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Family & Relationships

Home Safety Checklist for Caregivers

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If you're caring for an aging loved one at home, it's important to take a more critical look at the safety of your space.

To help keep everyone in your home safe, print out the following checklist and use it to help you create a safe environment.

Living Areas

  • Install locks on all doors and windows that lead outside to prevent wandering. Just make sure you have an exit strategy in place in case of a fire
  • Remove unnecessary furniture (e.g., coffee tables, magazine racks, and floor lamps) and objects (e.g., shoes and toys) to prevent trips and falls
  • Get rid of small, slippery rugs
  • Make sure stairway handrails are sturdy and stairs are carpeted to prevent slipping. You should also consider installing a gate at the top of the stairs
  • Keep emergency numbers near all of the phones in the home

Kitchen

  • Install safety knobs and automatic shut-off switches on the oven and stove to help prevent burns or fire
  • Set your water heater's temperature to 120 degrees or less to avoid scalding
  • Make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are installed and working properly (not just in kitchen, but throughout the home)
  • Use child safety locks to secure kitchen cabinets in which cleaning supplies are kept
  • Keep knives, lighters, and matches locked away and out of reach
  • Lock up or consider removing alcohol from the home

Bedroom and Bathroom

  • Remove locks from bedroom and bathroom doors
  • Install nightlights in the bedroom, hallways, and bathroom or keep a dim light on during the night
  • Make sure all medications are clearly labeled and kept locked up
  • Install grab bars that help make it easier to get in and out of the tub and on and off the toilet
  • Consider purchasing a shower chair to prevent falls
  • Lock up all cleaning supplies

Outdoors

  • Keep dangerous chemicals such as fertilizers, paint thinner, and gasoline locked and out of reach
  • Don't plant poisonous plants around your home
  • Keep potentially harmful gardening tools hidden or out of reach
  • Lock up and consider removing guns and other weapons from the home

For more information, visit Get Healthy Stay HealthyPfizer’s Chief Medical Officer Freda Lewis-Hall's health and wellness education site.

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