Home Safety Checklist
- Clear pathways of furniture.
- Remove clutter from the floor.
- Remove low chairs that are difficult to get out of easily.
- Remove throw rugs or secure with double-sided tape.
- Coil cords and wires and tape to the wall.
- Secure carpet edges.
- Do not use floor wax or walk on wet tile.
- Be aware of small household pets in the walkway.
- “Crate or gait” pets as needed.
Stairs and steps
- Remove all objects from the stairs.
- Fix broken stairs, uneven steps and loose handrails.
- Secure carpet or tread on stairs.
- Install handrails on both sides of stairs that are as long as the stairs.
- Use reflective tape along edges of steps and stairs.
Lighting and Vision
- Install lights and light switches at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Replace burnt out light bulbs.
- Increase the lighting in your home so you can see more clearly.
- Reduce glare by using window covers and screen covers for electronics.
- Be aware that bifocals, trifocals and progressive lenses increase fall risk.
- Keep frequently used items on shelves between waist and shoulder height.
- Remove rugs or secure with double-sided tape.
- Keep a list of current healthcare information visible on your refrigerator.
- Avoid sitting on chairs that roll or swivel.
- Place an easy-to-use lamp close to the bed.
- Install a nightlight on the way to the bathroom.
- Pack your nightlight in your travel case for overnight trips.
- Keep a flashlight and phone on your nightstand.
- Use a non-slip rubber mat on the shower or tub floor.
- Install grab bars next to the tub and toilet.
- Install a raised toilet seat.
- Use non-skid floor covers on tile flooring.
- Consider a tub bench or shower chair.
- Tip your head forward to rinse your hair, instead of leaning backwards.
- Try to keep your eyes open in the shower for balance.
- Repair cracked or uneven sidewalks.
- Trim shrubbery along the pathway to the door.
- Install adequate lighting by doors and along walkways.
- Use assistive device outside or ask for assistance if needed.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun damage.
- Wear sturdy shoes with thin, non-slip soles that fasten securely.
- Avoid slippers, flip-flops, high heels and thick-soled athletic shoes.
- Hem pants and bathrobes so they don’t touch the floor in bare feet, especially after significant weight loss.
- Consider wearing an alarm to call for help in case of a fall.
- Keep a list of important healthcare information in your purse or wallet.
- Ask your doctor about beginning a regular exercise program.
- Take all medications and supplements to your doctor at each visit.
- Ask your doctor about appropriate nutritional supplementation.
- Ask your doctor how much water you need to drink.
- Have your vision checked annually.
- Ask for a vestibular screen.
- Partner with your physician to manage your chronic health conditions.
- Make sure the phone can be reached from the floor.
- Keep a telephone within reach of the bed.
- Consider keeping your cellphone in your pocket.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers next to each landline phone.
- Consider wearing a medical alert button or similar device like an Apple watch.
Handout courtesy of Dr. Kim Bell, DPT BetterBalanceInLife.com