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Home Safety Checklist for seniors

Stairs

  • Do all stairwells have securely-fixed handrails on both sides?
  • Do the handrails extend beyond the length of the steps?
  • Does your hand easily wrap completely around the rail?
  • Are there lights & light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs?
  • Can you clearly see the outline of each step as you ascend & descend the stairs?
  • Do the stairs have even surfaces? (I.e. no metal strips or rubber mats to trip on; in good repair?)
  • Are stairs clutter free?

Halls/Entrances

  • Are all carpets and runners well-fastened down? Does the carpet lay flat?
  • Is furniture positioned to allow full access to doorways with assistive devices?
  • Are walkways clear of tripping hazards: cords, toys, low furniture, etc?
  • Is there a nightlight lighting the path to the bathroom?
  • Do rugs stay put (don’t slide or roll) when you push them with your foot?

Living Room

  • Does your chair have armrests that are long enough to help you get up or down?
  • Can you turn on a light without having to walk into a dark room?
  • Are lamps, extension cords, & phone cords out of the flow of foot traffic?
  • Has clutter been eliminated?
  • Are curtains and furniture at least 12 inches away from portable heaters?
  • Do you have easy access to a telephone?

Kitchen

  • Do you use non-skid wax or no wax at all, on polished floors?
  • Are rugs non-skid?
  • Can you reach the most-often used items without a step-stool?
  • Is there adequate lighting?
  • Are your stove/oven controls easy to use?
  • Are curtains and towels away from burners?

Bedroom

  • Is there a nightlight, lamp, or flashlight in reach of your bed?
  • Is there a working smoke detector?
  • Is there a phone within reach of the bed?
  • Is the bed height appropriate (too high or low)?
  • Can you easily access needed dresser drawers?

 

Bathroom

  • Does the tub/shower have rubber non-skid mats or strips?
  • Do you have grab bars (NOT TOWEL BARS) at the shower, tub, and toilet?
  • Do you need a bath seat/bench?
  • Is the flooring safe? (loose rugs, carpet or tiles?)
  • Do the rugs have a non-skid backing?
  • Do you have a hot-water temperature regulator to prevent burns?
  • Can you get on and off the toilet easily?
  • Do you need a hand-held shower sprayer?
  • Do you need a shower curtain to replace sliding shower doors?

Doorways/Entrances/Exterior

  • Do all home entrances have outdoor lights?
  • Are walkways to the doors clear of debris, plants, cracks, and holes?
  • Are door sills (thresholds) low?
  • Do outdoor steps have handrails?
  • Is a ramp needed?
  • Do the outdoor steps have a non-skid surface?
  • Are the outdoor stairs in good repair? (I.e. free from cracks, dips, holes)

Other

  • Do you have an emergency exit plan (i.e. Fire)?
  • Are emergency telephone numbers listed near the phone?
  • Do you have lifeline?
  • Do you have a system to manage medication?