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  • John Aigner

20 home safety tips for seniors

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Here are the top 20 in-home safety risks for seniors along with suggestions for mitigation:

  1. Falls

  • Install handrails or grab bars in bathrooms, hallways, and stairways

  • Remove tripping hazards such as loose rugs, clutter, and electrical cords

  • Ensure proper lighting throughout the home

  • Wear non-slip shoes

2. Fire

  • Install smoke detectors in every room and check them regularly

  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it

  • Avoid smoking in the home

  • Avoid using space heaters

3. Poisoning

  • Keep all medications and cleaning products out of reach and labeled properly

  • Dispose of expired medications and hazardous waste safely

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors

4. Burns

  • Lower water heater temperature to 120°F or less

  • Use caution when cooking and handling hot liquids

  • Keep flammable objects away from heat sources

5. Choking

  • Cut food into small pieces

  • Avoid eating while lying down

  • Keep small objects out of reach

6. Tripping hazards

  • Remove or secure loose rugs

  • Clear walkways of clutter

  • Avoid using extension cords

7. Inadequate lighting

  • Install brighter light bulbs or additional lighting fixtures

  • Keep flashlights or battery-operated lights in easy-to-reach areas

8. Scams and fraud

  • Do not give out personal information over the phone or internet

  • Research companies and individuals before giving them money

  • Keep important documents in a safe place

9. Electrical shocks

  • Avoid using damaged electrical cords or outlets

  • Have an electrician inspect the home for faulty wiring

  • Use GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens

10. Drowning

  • Install grab bars in the bathroom and shower

  • Avoid leaving standing water in the tub or shower

  • Use a shower chair or bench if needed

11. Carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home

  • Keep fuel-burning appliances and vehicles properly maintained

12. Home invasion

  • Lock all doors and windows when leaving the home or going to bed

  • Install a peephole or security camera

  • Consider getting a home security system

13. Malnutrition

  • Eat a well-balanced diet

  • Avoid skipping meals

  • Consider hiring a caregiver or meal delivery service

14. Dehydration

  • Drink plenty of fluids

  • Keep water bottles or glasses within reach

  • Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine

15. Medication errors

  • Keep a list of all medications and dosages

  • Take medications as prescribed

  • Use pill organizers or reminders if needed

16. Depression

  • Stay active and social

  • Seek professional help if needed

  • Participate in hobbies and interests

17. Mobility issues

  • Use assistive devices such as walkers or canes if needed

  • Remove obstacles that could impede mobility

  • Install a stairlift if necessary

18. Cognitive impairment

  • Keep important phone numbers and addresses written down and easily accessible

  • Use reminders or alarms for important tasks

  • Consider using assistive technology such as voice-activated devices

19. Inadequate heating or cooling

  • Have the heating and cooling systems inspected and maintained regularly

  • Use fans or blankets to regulate temperature

  • Consider using a portable air conditioner or space heater if needed

20. Elder abuse

  • Report any suspected abuse to the authorities

  • Stay in touch with friends and family to maintain social connections

  • Consider getting a caregiver or trusted individual to help with daily tasks.

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