Feb 12, 2019|

Elderly Home Safety Checklist: Make Home Safer For Your Parents

Senior couple in a Vivint Smart Home

As the elderly population in the United States grows, more and more seniors are opting to "age in place," or remain in their homes as they grow older. In fact, 87% of adults over the age of 65 want to stay in their own homes and communities as they age.

With aging in place, however, comes significant safety concerns, including accessibility, mobility, and falls, which send more than 2.8 million elderly people to the emergency room each year. Social isolation among the elderly due to lack of communication also becomes a concern to emotional well-being.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to increase home safety for the elderly who opt to remain in their homes.

Elderly man with a Vivint panic pendant reading a book
With some simple changes, you can make sure your parents' home is as safe as possible.
 
 

Elderly home safety checklist

This checklist includes safety tips for the elderly you can make room by room. Use it to help you get started making home as safe and comfortable as possible for your aging loved ones.

Bathroom

The bathroom is particularly dangerous for older adults. Eighty percent of senior falls that occur at home happen in the bathroom, mostly due to slippery surfaces and increased difficulty getting in and out of the tub or shower. Start with these easy modifications to reduce the likelihood of bathroom falls:

  • Grab bars in shower/tub and by toilets
  • Bath seating or a shower stool
  • Replace shower head with hand-held shower
  • Non-slip mat in tub
  • Toilet seat riser
  • Remove clutter or debris on floor to reduce chance of trips and falls
  • Remove locks from doors for easier accessibility by family or first responders in an emergency
  • Multiple bath mats with non-skid backing
Grab bars and seats in a bath/shower
Make your parents' bathroom safer by installing grab bars and a seat in the shower.
 
Kitchen

Seniors are particularly susceptible to kitchen-related falls from items being out of reach. More than 3 in 10 home fires begin in the kitchen, and seniors with balance and cognition difficulties are more likely to be injured or killed in a fire. With that in mind, fire prevention and accessibility are key in reducing in-home accidents in the kitchen.

  • Ensure smoke detectors are present and working properly
  • Make sure a fire extinguisher is available and easy to access
  • Place food and dishes in cupboards and cabinets within reach
  • Stock kitchen with no-prep or easy-to-make meals
  • Replace small appliances, such as toasters and slow cookers, with auto shut-off features
  • Install auto shut-off device on stove
  • Cleaning products and poisonous materials are easily identified and stored separately
Smoke detector mounted on a wood ceiling
Make sure there are plenty of smoke detectors present and that they're all working properly.
 
Bedrooms

Take steps to remove fall hazards in the bedrooms, where clutter and difficulty getting in and out of bed can be dangerous for seniors. Easy access to lighting is also important.

  • Light is accessible ( Smart lighting allows turning lights on and off from bed)
  • Lamps have pull chains for easy access
  • Phone and charger within reach of bed
  • Heating/air conditioning working properly
  • Extra blankets easy to access
  • Replace bed frame with low-profile frame if getting in and out of bed is difficult
  • Install a night light
Man using the Smart Home App
Your parents can easily control their lights from anywhere with smart lighting from Vivint Smart Home.
 
 

Halls and stairways

In addition to the stairs themselves, poorly lit stairways and halls pose a danger to seniors and can increase the likelihood of slips and falls. Stairs can also be difficult to navigate with age.

  • Install handrails on both sides of stairs
  • Cover wood or tile stairs with non-slip carpet runners
  • Motion lighting or night lights in hallways
  • Non-skid rugs or carpet runners on hard flooring in halls
  • Clutter and debris removed from stairs
 

Let’s be neighbors.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more smart tips.

General

In addition to the room-specific modifications listed above, you'll also want to take these general safety tips for the elderly into consideration:

  • Secure area rugs or replace with heavier, non-skid rugs
  • Replace rugs with curled edges that can cause a fall
  • Ensure daily-use items are within reach and easily accessible
  • Replace round door handles with levers for arthritic seniors
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check that outdoor stairs and railings are present and sturdy
  • Ensure cords and cables are out of footpath to prevent trips
Vivint Carbon Monoxide detector
It's also important to make sure carbon monoxide detectors are installed throughout the home.
 

Making home as safe, comfortable, and secure as possible is a top priority when helping your parents age in place. Download our entire checklist below to help you make each room safer.

Elderly Home Safety Checklist

 

A smart home can help your parents age in place

Making modifications around the home is an important and necessary step to ensure safety for adults aging in place, but sometimes it may not be enough to make a home safe for the elderly—or bring peace of mind to loved ones.

Vivint Smart Home system helps make aging in place safer and more comfortable while providing family members with a number of ways to stay in touch. Here's how:

Elderly woman using the Vivint Panic Pendant
Have complete peace of mind by having your parent wear a Vivint Panic Pendant.
 
  • Get help during a medical emergency. The Vivint Panic Pendant is invaluable for an elderly person living at home. This small device is worn around the neck or on the wrist so it's always with you in case of a medical emergency. When the button is pushed, it triggers an emergency alarm in the system, alerting our 24/7 monitoring station who can respond and alert the proper authorities.
  • Enjoy peace of mind with home security. A home security system gives you peace of mind knowing your aging parent and their home are protected with a monitored alarm system. If there's an emergency, our professional monitoring team will respond, assess the situation, and contact the proper authorities.
  • Stay connected to your loved one. The Vivint Ping Camera is an indoor camera with two-way talk functionality that lets you see and speak to your loved one. As an adult child concerned about your aging parent, the Ping camera helps you stay connected and see that they're ok. And the camera's one-touch callout feature allows your parent to easily call out to you if they need help. 
  • Easily keep the home secure. Keeping the front door locked is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself in the home. It's also easy to forget to do. Adding a smart lock to your parents' front door can increase their safety and security. The smart lock can lock automatically after they enter, keeping their home safe and secure. It also makes your parents' home easy to access in an emergency; just unlock the door from your smart home app or use a unique code on the lock to get inside. Last but not least, if your parent has other caregivers who visit regularly, these individuals can be given temporary access codes, avoiding the need for copying keys.

Elderly woman using the Vivint Smart Lock
Keep your parents' front door secure while at the same time providing access to the right people with a smart lock from Vivint.

  • See who's at the door without getting up. For aging parents with mobility issues, a Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro™ is both useful and safe. It lets them see and speak to people at the front door through a smart home app or on their system's Smart Hub without having to go to the door.
  • Speak up and let the smart home do the work. Using a smart speaker, like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home, your parents can simplify many aspects of their home with the sound of their voice. Simple voice commands let them arm their Vivint security system, lock the door, adjust the temperature, and turn off the lights. Voice control is especially beneficial if mobility is an issue.

Let Vivint help make home a safer place

By following this elderly home safety checklist, you can rest easy knowing that your parents are okay. But to have true peace of mind, consider installing a comprehensive Vivint Smart Home system.

To find out how Vivint can help make aging in place safer and easier, contact us today at 855.822.1220 for a free quote on a custom smart home system.

Get a free quote today.

A Vivint Smart Home Pro will contact you within 24 hours. Or skip the form and call now: 866.822.1220.

By clicking the button below, you consent for Vivint, and its service provider Aktify, to use automated technology, including calls, texts and prerecorded messages, to contact you at the number and email provided about Vivint offers. This consent is not required to make a purchase. Clicking the button below constitutes your electronic signature.