Home Safety for Seniors: 8 Points Checklist for Seniors

Checklist for home safety for seniors

Home Safety for Seniors 

Our home is our haven, a place where we should feel safe, comfortable and relaxed. As we grow older, it becomes increasingly important to ensure a safe home environment, maintain our independence and continue to enjoy a high quality of life.

But what are the risks to the elderly? And what steps can be taken to make them feel safe at home?

Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate risk and live out those glorious golden years safely and comfortably through thoughtful design choices, technology and lifestyle changes.

Why Falls are Feared

Falls are the leading cause of injury death in Australia, accounting for 37% of all deaths and the leading cause of hospital injury (41%).

A bad fall can lead to fractures, fractures, or even serious consequences – but we have precautions to help our seniors prevent it at home for example:

  1. Flooring Considerations. Opt for non-slip flooring options throughout your home, like low-pile carpeting, rubber flooring, or non-slip tiles in areas prone to moisture.
  2. Grab Bars and Handrails. Instal grab bars or handrails in areas like bathrooms and staircases to provide additional support.
  3. Consulting with an accredited aged care professional and financial adviser may be useful in navigating any costs associated with these types of modifications, as well as choosing the right living arrangements for you.
  4. Clear Pathways. Ensure that walkways are clutter-free to prevent tripping hazards. Remove loose rugs or secure them with non-slip backing.
  5. Proper Lighting. Adequate light is crucial for visibility, especially in high-risk areas like stairs, verandahs, and bathrooms.
  6. Fall Detection Devices. Consider investing in a fall detection device that can automatically alert emergency services if a fall occurs and you are unable to call for help. These devices can provide an added layer of security, especially for those living alone.
  7. Regular Exercise. Engage in regular exercise to improve balance, strength, and coordination, helping reduce the risk of falls.

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 Crime Prevention

Criminals have gotten smarter and more cunning, and unfortunately seniors can be vulnerable to certain types of crime. However, implementing the following strategies may help mitigate these risks:

  1. Home Security Systems. Consider installing a comprehensive security system that includes alarms, surveillance cameras, and motion sensors.
  2. Windows and Door Locks. Ensure that all windows and doors have secure locks, and consider upgrading to stronger, tamper-resistant options.
  3. Peephole or Security Camera at the Door. Use a peephole or instal a security camera at the front door to verify the identity of visitors before opening.
  4. Hide your Valuable Assets. Reduce temptation for thieves by ensuring all your assets like cash, valuable items, and keys are left out of sight at all times. Also refrain from leaving spare keys outside – thieves are savvy and will look straight under the doormat or in that pot plant by the door!
  5. Never Share Personal Information with Strangers. If somebody is calling you or contacting you online requesting personal details, don’t share anything. There are clever scammers everywhere and you could just be a click away from losing your life savings. If you have received a call and are just not sure if they’re legitimate – hang up and find the official phone number of the bank or business they claim to be from and call them to have the request verified before actioning.
  6. Neighbourhood Watch Programs. You know the saying, safety in numbers. Why not get involved in – or even start your own – neighbourhood watch program to foster a sense of community in your area and help deter any criminal activity? This allows you to get to you know your neighbours better so you can all look out for each other and help protect against any suspicious activity before it’s too late.
  7. Emergency Contact Information. Keep a list of emergency contacts readily accessible, including local law enforcement and trusted neighbours. Report any suspicious activity straight away.

 Doors and Windows

Never underestimate the power of the humble door or window. Common incidences include walking into a glass door, tripping over doorways, catching your fingers, or even cutting yourself on broken glass.

So, what measures can be taken to avoid these types of things from occurring?

  1. Door Stops. These can prevent doors slamming closed, due to a gust of wind or similar, and potentially smashing those precious fingers.
  2. Decals at Eye Level. Decals are perfect for alerting people to the presence of a glass sliding door.
  3. Regularly check windows and doors open with ease. Consider grabbing a lubricant to use regularly on the tracks to keep them gliding smoothly, preventing injuries from trying to force them open.

 Enhancing Safety through Design and Technology

Design and technology has come a long way, and fortunately there are some wonderful modifications you could make to your home to ensure maximum safety. These could include:

  1. Types of Lighting. Ensure you have bright, even lighting installed throughout your home, particularly in areas where tasks are performed like the kitchen and bathroom. It could be worth considering motion-activated lights for added convenience and ease.
  2. Accessible Bathtubs and Showers. Consider installing walk-in tubs or curbless showers with grab bars for easy entry and exit, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
  3. Smart Home Technology. Explore the use of smart home technology, including automated lighting, thermostats, and security systems that can be controlled remotely.

Read More: 6 Real Reasons Why Every Senior Should Be Playing Golf

 Fire Safety Measures

Whether it be bushfire season, an electrical fault, or another type of accident or incident – house fires are a serious threat consideration. It is recommended to:

  1. Instal smoke detectors on every level of the home, ensuring they are in working order with regular battery replacements.
  2. Additionally, consider a monitored fire alarm system that can alert authorities in case of emergencies.

 Medication Management

The older we get, the more we may rely on medications for our health and quality of life. To help streamline the management of our medication needs, consider the following:

  1. Implement a system to organise and track medications, such as pill organisers or medication reminder apps.
  2. Consider enlisting the help of a trusted family member, caregiver, or healthcare professional to ensure medications are taken correctly.

Emergency Evacuation Plan

It always pays to be prepared, and especially in an emergency. Sit down with your loved ones and devise a plan together to keep you safe in the event the unexpected happens.

  1. Develop and practice an emergency evacuation plan in case of natural disasters or other unforeseen events.
  2. Ensure you have easy access to emergency supplies, including non-perishable food, water, medications, and important documents.

 Combatting Loneliness

Seniors may face feelings of loneliness or isolation, which can have a significant impact on mental health. Addressing this concern could involve a combination of social engagement and mental health well-being practices, such as:

  1. Social Activities. Engage in regular social activities, such as joining clubs or participating in group exercises.
  2. Technology for Communication. Embrace technology to stay connected with loved ones through video calls, social media, and messaging apps. Younger generations may be a valuable source of information and guidance in this area, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you need!
  3. Hobbies and Interests. Pursue hobbies and interests that bring joy and fulfillment, providing a sense of purpose and reducing feelings of loneliness. This can be a great way to connect with likeminded individuals and form new friendships.
  4. Mental Health Support. Remember, you are not alone. Feelings of loneliness can be very common in today’s world. Reach out and seek professional help if feelings of loneliness or depression persist. Psychologists, counsellors, and support groups can offer valuable assistance.

Read More: 10 Important Questions to Find The Right Aged Care Provider Near You


We all deserve the best quality life, no matter what our age! Creating a secure environment requires a multifaceted approach, but by addressing these potential threats, you’ll be well on the way to transforming your home into a haven of safety and comfort. In turn, this will offer peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.


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