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Senior couple at home, standing on their porch

Still Living at Home? These Senior Home Safety Assessment Tips Can Help

Home is a familiar place of comfort and security, and most seniors want to stay in their homes for as long as they can.


But home can become a dangerous place as we age.


Falls are a big risk for seniors. Every year about 32,000 people over age 65 die from falls and 3 million are treated at the hospital for injuries, including some 300,000 for hip fractures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


And only 10% of the 115 million homes in the United States are considered aging-ready, meaning they have a step-free entryway, a bedroom and full bathroom on the first floor, and at least one bathroom accessibility feature, such as grab bars, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


The good news is if you want to “age in place” like most Americans, there are a few things you can do to make your home safer and easier to live in.

How can I make my home safer for the elderly?

Government agencies like the National Institute on Aging and CDC have home safety checklists for seniors that can help you identify and remedy hazards in your home. Here are a few safety tips to help you perform a room-by-room senior home safety assessment.


  • Move furniture to make a clear path through rooms
  • Remove throw or area rugs and secure carpet to the floor
  • Pick up papers, books, boxes, shoes and other clutter on the floor
  • Coil or tape electrical cords and wires next to the wall


  • Remove clutter from the stairs
  • Fix loose or uneven steps and make sure carpet is firmly attached or use non-slip rubber treads
  • Make sure there are lights at the top and bottom of the stairs
  • Secure loose handrails and make sure there are handrails on both sides of the stairs
  • Put light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs


  • Move frequently used items in the kitchen to lower shelves
  • If you have to use a step-stool, get one with a grab bar on top


  • Use a night-light to illuminate the path from your bed to the bathroom
  • Use brighter light bulbs to improve visibility
  • Put a lamp close to the bed that is easy to reach


  • Install grab bars in the shower, tub and near toilets
  • Put non-slip rubber mats or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower
  • If door handles and faucets are hard to use, replace them with comfortable ones
  • Get a chair or bench for the tub or shower
  • Get a raised toilet seat


  • Put a ramp with handrails at the front door
  • Use no-slip strips or non-skid mats on tile or wood floors or surfaces that may get wet

Other safety tips

  • Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone
  • Put a phone near the floor in case you fall and can’t get up
  • Wear a device that can summon help if you fall and can’t get up
  • Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working
  • Have the furnace inspected
  • Make sure the temperature on the water heater is below 120 degrees to prevent scalding
  • Make sure doors and windows have the right locks

Are there other safety measures for the elderly?

Not every step you take to improve your safety at home involves the building. There are some things you can do to prepare yourself to live independently for longer.


  • Exercise to strengthen bones and muscles, improve balance and prevent falls
  • Get up slowly after sitting or sleeping
  • Wear well-fitting shoes around the house
  • Get your eyesight checked so you can better see trip hazards
  • Ask your doctor whether you need to see a podiatrist for any foot problems

How can a doctor help me live safely in my own home?

You should talk to your doctor and other healthcare providers about fall risks and prevention, including any falls or close calls you’ve experienced. A good place to start is to ask your value-based care doctor or pharmacist to review your medications, supplements and over-the-counter drugs and discuss side effects like sleepiness or dizziness that could lead to an accident.

How can I find a primary care doctor near me who accepts Medicare patients?

NewPrimaryCare.com™ can help you find a quality primary care doctor who accepts Medicare and is aware of the unique issues seniors face as they age.


Our partner providers practice value-based care, meaning Medicare rewards them for helping their patients stay healthy, including living safely and independently at home. With a doctor at a value-based care clinic, you’ll have time to discuss your specific health concerns because your Medicare doctor is focused on you instead of the number of patients coming through the office.


You can expect quicker appointment scheduling, shorter waits at the doctor’s office and personal attention from a caring physician.


Use our Find Your Doctor tool to search for and compare value-based care providers near you.