Home accidents are a major cause of injury and death, especially for those over 60. As people grow older, they may be less agile and their bones tend to break more easily. A fall can result in a disabling injury. All patients need to take special precautions to ensure a safe living environment.

Most accidents in the home can be prevented by the elimination of hazards. See these tips to determine the safety level of your home.

General Safety

  • Emergency phone numbers are posted by each telephone
  • Outside doors are kept locked at all times. Do not open the door to an unfamiliar face. Ask for identification and call someone to verify who they say they are.
  • Door-to-door salesmen are not let into your home. They are asked to come back when a friend or family member will be with you.
  • Valuables that may be easily stolen are kept out of sight.
  • Telephone and television solicitations are not accepted. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”
  • Household maintenance (painting, roofing etc) is scheduled with a reputable company. Have a friend or family member assist you.
  • Electrical appliances and cords are clean, in good condition and not exposed to liquids.
  • An adequate number of outlets are located in each room where needed. There are no “octopus” outlets with several plugs being used.
  • Electrical outlets are grounded.
  • Lighting throughout the house is adequate.
  • Burned out lights are replaced.

Preventing Falls

  • Stairways and halls are well lit
  • Night-lights are used in the bathroom, halls, and passageways
  • A flashlight with good batteries or a lamp is within easy reach of your bed
  • Throw rugs are removed or have a non-skid backing and are not placed in high traffic areas.
  • All clutter is cleared from the house, especially in pathways. Electrical and telephone cords are placed along walls-not under rugs and away from traffic areas and do not cross pathways
  • There are no step stools without high handrails
  • Handrails are used on stairs and securely fastened
  • Grab bars are installed by the shower, tub or toilet
  • Shower stools or non-skid strips are attached to the bottom of the tub
  • Elevated toilet seats and stools are used if needed
  • Spills are cleaned up immediately
  • Outside walks are kept clear of snow and ice in the winter
  • Outside steps and entrances are well lit
  • You are aware of any medications being taken which may cause dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Alcoholic beverages are limited to no more than two per day
  • When in a seated or lying down position, stand up slowly
  • Steps are in good condition and are free from objects
  • Steps have non-skid strips and carpeting is securely fastened and is free from holes and fraying
  • Light switches are located at the top and bottom of stairways and at both ends of long halls
  • Doors do not swing out over stair steps
  • Clearance in the stairway provides adequate head room