3. Mark “on” and “off” positions on appliances clearly and with bright colors.
4. Store heavier objects at waist level.
5. Place or mount an A-B-C rated, all-purpose fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location near the stove and oven so that you’re prepared for any type of kitchen fire.
6. Store sharp knives in a rack.

Long Term Considerations*

1. Replace knobs on cabinets and drawers with easy-to-grip, D-shaped handles.
2. Install offset hinges on all doors to add two inches of width for wheelchair access, if needed.
3. Install a security peephole on exterior doors at the correct height for you.
4. Install outdoor floodlights that switch on by motion sensors to light your way and to deter burglars.


Free/Low-Cost Home Improvements
1. Open blinds and curtains and raise shades during daylight hours to increase natural light inside the home.
2. Place exposed electrical, telephone and computer cords along a wall where people won’t trip over them.
3. Remove all cords from under furniture or carpeting to lessen the risk of fire.
4. Remove clutter from stairways and passageways to help prevent trips and falls.
5. Check the carpeting on your stairs to be sure it is firmly attached.
6. Arrange furniture to allow for easy passage.
7. Create an emergency exit plan in case of a fire.
8. Remove debris from outdoor walkways.
9. Trim shrubbery to provide a clear view from doors and windows.
10. Increase light and decrease glare by using the highest-watt light bulbs or compact-fluorescent bulbs appropriate for your light fixtures or lamps. Use only non-glare incandescent bulbs (or the fluorescent equivalents).
11. Put nightlights in the bathroom and in hallways leading from the bedroom to the bathroom.
12. Keep a smoke detector on every floor and in each bedroom.
13. Make sure that all staircases have good lighting with switches at top and bottom.
14. Replace traditional light switches with easy-to-use, rocker-style light switches.
15. Install smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors on all levels of the house, especially where the bedrooms are.

Long Term Considerations*
1. Install railings on stairs, including basement stairs, and consider railings on both sides of the steps for an extra stability option.
2. Have a professional home evaluation to match your individual needs and habits.
3. Install a shelf at the main entrance door to hold items when locking and unlocking the door and install bigger, lever handles.

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