Home Safety Guide For Seniors

More accidents happen in the home than anywhere else, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Making a home safe and accessible will allow seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their own home for as long as possible.

This Home Safety Guide for Seniors outlines things to look for in the home and offers simple recommendations to make the home safer and more accessible for everybody.

Questions to Ask

  1. What disabilities does the individual have?
  2. Are the disabilities temporary, permanent, or progressive?

Steps to Take

  1. Assess the individual’s ability to function in the home
  2. Note activities that are difficult to perform
  3. Note obstacles that prevent the individual from performing each activity
  4. Determine which types of home modification would be most useful

Is the individual having difficulty in any of these areas?

  • getting in and out of the home
  • using the stairs
  • moving from one room to another
  • using the kitchen
  • using the bathtub or shower
  • using the toilet
  • getting in and out of bed, chairs, sofas
  • reaching items in closets and cabinets
  • opening, closing or locking windows and doors
  • operating light switches, faucets, kitchen appliances, laundry appliances

General Home Modification Options

To improve lighting and visibility:

  • light switches should be close to room entrances and at the top AND bottom of stairways
  • make sure there is a flashlight, light switch or lamp beside the bed
  • use high-watt light bulbs in stairways and other hazardous areas
  • place a night light in the path between the bedroom and bathroom
  • install cordless battery-operated lights inside closets and cabinets
  • install motion-sensitive lighting outside the home

To enhance safety and support:

  • remove loose rugs
  • secure mats with non-skid backing or double-sided carpet tape
  • secure telephone and electrical cords
  • install non-slip flooring, especially in kitchens and bathrooms
  • use no-slip mats or non-slip shower strips in bathtubs and showers
  • remove furniture from paths and walkways
  • edge stairs with bright non-skid tape to highlight changes in floor levels
  • install handrails and grab bars in stairways and bathrooms
  • install a clamp-on support rail to the edge of the bathtub
  • install an anti-scald device on faucets and shower heads
  • install smoke detectors near kitchens and bedrooms
  • Keep list of emergency phone numbers by the phone for Fire, Police, Emergency and Ambulance
  • Install a body dryer in the shower to prevent falling when towel drying for people with balance problems

To improve accessibility and safety:

Products that improve safety and accessibility

  • wheelchair ramp
  • automatic door opener
  • stairway lift, wheelchair lift, elevator
  • grab bars and handrails in bathrooms and stairways
  • lever doorknob
  • swing-away door hinges
  • bath and shower seats
  • hydraulic bath lift
  • elevated toilet
  • hands-free water faucet
  • flexible hand-held shower head
  • anti-scald device
  • non-slip bath mat and adhesive strips
  • smoke alarms, smoke detectors
  • fire extinguishers

Accessible Design & Consulting has created this web site that illustrates home modifications and the best mobility products available for seniors and people with disabilities. Many of the products are available for purchase through the secure shopping cart.


Accessible Design & Consulting
(310) 215-3332 Office
(310) 417-4096 Fax
info@AccessibleConstruction.com E-mail