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How to Make a Home Safe for an Elderly Person

To care for an elderly person who lives at home, we have to see the world through their eyes.


  • Step 1: Replace knobs and faucets Replace standard doorknobs in the home with levers. Switch out hot and cold taps in the bathroom with a single lever faucet.
  • Step 2: Stock the pantry Stock the pantry with easy-to-open foods that are easy to reheat. The microwave oven, cups, and utensils should be easy to reach.
  • TIP: Keep a clean house -- clutter can be dangerous for the elderly.
  • Step 3: Install light switches Install illuminated light switches throughout the home. Add brighter lighting in dark halls and corners, on stairways, and in the foyer.
  • Step 4: Confirm alarms work Confirm that smoke alarms work -- install new batteries.
  • Step 5: Replace mats and carpets Put non-skid grip mats under carpets, bathmats, and at doorways.
  • Step 6: Rework thresholds Rework risen thresholds to eliminate trip zones and provide railings on both sides for stairways inside and out.
  • TIP: Remove all glass tops and furniture with points and edges.
  • Step 7: Put in grab bars Equip the bathroom with grab bars in the shower and by the toilet. A suctioned rubber mat in the shower helps guard against slips. Add inflatable suctioned wall cushions.
  • FACT: Did you know? People over 75 years old have the highest risk of injuries.

You Will Need

  • New knobs and faucets
  • Stocked foods
  • A microwave oven
  • Illuminated light switches
  • Batteries
  • Non-skid mats and carpets
  • Hand rails
  • Grab bars
  • Suctioned rubber mats
  • Wall cushions

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