Home Safety Checklist for Seniors

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If you chose to spend time visiting a senior loved one at their home over the holidays, you may find yourself wondering how safe they are living alone. Adult children often find themselves in the position of trying to evaluate an older family member’s home environment for safety. Do the stairs have strong handrails? Is the bathroom a hazard? Making that determination is difficult when you aren’t quite sure what you should be looking for.

To help you evaluate their home, we have pulled together this Home Safety Checklist for caregivers and seniors. We hope this tool will be useful for you to identify any potential problem spots.

Issue What To Look for Concerns to Address
Fall Risks Pathway around favorite chair/couch and bed is free from clutter

Grab bars are in place near their bedside and next to the tub and toilet in the bathroom

There are no cords (including extension cords) running across carpets or floors that could create a fall risk

No scatter rugs or throw rugs that might present a fall are used in the home

Older adult has non-skid shoes and slippers with non-skid soles

Thresholds between rooms are level and secure

Easy accessible, good lighting is available in all rooms

Night lights are in place in key locations including bathrooms, hallways, and kitchen

A raised toilet seat is in place if needed

Bathroom and tub are modified to allow easy access and use


Stairways have bright lighting with on/off switches at the top and bottom of the stairway

Hand rails are secure and strong enough for an adult to use to pull themselves up

Stairways are free of clutter with secure treads on each step

Fire & Carbon Monoxide Risk

Each level of the home has at least one working smoke detector

A carbon monoxide detector is in place in the home

A light-weight fire extinguisher is in place in the kitchen

Furnace is inspected twice a year

Knobs on stove can be turned on/off without reaching over the burner

Exterior Safety

All exterior steps and stairs have strong handrails

Exterior doors and walkways have motion lights

Sidewalks and driveways are free of cracks that may present fall risks

A winter snow and ice removal plan is in place


All exterior doors and windows have secure locks

A home alarm system is in place with signs displayed prominently to discourage break-ins

Flashlights are strategically located throughout the home including the bedside table, living area, and basement

There are phones in all rooms

A medical alert system that allows an older adult to call for help is utilized

A medication management system is in place

We hope this tool gives you the information you need to objectively assess your senior loved one’s home for safety. If you would like to learn more, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) developed a guide you may find to be of help. Check for Safety is a comprehensive visual guide to home safety for seniors.