Install a night light that automatically turns on in low light conditions.
Use electric blankets and heating pads according to manufacturer’s instructions. Do not go to sleep with heating pads on. Even the low settings can cause burns.
Identify fire exits and keep them clear at all times.
Mount and use grab bars in the shower, tub, or toilet areas.
Use bathmats or non-slip strips in the shower or tub.
Ensure that your toilet height is safe for you to sit down and get back up.
Do not reach for things that are low or in deep cabinets.
Use a night light to prevent falls in the dark.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees to reduce the chance of burns.
Put in electrical outlets that have a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
Enter your tub or shower by using your weaker leg first. Exit using your stronger side. Consider using a bath/shower chair or bench.
Use liquid soap instead of bar soap and a long-handled brush or bath mitts to help with bathing.
Avoid using appliances (such as hair dryers, electric shavers, curling irons, and television) while bathing or near water.
Store and secure medications properly.
Store towels, curtains, hot pads, and other flammables at a safe distance from the stove.
Keep handles of pots and pans inward (away from stove’s outer edge) when cooking.
Keep electrical cords away from the sink.
Avoid wearing long loose sleeves when cooking.
Store and secure medications properly.
All Living Areas
Remove clutter from paths such as clothes, books, shoes, electrical cords, or other items that may cause you to trip.
Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape to secure rugs in place.
Check furniture height. Avoid low chairs/couches or use furniture risers.
Keep a flashlight handy in places where you tend to spend time – such as your chair, kitchen, bathroom, etc. You could also keep one in your walker basket or beside your bed. Always have extra batteries available for the flashlight.
Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and keep them working. These should be tested once a month. Batteries should be replaced twice a year.
Have fire extinguishers throughout the house (e.g., in the kitchen and garage). Identify fire exits and keep them clear.
Keep household cleaners, disinfectants, garden products, and pesticides in their original containers out of reach of children.
Clean up spills right away.
Have an evacuation and disaster response plan.
Call your electric company regarding your special needs when equipment is placed in your home.
Stairs and Steps
Use extra caution near steps and uneven flooring.
Make sure handrails are on both sides of the stairs and span the full length of the stairs.
Check to see if handrails are sturdy. Repair any loose handrails.
Fix loose, broken, or uneven steps.
Keep stairways well-lit.
Make sure that the carpet is firmly attached to every step.
Avoid long clothes that might trip you (bathrobes, nightgowns, winter coats).
Keep pant leg hems off the floor. Wear a belt if needed.
Wear shoes that fit well and have low or flat heels, closed toes, and soles that don’t slip. Avoid flip-flops, clogs, or loose-fitting shoes.
Replace shoes when the sole or heels are worn smooth.
Medical Equipment (walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen, etc.)
Lock your wheelchair when moving to or from a seated position.
Keep your wheelchair and other mobility devices in working condition.
Keep walking aids within reach and be sure to use them every time.
Ask for help when walking or moving from your wheelchair to your walker.
Watch out for tubing (feeding tubes, oxygen tubes, etc.) in your pathway. Try taping any tubing to the back of your shirt.
Preventing Physical Risk Factors
If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, don’t try to stand up.
Change positions slowly.
Know your medications and take them correctly. Some medications can make you feel dizzy, and/or unsteady.
Do prescribed exercises to improve balance and boost strength.
Place chairs around your home so you can rest often as you move throughout it.