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Senior Home Safety Check List

Home accidents are a major source of injuries and can even cause death. The elderly are especially vulnerable to serious injuries from home accidents. Older bones are often less dense, more brittle and break more easily. A simple fall can become a serious, disabling injury that limits independence.

The following Senior Home Safety Check List  will help you evaluate the safety of your home and habits. Go through your home and check off those items or behaviors that apply to you. If there are some items that you do not check, then your home is not as safe as it could be. By improving those items, you can make your home a safer and more comfortable place to live.


Useful Senior Home Safety Check List  



  • Is there adequate lighting  at the entrances to your home?
  • Check to the conditions of  your outdoor stairs, pathways or decks having railings.
  • Are your front steps and walkways  in good repair and free of clutter, snow or leaves?
  • Do the doors ways of your balcony or  deck have a low sill or threshold?
  • Can you reach the mailbox easily and safely?
  • Is the number of your home clearly visible from the street and well-lit at night?

Tip:  If you live in a rural area where you do not have a visible house number, consider putting your name on your mailbox and keep at clear description of directions to your home next to each phone in your home.




  • Are all the rooms and hallways in your home well-lit?
  • Are all throw rugs and scatter mats secured in place to keep them from slipping?
  • Are your high traffic areas clear of clutter and obstacles (tops of stairs)?
  • If you use floor wax, do you use the non-skid kind?
  • Do you have a first aid kit and know where it is located in your home?
  • Do you have a list of emergency numbers next to all telephones in your home?

Tip: Have a seating structure installed at the entrance of your home in order to assist with the removal or putting on your shoes or boots.


Stairways & Hallways

  • Are your stairs well-lit and do they have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs?
  • Are your stairs in  free from clutter and in good repair?
  • Do the steps have a non-skid surface?
  • Are there solid handrails installed to provide added support on both sides of the stairway?

Tip: Always remember to take your time going up and down the stairs. Never Rush. To assist in the prevention of a misstep, a strip of contrast colour can be added on the edge of each step.


Fire &  Hazardous Materials

  • Are there  smoke alarms on every floor of the home?
  • Do you test your smoke alarms every six months?
  • Have you developed an escape route and safety  plan in case of a fire?
  • Is there a carbon monoxide detector in your home?
  • Are all  flammable and hazardous materials properly stored and clearly labelled?
  • Are there safety certified power bars being to prevent overloading electrical outlets?
  • If you live in an older home, have you or an electrician inspected your wiring, fuse box, electrical cords and appliances for safety?

Tip: Remember to check your smoke detectors twice a year.



  • Do you test the water temperature before you get into the bathtub or shower?
  • Is your hot water temperature set to recommended temperature?
  • Do you have non-slip surface products in the tub or shower?
  • Do bath mats next to the tub or shower have rubberized backing or are they secured in place to keep them from slipping?
  • Do you have a night-light set up in the bathroom?
  • Does your bathroom door lock equip with an emergency release?
  • Do you have grab bars that have been properly placed and well anchored to the wall in the bath tub or shower installed?
  • If  you any trouble getting on and off the toilet, do you have a raised toilet seat and a grab bar that is well anchored installed?
  •  If it is difficult for you to take a shower standing up, have you considered a bath seat?

TipSome tile and bathroom  cleaning products actually increase the slipperiness of a  surfaces. Always keep  this in mind when using such products.   





  • Are your pots and pans, canned goods and staple foods stored in an easy to reach location-between knee and shoulder heights?
  • Are heavy items stored properly in the lower cupboards and light items in the higher cupboards?
  • Do you have s stable step stool (with a safety rail) for reaching high places?
  • Are the “off” and “on” positions on the  stove clearly marked?
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, mounted on the wall away from the stove that is available to use in case of an emergency?
  • Do you do regular checks to make sure your fire extinguisher is in good working order?

Tips: Use heat-resistant oven mitts as they provide a better grip on hot containers and give better protection against splatter and spills.





  • Is there a light switch installed  near the entrance to your bedroom?
  • Do you keep night lights or other sources of light on in case you get up in the middle of the night?
  • Do you have a lamp or a light switch installed near your bed?
  • Is there a clear path from your bed to the bathroom?
  • Do you have a phone and a list of emergency phone numbers located next to  your bed?

Tip: Install short bed rails to assist yourself when getting in and out of bed.


Garages, Basements & Workrooms

  • Is your workroom and laundry room equipped with enough lighting?
  • Do you have a telephone in the basement and a list of emergency numbers?
  • Do you keep floors and benches clean to reduce fire and tripping hazards?
  • Are all your tools and services equipment in good condition including the safety locks in the “on” position?
  • Is your work area well ventilated, summer and winter?
  • Are heavy items on lower shelves or in bottom cupboards?
  • Do you use a ladder or a stable stool (with a safety rail) for reaching high places?
  • Are all chemicals, such as bleach, cleaners and paint thinners, clearly identified?
  • Are flammable materials stored as indicated by the directions on the label away from sources of heat and flame?
  • If you have a gas barbecue, is your propane tank stored outside of the house?


 If you are a senior or have a senior parent looking for  assistance in the Durham Region, please call our office at

905-259-5249 to speak with a professional home improvement specialist.  


 Click on our business card to find out more about our services today!


For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

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Identifiying The Risk Factors And Making Home Safer For Seniors



Identifying The Risk Factors  And Making Homes  Safer for Seniorscritical steps in reducing falls and fall-related injuries to seniors at home.



Did You Know?

Seniors injuries due to falls remain the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among Canadian seniors, and between 20% and 30% of seniors fall each year.


  • 1 in 3 seniors will experience a fall each year, and half of those more than one.
  • 40% of seniors’ falls result in hip fractures.
  • 20%  of injury related-deaths among seniors can be traced back to a fall.
  • Seniors are injured AT HOME more than any other location. The bathroom and stairs are particularly dangerous.


Falls and associated end results not only  harm the injured individuals but also affect family, friends, care providers and the health care system.

Most falls occur as a result of compounding factors that combine and overwhelm an older person’s ability to maintain or regain his or her balance.

Research has identified numerous conditions that differentiate between older persons who fall and those who do not fall.


Each older person may face a unique combination of risk factors based on life circumstances, health status, health behaviours, economic situation, social supports and the environment. Understanding what puts a person at risk of falling is a critical step in reducing falls and fall-related injuries among older Canadians.


Factors in the living environment:

Home hazards that have been demonstrated to increase the risk of falling for older people include throw rugs and loose, worn or deep pile carpets; electrical cords in walkways; raised door sills; cluttered floors; poor lighting; slippery floors; poorly designed tubs, toilets and fixtures in the bathroom; no aids or poorly installed aids such as grab bars or hand rails; and pets that get under foot.


What Can I Do To Lower My Risk Of Falling At Home?

You can prevent falls by identifying the hazards and making the needed adjustment’s to your home and lifestyle, and by making sure you eat well, stay fit, and use whatever devices will facilitate your daily life while keeping you safe.



  • Fire escape routes in the home must be kept clear and accessible at all times.
  • Smoke alarms on every floor and outside every bedroom are absolutely necessary. Check the batteries in the alarms regularly.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector that sounds an alarm.
  • Seniors who are deaf or hard of hearing should consider purchasing flashing or vibrating smoke alarms.
  • Areas including stairways, porches and outside walkways should always be kept well-lit.


Escape Plan

Family members should update planned fire escape routes plans with seniors   current capabilities in mind, and practice with them. Make sure there are two ways out of each room. Keep hallways and stairs uncluttered. Instruct seniors to call 911 from a neighbor’s house, and not to go back inside their home. If they cannot leave on their own, they should still dial 911. Place a telephone beside the bed, as well as slippers, house keys, eyeglasses and a flashlight.


Removing Hazards Around The Home

A senior who may experience problems with balance, walking or have poor eyesight needs to make sure to examine their homes to identify potential hazards. Look to remove or repair items that may cause tripping, such as:




  • Ensure that you have non-slip surfaces in the tub and shower.
  • Install grab bars by the toilet and bath to help you sit and stand. Make sure they are well anchored.
  • Use a raised toilet seat, and a bath seat in the shower, if you need them.
  • Wipe up moisture or spills immediately.
  • Use a long-handled brush or mittens with straps to help with bathing.
  • Install night lights in hallways and bathrooms.


  • Store household items on lower shelves so that you can easily reach them.
  • Store heavy items in lower cupboards
  • If you have to climb for something, use a step stool with handrails
  • Always wipe up any spills immediately to prevent slipping.
  • Consider using non-skid floor products such as a non-skid floor wax.
  • Always ask for assistance with tasks you feel you cannot  do safely.
  • Use a reaching device that you can buy at a medical supply store so you do not need to climb for an item.
  • Replace appliances that are broken or not working properly.
  • Install lighting in areas where sharp tools are used on a regular basis.
  • Do not try to carry too many things at the same time.
  • Have a place near your door where you can place packages and groceries while you close the door and get ready to put items away.

Living Room

  • Keep all areas of the home free from clutter.
  • Get rid of loose wires and cords as well as any other potentially hazardous items that  could potentially cause injury.
  • Dispose of  any loose rugs or scatter mats and replace with one’s that are designed to be non slip.
  • Repairing of  loose carpeting and areas of raised flooring.
  • Check the conditions of stairways and railings and replace with sturdy handrails  accordingly.
  • Consider purchasing a cordless phone or if you have trouble seeing, purchase a phone with larger numbers from a medical supply store.
  • Cover sharp corners on  tables or counter tops in order to avoid serious injuries in the event of a fall.
  • Move of any  furniture and electrical cords out of walking pathways
  • Have good lighting installed throughout the house and install night lights.
  • Always wipe up any spills immediately to prevent slipping.
  • Always ask for assistance with tasks you feel you cannot  do safely.


  •  Always make sure that your stairs are well-lit.
  • Check the conditions of stairways and railings and replace with sturdy handrails  accordingly
  • Have solid handrails on both sides of the stairway.
  • Remove any objects or clutter on the stairs!
  • Never rush up or down the  stairs. It’s a major cause for falls.
  • Do not try to carry too many things at the same time.
  • Always ask for assistance with tasks you feel you cannot  do safely.


  • Keep front Steps and walkways in good repair and free of snow, ice and leaves.
  • Keep the front entrance well-lit.
  • Put gardening tools such as hoses and rakes away when not using them.
  • Always ask for assistance with tasks you feel you cannot  do safely.


Staying fall-free can help you to stay independent  and avoid the need to enter a long-term care facility. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling. Falls usually happen due to the combined effects of factors that can be prevented.


On a positive note, many changes are easy to make and inexpensive. Changes can be simple, such as removing rugs. More complicated home modifications may require help of a professional, but there is government and non-profit groups available to help seniors. Some of these services, moreover, may be free of charge or low-cost.

Click on our business card to find out more!



For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donofalltrades.info

Twitter – https://twitter.com/donofalltrade