Simple steps to increase safety at home and away from home.
Here are 50 safety tips to make aging in place easier, safer and more enjoyable.
Fall Prevention Safety
- Remove obstacles in the house that could cause tripping—everything from small floor rugs to objects on the floor like an oversized vase or magazine stand.
- Install handrails and lights on staircases, with light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Install shower and tub grab bars in the bathroom, around the toilet and the tub.
- Place non-slip mats on the shower floor and bathtub.
- Paint doorsills with a different, highlighting color to avoid tripping.
- Make home lighting brighter, but prevent glare.
- Have your vision checked often and regularly.
- Ask the doctor to review your medication regularly.
- Start exercising regularly, especially tai chi or yoga to increase flexibility and strengthen muscles and joints.
- If you can’t stand comfortably, exercise in a chair.
Fire And Kitchen Safety
- Use a microwave rather than the stove.
- Make sure smoke detectors are installed in all rooms and check batteries regularly.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing when cooking—fabric can catch fire very quickly.
- Point pot handles away from the front edge of the stove. This ensures that you won’t bump into them or catch your sleeve on them.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Wipe off any spilled grease from the stove.
- Avoid using appliances with frayed cords; get them repaired or replaced.
- Ensure there is adequate lighting in areas where you’re working.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Never leave anything valuable in plain view.
- Never leave car keys inside the vehicle, not even for “just a minute.”
- Always lock the doors when you leave the vehicle, even for only a short time.
- Park as close as possible to where you are going.
- Avoid hiding a spare key in the car.
- When returning to your car, look around as you approach the vehicle.
- Have your key ready in your hand before approaching the car; don’t fumble looking for the key.
- Put large numbers on your house that you can read easily from the street.
- If you want to hide a spare key to the house, make sure to really hide it. Never put it in predictable places like under the doormat.
- Leave a key with a neighbor you trust, in case you are locked out.
- Set a timer on a radio to make it sound like there’s somebody home when you run an errand.
- Have deadbolts installed on your doors.
- Lock all doors—especially the front door—when you’re working in the attic, basement or yard.
- Never open the door to a stranger. If it is a repairman or a salesman, call the company they say they work for and verify.
- If it’s someone needing to use the phone, get the number and call it for them.
- Never tell people you are alone.
- If you must let a stranger in, don’t let them think you are alone. Turn on a radio or television in another room to give the impression that someone else is around.
- Limit the number of rooms a visitor can see. Don’t show strangers what you have in the house.
- Make it a habit to be security conscious.
- Never leave your purse unattended.
- Always carry your wallet or any bills in a front pocket, never in a rear pocket.
- Avoid having large amounts of cash or valuables at home.
- Tear up or shred all personal and financial information; never just throw it into the trash.
- Never give your Social Insurance number or particulars about your bank accounts to anyone; if someone calls you and asks you to confirm that the account numbers are yours, don’t do it.
- If you get calls asking for donations, tell them to send requests by mail; never discuss donations over the phone.
- Verify the status of a charity before making a donation.