Home safety for older people
- Avoid leaving items on the stairs.
- Ensure the home, in particular the stairs and flooring are well maintained.
- Avoid repetitive carpet patterns that may produce a false perception for those with poor eyesight.
- Highlighting the outer edge of steps with non-slip white paint will make them more visible.
- The home should be well lit with two-way light switches on stairs.
- Have a bedside light, which is easy to switch on in the dark.
- Fit a letterbox cage to avoid stooping to pick up letters.
- Avoid trailing cables and clutter.
- Use steps instead of standing on a chair.
- Use good fitting shoes and slippers, and avoid high heels.
Older people are four to five times more likely to die from burns and scalds than the population as a whole. The main sources of heat include radiators, electric fires and cookers. Make sure you:
- Use a coiled kettle flex or a cordless kettle.
- Use spout-filling or jug kettles.
- Boil only the water you need.
- Try not to carry hot liquids further than necessary.
- Water at the point of delivery to the bath should be no more than 46°C to help prevent scalding.
- Fit a thermostatic mixing valve.
- When running a bath, turn the cold water on first.
- Always use rear hot plates on cookers first.
- Turn panhandles away from the front of the cooker.
- Ensure that hot water bottles don’t show signs of wear.
- Have fuel-burning devices checked regularly by an expert, as carbon monoxide can kill.
- Have gas appliances serviced annually by a Corgi registered heating engineer.
- Have chimneys and flues swept once a year.
- If a gas flame that normally burns blue turns orange this may mean carbon
monoxide build up.
Related external link
See what you can do to improve the safety of your home by taking the Safehome test at Safehome (English only)