Posted: October 12, 2023

In-Home Safety Precautions for Older Adults

When aging in place, it is important for older adults and their loved ones to think about the safety and accessibility of the home. These in-home safety precautions can ensure that the home will allow for them to live independently in a safe environment until they require more assistance. 


Making the Home Safe & Accessible 

A few changes can make the home easier and safer for independent living at home. Some things to consider are1

  • Use area rugs and make sure that carpets are fixed to the floor.

  • Replace hard-to-grip, round handles on doors and faucets with lever style handles that are easier to use. 

  • Install grab bars in the bathroom. 

  • Install a ramp with handrails to the front and/or back doors. 

  • Reduce any fall hazards on the floors like wires by placing no-slip strips or non-skid mats on tile or wood floors and surfaces that may get slippery when wet. 

  • Place night lights in high traffic areas. Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs so that the stairs could be illuminated before they climb on it. 


Preventing a Fall 

Injuries from falling are common among older adults, which is normal as we age. Fall injuries can be very serious, so it is important to take precautions to prevent them as much as possible. There are simple steps to know and take to prevent falls as an older adult2

  • Let a healthcare provider know about any concerns about difficulty in walking or balancing and request a falls risk assessment if needed.

  • Participate in an exercise class or program that focuses on preventing falls by strengthening the muscles and maintaining an active lifestyle. 

  • Do not rush off the bed, especially if having to pick up a phone call. Standing up too quickly can cause disorientation. Remember to get up slowly to let your body adjust to the movements. 

  • Be cautious on smooth floors. Wear non-slip footwear or socks and remove any trip hazards.

  • Use assistive devices like canes or walkers to help stabilize walking and to  prevent falls.

  • Keep your hands free to use handrails. Make sure not to carry heavy items that may throw off your balance.


Safety-Proof Against Fires and Related Dangers 

Injuries from fire, smoke, or burns can be serious, but may be prevented with simple precautions. Here is a list of potential safety precautions to prevent fires and burn or smoke inhalation injuries3

  • Ensure that both the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and remember to replace their batteries.

  • Replace any appliances with frayed or damaged electrical cords.

  • Do not plug in multiple electric cords into one socket or extension cord. 

  • Avoid wearing loose clothes or material that are flammable when cooking. 

  • Never leave unattended candles in an empty room or smoke in the bed.


Adopting these safety precautions around the home can improve the quality of life and allow older adults to live in their own home longer. It is important to plan and bring up any concerns about accessibility or trip hazards to older adults and loved ones to help prevent related dangers, risks of falling, and suffering burn injuries at home.