Checklist of Home-Safety Issues

Home safety is an issue for everyone, not just your parents and in-laws. You probably childproofed your home when your children began to walk, and again as you may have begun to have grandchildren around.

Issues for adults are similar and in some ways even more complex, depending upon a variety of circumstances such as physical disabilities and mental conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's. This list includes most of the basics:

  • Install grab bars in the bathroom.

  • Install handrails on stairways and possibly in hallways.

  • Remove throw rugs.

  • Check for electrical cords in pathways. Don't overuse extension cords and outlets.

  • Oxygen tubing can create a tripping hazard.

  • Clear out clutter, especially excess furniture and piles of magazines and newspapers.

  • Turn down the temperature on the hot water heater to 120ºF.

  • Label hot-water faucets in large red letters.

  • Post emergency numbers next to each phone in the house.

  • NO SMOKING in a house where oxygen is used, whether it's turned off or not.

  • Don't cook while using oxygen.

For dementia, consider some of these issues:

  • Place locks on outside doors in high or low locations so they aren't easily found.

  • Consider removing bathroom and bedroom door locks so they can't get locked inside.

  • Use locks or childproof latches on cabinets with hazardous materials such as solvents, paint, cleaners, liquor, matches, knives, and scissors. Lock away tools and garden equipment.

  • Take away cigarettes and cigars and only allow smoking if supervised.

  • Make sure they have identification on them at all times.

  1. Home
  2. Caring for Aging Parents
  3. Forms and Tips to Help Organize Care
  4. Checklist of Home-Safety Issues
Visit other About.com sites: