Is your home safe for older guests?

Submitted on Tuesday November 22nd, 2011

If you expect older visitors this season, check your home for hazards. Older adults often have impaired balance and vision. This makes them prone to falling, especially in new surroundings. And fragile skin and bones can mean double trouble if someone does take a spill. Here are some tips.

Home entry
Early darkness and wet walkways can add to risk of a fall. Turn on outdoor lighting and make sure stairs have a sturdy handrail.

Living/dining areas

  • Clear the floor! Store away toys, piles of books. Avoid slippery wax floor finishes, and tape down area rugs.
  • Eliminate extension cords from walking areas.
  • Be mindful of fire hazards. If you're plugging in an extra heater, place it at least 3 feet from anything flammable.
  • Review seat height. Seating that is low, angled back, or lacks side arms can pose problems for elders. Add a firm cushion to raise the seat.

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