Home Safety Tips for the Elderly


An increasing number of elderly and senior citizens around the globe are living independently and as such, it is important to raise awareness of common safety issues, many of which are often overlooked. The biggest concerns for older people are burns, poisoning and, of course, falls. Elderly people may also be at a greater risk from burglary and other forms of crime, particularly financial scams. Whether you are a senior citizen living at home, or you have a friend or relative whose well-being you want to ensure, read on to find out about some of the most common safety hazards for older people and how you can mitigate or avoid the risks they present.

Burns and Fires
Burns are always going to be a hazard. After all, we all cook from time to time, and wherever there are electronics there is the possibility of fire. Understanding the nature of both these risks is the best way of combating them.

Burns usually occur in the kitchen, although if you or your relative are moving into a new home, be sure to check the temperatures of all taps and showers by turning them on at the lowest setting and turning them up slowly. This will alert you to both overly sensitive temperature gauges and to systems that experience a delay between the temperature being turned up and the water heating up, which can often lead to unwitting users turning up the shower too hot and subsequently receiving burns. If you share a shower, then try and remember to set it to the lowest setting when you’ve finished using it. Some people are more sensitive to hot water than others and some people’s skin will burn at a lower temperature.


Hand rails are a great way of offering extra support for elderly persons while they use the stairs. There are also bed rails available for assistance in getting in and out of bed. Certain flooring materials, both inside and outside the house, can present a slipping hazard, particularly during bad weather. Being aware of these hazards is important. Carpets can be used inside, and special materials put down outside, which will mitigate the slip hazard.

If your loved one is falling a lot, it may be worth looking into independent living for seniors where home help is available in case of an accident.

The primary concern as far as poisoning goes is the hazard that comes from out-of-date food. Remember to check the items in your fridge often and wash any vegetables you buy. Another potential poison hazard is medication and for those who have a poor memory, it is especially important that they either have someone to dispense their medication or a system to prevent them from inadvertently ingesting an overdose.

A carbon monoxide alarm should be in every home. Never try to heat a home using an oven or similar device, as these can give off deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

Living independently is an important part of any elderly person’s life and it is important that they feel confident living independently and their family feel satisfied that they will be safe.

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