Home Safety

What can I do to make the patient’s home safe?
Hallways & entryways
Bedroom
Kitchen
Bathrooms


 


What can I do to make the patient’s home safe?

Most homes are not designed for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Follow the tips below to improve home safety. You might also ask a home healthcare worker to check the home for hazards.

Throughout the house you’ll want to:

  • Remove rugs or raised room dividers to prevent falls, and/or secure rugs and floor coverings.
  • Move furniture to make clear pathways from room to room.
  • Make sure the phone can be reached easily. Post emergency numbers by the phones.
  • Identify potential hazards like dangling cords, toxins and unsteady chairs, and remove them.
  • Remove clutter, especially on the floor.
  • Make sure the house is well lit. (Changing light bulbs is a great way for a friend to help!)
  • Make sure light switches are easy to reach.
  • Check that home's smoke alarms and fire extinguishers work.
  • Consider installing a personal emergency response system (to enable your family member or friend to get help with the push of a button), or get him or her a fall-monitoring device.
  • Consider giving the patient an intercom, baby monitor, or bell so he or she can get the caregiver’s attention when not in the same room.

Back to top


Hallways & entryways

  • If needed, build a ramp for wheelchair access.
  • Add nightlights in hallways.
  • Install handrails on both sides of stairways and in the halls.
  • Place carpet or safety grip on the stairs.

    Back to top


Bedroom

  • Make sure the bed is not too high.
  • Be sure there is a clear, well lit path from the bed to the bathroom.
  • Place a phone in the bedroom.

    Back to top


Kitchen

  • Make sure that the work places are easy to reach.
  • Make sure the person can sit down while preparing food or cleaning up.

    Back to top


Bathrooms

  • Install a raised toilet seat.
  • Add grab bars near the toilet and bathtub.
  • Use nonskid mats on the bathroom floor and in the bath and shower to prevent falls.
  • Check the water faucets for ease of use.
  • Check the towel racks and be sure they can support an adult.
  • Check the water heater to make sure it's not set too high or too low.

    Back to top


Next learn about...

Medication management
Transportation
Emergency preparedness

Article Topics: 
This website was created to provide information, education, and support that will help cancer caregivers care for themselves and their family members. It is not meant as medical advice. Please check with your physician for any advice about your health.