Image of  a senior citizen working with her daughter at home.

Home Safety Tips for Senior Citizens

Updated April 1, 2024 . AmFam Team

As senior populations advance in age, more are opting to stay home or live with a loved one instead of moving to assisted living facilities. And because of that, home safety for the elderly has never been more important. So, how can the elderly maintain a safe environment as they continue to live independently? By looking carefully at the physical layout of the home and bringing in-home safety professionals to assess it, making the home safe for the elderly is possible.

Use these senior citizen safety tips as a guide to better understand the ways you can reduce the in-home risk for older adults. Our approach to making the home safe for elderly individuals can help you feel better that your home is a senior friendly space.

How to Make Your Home Safe

Whether you’re an elderly person, wondering how to make your home safe as a senior or if you’re preparing to bring in a senior family member curious about how to senior-proof your home, there are easy steps you can take. Here are some home safety tips to prepare your living space from top to bottom.

Get a medical alert system for the house. Simply installing and using a medical alert system can really help older adults reduce the risk of injury. Many Medicaid programs cover some or all of these costs.

Install smart home safety systems. Adding a smart home security system can help seniors feel safe. These systems alert first responders when connected fire and smoke detectors sense trouble.  

Install fire extinguishers. Mount fire extinguishers on every floor in a clearly-visible place.

Tape down the rugs. Scatter rugs are serious slip and fall risks. By using double sided carpet tape, you can help to lock throw rugs down in place and prevent tripping and stumbling risks.

Designate safe smoking areas. We get it. Bad habits are hard to break. That’s why you should consider offering a safe place for elders to smoke. Be sure to get a cigarette extinguisher and consider enrolling your elder into a smoking cessation program.

Correctly fit the walking aid. A very important personal safety tip for elders, be sure that the cane or walker in use is the right size. Opt for adjustable devices that can adjust in height.

The Importance of an Elderly Home Safety Assessment

One of the benefits of safeguarding your home by getting an assessment is that you’ll be working with an industry expert to make the place safe. An elderly home safety assessment can reveal hazards you may not have noticed. And their recommendations can bump up safety at home in ways you may not have considered.  

What is a home safety assessment? A thorough review of likely hazards around the house, a home safety assessment explores issues related to personal injury, flood and fire. It will also identify ways to prevent falls, and mitigate risks that jeopardize resident safety.

A senior home safety specialist knows how to spot risks. A large part of how the elderly maintain a safe environment is dependent on identifying existing safety issues. By hiring a safety consultant to assess your space you’ll be remedying the problems before accidents happen.

Safeguarding the home for the elderly. In addition to building a plan to make the home safe, you’ll find real insights that define how your home is at risk. You’ll also receive recommendations on how to fix the issues.

Home Safety Checklist for Seniors

How do you senior-proof your home? The answer is simple. Do what you can on your own first, safely. Then bring in the outside help to get the rest done. With an able-bodied adult available to perform an ad-hoc inspection, you may be able to take on the task of improving senior safety at home.

Although not a replacement for a home safety assessment for seniors, this list is a good start. You’ll be able to address many common problems by reviewing our home safety checklist for seniors:

Consider Coverage With American Family

As you’re making adjustments and readying your home to be more senior citizen-friendly, be sure to reach out to your American Family Insurance agent. Because you’re doing what you can to keep your home safe, you’re going to want great coverage too. Your agent can review your current insurance plan and help you to safeguard everything that means so much.

This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.

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