Home Safety for Seniors: 7 Best Ways to Make a Home a Safer Place to Age In

Your 1+1 Team
June 10, 2024

As the number of older adults choosing to live independently grows, ensuring their safety at home becomes increasingly crucial. Falls, burns, and poisonings are among the most common accidents involving seniors. Additionally, older adults living alone can be targets for criminals. There are several steps you and your loved one can take to enhance home safety for seniors and their peace of mind: 

1. Protect Against Abuse

Make sure your loved one keeps windows and doors locked at all times and never allows strangers into their home when they are alone. They should also discuss any offers made by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend or family member, and avoid sharing personal information with unknown callers.

2. Keep Emergency Numbers Accessible 

Having a list of emergency numbers readily available is essential. Place this list by each phone in their home, and write the information in large print for easy readability in an emergency. Important numbers to include are:

  • 911
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
  • A family member or friend to call in an emergency
  • Your healthcare provider’s office

3. Protect from the Risk of Falls

Falls are a significant risk for older adults. If your loved one experiences difficulty with walking or balance or has fallen in the past year, consult their healthcare provider about a fall risk assessment. They may recommend an exercise program to help prevent falls.

Consider purchasing a wearable alarm device that can summon emergency services when they fall and can’t reach the phone.  

They also should carry a cordless or cell phone with them or let an answering machine pick up the call, so they avoid rushing to the phone because it leads to accidents. 

Wear non-slip footwear like slippers with rubber soles or well-fitting, flat shoes when walking on smooth floors. If they use a cane or walker, use it consistently rather than relying on walls and furniture for support.

4. Safety-Proof Home

Ensure all hallways, stairs, and pathways are well-lit and free of clutter. Always use rails and banisters when navigating stairs, and avoid placing scatter rugs at the bottom or top of stairs. Secure all area rugs with tape to prevent them from moving.

5. Prevent Fire and Related Dangers

In the event of a fire, they should not attempt to put it out. They instead need to leave immediately and call 911. Familiarize your loved one with at least two exits from their home. While cooking, avoid wearing loose clothing or garments with long sleeves. Replace any appliances with damaged or frayed electrical cords, and avoid overloading electrical sockets.

Install smoke detectors and change the batteries twice a year. Never smoke in bed or leave candles burning unattended. Keep heaters at least three feet away from flammable items and turn off space heaters when leaving the room.

6. Avoid Bathroom Hazards

To prevent scalding, set their water heater thermostat to no higher than 120°F. Install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet to aid movement and stability—place rubber mats in the bathtub to prevent slipping. If getting in and out of the tub or on and off the toilet is challenging, consider a special tub chair, bench, or raised toilet seat, and consult their healthcare provider for assistance.

7. Prevent Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide

They should never use the stove, oven, or grill to heat their home, as these can emit carbon monoxide, a deadly, odorless gas. Ensure there is a carbon monoxide detector near all bedrooms and test and replace the batteries twice a year.


Store all medications in their original containers to avoid confusion. Ask their pharmacist for large-print labels and take medications in a well-lit room to ensure they can read the labels clearly. Bring all medications to healthcare appointments for verification.

Cleaning Products

Never mix cleaning liquids like bleach and ammonia, as they can create toxic gasses. Use each product according to its instructions.

By taking these precautions, you can significantly improve the safety of your loved one’s home and reduce the risk of accidents, injuries, and abuse. 

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.

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