Aging in Place Home Safety Checklist

In this post, you’ll learn some simple yet effective ways to make your homes safer with our Aging in Place Home Safety Checklist.

For many family caregivers, one of their biggest concerns is making sure their loved ones are safe and happy in their homes. It’s not just about health care needs or daily care; it’s about making sure their homes are a safe haven. A place where the risk of falls and accidents is significantly reduced because of solid, proactive planning.

According to the Federal Housing Administration, nearly 90% of aging adults say that they want to stay in their homes, or “age in place,” for as long as possible. Thanks to the option of using home care assistance for daily living tasks, it is possible for many older adults to age in place safely and happily with a few simple home modifications.

I can tell you from experience that making some easy and inexpensive changes in your home will go a long way in preventing injuries, reducing fall risks, and enabling your loved one to maintain independence in a safe home environment.

From the living room to the kitchen, and every corner in between, I’ll share a few key tips from our comprehensive Aging in Place Home Safety Checklist. This home safety checklist for older adults is a labor of love, born from personal experience, and designed to help the care provider protect the health and safety of their loved one.

So, let’s take a walk through a typical home, room by room, and discover how small changes can make a big difference in ensuring the safety and well-being of aging family members.

Understanding the Risks

Before diving into the specifics of each room, it’s important to understand why these changes are necessary. While our homes are places of comfort and memories, they can also be minefields for our aging loved ones. One of the most common concerns is the risk of falling. It’s not just about the physical layout of the house; it’s also about how we interact with our environment as our mobility and needs change.

Falls can happen to anyone, but for obvious reasons, older adults are more prone to falls. As a matter of fact, according to the CDC, 1 in 4 older adults report falling every year, but less than half tell their doctor. This should really concern you because falls can lead to serious injuries and even death. The good news is that many falls are preventable with some attention to detail and planning. A few simple home modifications and a bit of mindfulness about the home’s layout can reduce the risks in a big way, making the home a safer place for everyone.

Room-By-Room Safety Tips

All Rooms:

  • Clear the Clutter: Ensure walkways are free of obstacles like electrical cords, loose rugs, or small furniture pieces that can be tripping hazards.
  • Adequate Lighting: Good lighting is essential. Consider adding more light sources or brighter bulbs to help navigate the space safely, especially in areas that are used for reading or relaxing. Additionally, make sure light switches are easily accessible and unobstructed.

Kitchen:

  • Accessible Storage: Keep frequently used items in easy-to-reach places.
  • Avoid stepstools: A step stool can be quite risky, especially when reaching for heavy or hot items.

Bathroom:

  • Install Grab Bars: The benefits of grab bars are many. They are a must-have in the shower and near the toilet. They provide support and stability, which are key to preventing falls in slippery environments.
  • Raised Toilet Seats: Consider a raised seat or one with armrests for additional safety and ease of use.

Bedroom:

  • Clear Path to the Bathroom: Ensure there’s a clear, well-lit path to the bathroom to prevent trips and falls during the night.
  • Night Lights: Use night lights in both the bedroom and bathroom to improve visibility at night.

Stairs:

  • Hand Rails: Sturdy handrails should top your list of items to inspect. A loose or flimsy handrail is a sure path to a fall.
  • Light Switches: Easy-to-reach light switches should be located at the top and bottom of the stairs.

Exterior:

  • Sidewalks and Walkways: Ensure sidewalks and walkways are clear of clutter and in good repair.
  • Good Lighting: Outdoor areas should be well-lit, especially where there are steps to navigate.

Aging in Place Safely

These tips are just a starting point. Each home’s contents and each individual’s needs are unique.  It’s important to consider your living space’s specific layout and requirements and how compatible it is with aging in place.

In addition to making changes to the home environment, continually observe your loved one and pay attention to changing needs.

While they are still mobile and independent, an easy-to-use cell phone is a helpful tool. A phone with a larger keyboard is helpful for those with arthritis in their hands. For some, a smartphone or tablet is a great link to the world. Make sure you teach your loved one how to use it to call and text you.

If your loved one’s mobility begins to decline, it’s a good idea to consider using an alert system that links your loved one to help when they are home alone.

This Aging in Place Home Safety Checklist is a simple, effective tool for making homes safer for aging loved ones.

Free Checklist

I encourage you to download and print the checklist. Use it as a roadmap to walk through your home, assess each area, and make the necessary adjustments.

Sharing it with friends, family, or neighbors can also be a wonderful way to spread awareness about home safety for older adults.

Aging in Place Home Safety Checklist

Disclaimer: The content on this site is meant for general informational purposes and should not be considered professional advice. While we strive for accuracy, we recommend consulting experts for specific guidance. We are not responsible for any decisions made based on this information.


Liz Craven
Liz Craven

Liz Craven, co-publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide alongside her husband Wes, brings a blend of personal experience and heartfelt dedication to her work. Their path in eldercare started with a family story — caring for Wes' grandmother, Mabel, who faced Alzheimer's. This personal chapter not only highlighted the complexities of eldercare but also ignited their passion to support others in similar situations. Later, Liz and Wes filled the caregiver role three more times for their parents. Through the Sage Aging ElderCare Guide, Liz offers a mix of empathetic insight and practical advice, making eldercare more approachable and less daunting for families. Her commitment shines through in every piece of advice, aiming to ease the journey for others as they navigate the world of eldercare.

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