A caregiver practising safety measures while cleaning.

How to Make Your Home Safe

Falls can lead to serious injuries especially for the elderly and children. Making the home a safer environment for family members is important. Understanding how to make your house safer and removing hidden dangers can help to prevent falls and injuries to your loved ones.

Related: For Every Home, a First-Aid Kit for Home Safety

Why is Ensuring Home Safety Important?

Adhering to safety measures will keep family members, especially the elderly safe.

According to an article in Reader’s Digest, it mentioned that at least one-third of the elderly who are 65 years old in Singapore had a fall. Falls can lead to serious injuries especially for the elderly and children. Some of the falls could result in hip fractures and head injuries, which may have a negative physical and psychological impact on the person.

Hence, making the home a safer environment for all is important. It can help to promote your quality of life and enable you to lead a more independent lifestyle. Here are a few simple safety tips to make your home a safer place to live in.

Related: Home Modifications for the Elderly

Safety Hazards and Home Improvements

Beware of safety hazards in the house that might cause fall injury.

Living Room Safety Tips

  • Ensure electrical and telephone cords/wires are not obstructing the walkways by taping them securely to the sides of the room.
  • Arrange furniture to ensure a spacious walkway.
  • Use chairs of a comfortable height with back supports, armrests and firm cushions.
  • Ensure that the walkways are well lit.
  • Have a clear, uncluttered pathway.
  • Ensure carpet and rugs do not have folds or creases when placed on the floor. Either have them securely taped to the floor or do not use them at all.

Related: 9 Health Hazards of Electronic Devices for Kids

Safety Measures in the Kitchen

  • Wipe up spills immediately and keep the floor dry.
  • Arrange all commonly used items within easy reach.
  • Put away all sharp objects and chemicals.
  • Practice electrical safety by keeping appliance cords away from the sink or stove areas. Avoid placing loose rugs or cloths on the floor.

Related: Reading Food Labels—Making Sense of the Fine Print

Bedroom Safety Tips

  • Choose a bed of suitable height (at least of knee height) with a firm mattress.
  • Place a telephone at your bedside for emergency purposes.
  • Place a commode by the bedside if you visit the toilet frequently at night.

Related: The Importance of Sleep

Safety Measures in the Toilet / Bathroom

  • Install grab-bars to assist you in getting up from the toilet seat and support you when moving around the toilet/bathroom.
  • Use a commode or install a portable toilet seat to replace squatting toilets.
  • Ensure toilet seats are of an appropriate height such that it is easy to get up from.
  • Use a non-slip mat or apply a non-slip floor treatment solution.
  • Ensure toiletries, toilet papers and clothing are within reach.
  • Always keep the floor, wall and fixtures dry after use.

Lighting Safety Tips

  • Install night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms or along the hallways to light up the walkway at night.
  • Reduce sudden glares and maintain consistent lighting from one area of the house to another.
  • Ensure stairways are well lit.

Related: Healthy Eyes, Clear Vision

Watch this short video to reduce your risk of falls and make your home a safer place for you and your family.

Note: The above recommendations are just guidelines. Your Occupational Therapist may change or add recommendations as appropriate.

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