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Housing Safety Checklist for Older People

Many aspects of life change with age. As the years go by, we gain wisdom and accomplish lifelong goals, but we also lose our youthful vigor and experience a general decline in health. To stay safe and healthy in our homes, we must adjust our surroundings to suit our abilities and concerns. For example, you may need to install a grab bar in the bathroom, wear a medical alert device, or replace a loose rug. For help, check out the housing safety checklist for older people below.

Housing Safety Checklist for Older People


  • Adequate lighting
  • Fire extinguisher present
  • Smoke detector present
  • Safe stairs, clearly marked, with handrails
  • Stairways have plenty of light and easily accessible light switches
  • Floors free of obstructions and clutter
  • No throw rugs
  • Area rugs must be secure
  • Non-slippery floors
  • Adequate heating and cooling
  • Hazardous materials properly stored
  • No pests present
  • Adequate trash pickup
  • Sturdy furniture in good condition
  • Furniture arranged to accommodate mobility
  • Medications well organized and safely stored
  • Electrical cords tucked away and kept out of the flow of traffic


  • Well lit bathroom (with night light, if needed)
  • Easy to get on and off the commode
  • Easy to get in and out of the bathtub/shower
  • Secure grab bars available
  • Non-slip mat or strips in bathtub/shower


  • Adequate storage space
  • Smoke detector and fire extinguisher present
  • Appliances safe and easy to operate
  • Frequently used items well within reach
  • Sufficient lighting above stovetop and counter
  • Important items are not kept in high cabinets
  • Non-slippery flooring
  • Knives safely stored in a rack or drawer
  • Oven mitts and pan holders in good condition
  • A sturdy step stool is kept nearby to reach items in high cabinets


  • Easy to get in and out of bed
  • Accessible lights
  • Flashlight located near bed
  • Phone accessible from bed
  • Emergency alert system accessible from bed


  • Any stairs safe and in good condition
  • Hand rails on both sides of stairs
  • Lighting around entrance and pathways
  • Easy access to mailbox, newspaper drop-off, etc.
  • Ramp available, if needed
  • Snow and ice removal, if needed


  • Accessible telephone and/or cell phone
  • Emergency response system present
  • Emergency phone numbers listed near telephone


Most of the items on our housing safety checklist for older people apply to families of all ages. They are basic safety standards that all homeowners should implement. Others, like emergency response systems and grab bars, were added with seniors in mind. Whether you’re living independently or moving to a retirement community, be sure that your home is safe by checking for the items listed above.

Finally, if you’re concerned about safety for seniors at home, check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville, Tennessee. Our warm and inviting senior living community includes a number of safety features, including ground-level apartments, emergency pendants, medical staff on site, paved walking paths, an emergency call system, and transportation to medical appointments. To learn more about our amenities and services, please give us a call at 901-854-6590 or contact us online. Our Community Directors would be happy to discuss your needs and concerns, and you are always welcome to stop by for a tour of the community.

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