Stay Safe In Your Home


  • Keep a telephone within reach of your bed.
  •  Make sure there is a light near your bed.
  •  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.
  • Use mobility aides as recommended.
  • Don’t carry too much. Make multiple trips.
  • Avoid not moving for long periods of time.
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