These tips for seniors can help keep you and your loved ones safe. Approximately one-third of adults age 65 years or older fall in their homes each year, resulting in injury, long-term disability, and premature loss of independence.


General Home Safety

  • Consider a medical alert system.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor.
  • Never smoke when alone or in bed.
  • Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Take your time, and make sure you have your balance.
  • Wear proper-fitting shoes with low heels.
  • Use a correctly measured walking aid.
  • Remove or tack down all scatter rugs.
  • Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
  • Avoid using slippery finishes on floors.
  • Wipe up spills promptly.
  • Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.
  • Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house, or, if necessary, purchase a stairlift.
  • Use only non-glare 100 watt or greater incandescent bulbs (or the LED equivalents.)
  • Make sure that all staircases have good lighting with switches at the top and bottom.
  • Make sure that staircase steps have a non-slip surface.


Bathroom Safety

  • Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
  • Use recommended bath aids, securely installed on the walls of the bath/shower stall, and the sides of the toilet.
  • Skid-proof the tub.
  • Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
  • If possible, bathe only when help is available.


Kitchen Safety

  • Keep floors clean and uncluttered.
  • Illuminate work areas.
  • Mark “on” and “off” positions on appliances clearly and with bright colors.
  • Store sharp knives in a rack.
  • Use a kettle with an automatic shut-off.
  • Store heavier objects at waist level.
  • Avoid wearing long, loose clothing when cooking over the stove.
  • Make sure food is rotated regularly and check expiration dates.


Drug Safety

  • Review your medicines frequently with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Make sure medicines are clearly labeled.
  • Read medicine labels in good light to ensure you have the right medicine and always take the correct dose.
  • Dispose of any old or used medicines.
  • Never borrow prescription drugs from others.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you mix alcohol and your drugs.

Basic Emergency Items for Seniors – Keep these items in a clearly labeled container so they can be easily found and used in case of an emergency.


  • A battery-powered radio.
  • Two battery-powered flashlights.
  • Extra batteries for hearing aids, flashlights, and radios.
  • A first-aid kit – make sure its contents are appropriate for the older adult.
  • An extra pair of glasses.
  • Extra equipment or medical supplies such as wheelchair batteries or oxygen.
  • Medical alert wallet card or bracelet – something that identifies hidden medical conditions if an older person can’t talk.
  • A list of prescription medications and dosage amounts.
  • A list of the names and phone numbers of physicians and emergency contacts.


Prevent Poisoning

  • Make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector near all bedrooms.
  • Keep all medications in their original containers.
  • Ask your pharmacist to put large-print labels on your medications.
  • Take your medications in a well-lit room so that you can see the labels.


Protect Against Abuse

  • Keep your windows and doors locked at all times.
  • Never let a stranger into your home when you are there alone.
  • Talk over offers made by telephone salespeople with a friend or family member.
  • Always ask for written information about any offers, prizes, or charities and wait to respond until you have reviewed the information thoroughly.
  • Do not let yourself be pressured into making purchases, signing contracts, or making donations. It is never rude to wait and discuss the plans with a family member or friend.


Information provided by Age Safe America.