General Safety Precautions

  • Make sure that there are working smoke detectors on every floor.
  • Find a phone with large number pads and large speed-dial keys that can be programmed with important numbers.
  • Post emergency phone numbers in large print on or near the telephone.
  • Supply telephone with direct dialing system for emergency/important numbers.
  • Hide house key outside or give to neighbor for emergencies.
  • Put automatic door closing devices on doors to outside and alarms when needed.
  • Notify local police department that your family member is memory impaired.
  • Be certain that there is adequate lighting throughout the house and install nightlights.
  • Check that all electrical cords are free of frays. Put childproof plugs in outlets.
  • Be certain that no outlets or switches are unusually warm or hot to touch.
  • Reduce clutter; Remove furniture that is hazardous and may move when leaned on.
  • Put reflector tape on furniture corners, hallways, bedrooms to create a path to follow at night.
  • Avoid polished floors that may be slippery and remove all non skid resistant rugs and runners.
  • Put opaque tape on glass door and picture windows
  • Remove or lock up sharp objects/breakable ones and remove all firearms from home.
  • Keep electric fans out of reach. Cover radiators with radiator guards.
  • Supervise or restrict smoking, use safety ashtrays and keep matches/lighters out of reach.
  • Use flame-retardant mattresses, pillows, and sheets and plan procedure for fire evacuation.
  • Store all prescription and over the counter medications safely away and clearly labeled.
  • Lock up cleaning supplies, chemicals and poisons and install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Lock up valuables, important papers and documents and have system for safe mail retrieval.
  • Be certain plumbing and utilities are working.
  • Remove poisonous houseplants and have first aid kit easily accessible.
  • Take away car keys when necessary and disarm/hide controls for automatic garage doors.
  • Inform neighbors of any safety features in home that may restrict entry.


  • Ensure walkway is uncluttered and doorway is accessible.
  • Provide safe entry into the house or apartment with secure railing present.
  • Provide viewing of visitors prior to entry when possible.
  • Secure doors to outside with double key locks, or high or low locks.

Living Area

  • Furnish with chairs/sofas in which one can safely get up/down.
  • Adapt seating with additional firm cushions to raise seat.
  • Provide auto raising lift chair to assist getting up when necessary.
  • Be certain safe opening/closing of windows or key-locked windows installed.
  • Ascertain ability to operate the television and light switches.
  • Keep cords out from under carpeting and furniture and clear of walkways.


  • Maintain appliances in working order.
  • Ascertain ability to manipulate sink faucets with hot water temperature settings reduced.
  • Make sure electrical cords aren’t dangling near water.
  • Ascertain ability to open/close refrigerator/freezer/stove door/ and cabinets.
  • Ascertain ability to reach dishes, pots, utensils, and outlets.
  • Store sharp objects safely away.
  • Keep flammables away from the stove area.
  • Remove small non-food items that could be swallowed.
  • Cover stove burners, remove knobs/shut-off valves/ and install auto-pilots when needed.
  • Unplug or put away kitchen appliances not in use.
  • Disconnect or camouflage garbage disposals.


  • Locate bedroom near bathroom or furnish bedside commode.
  • Use night-lights to provide nighttime orientation.
  • Ensure safe transfer in/out bed and remove bed frame if bed is too high.
  • Rent or purchase a hospital bed if needed.
  • Supply bumpers or padding to surround bed if needed.
  • Install reverse locks on doors when needed.
  • Use monitor to listen to activity, especially at night.
  • Remove carpeting if incontinence becomes a problem
  • Install room darkening blinds or shades when needed.
  • Be certain that phone and light is accessible from bed.
  • Be certain that clothes in the closet/dresser are reachable.


  • Install grab rails in tub or shower.
  • Provide a tub bench or tub chair for sitting in tub.
  • Install hand held shower nozzle.
  • Remove any scatter rugs and furnish bath mat and non-skid strips in tub.
  • Replace glass shower doors with unbreakable plastic.
  • Install grab bars, safety frame, and/or raised seat on or near toilet
  • Lock up razor blades, sharp objects, and store away electrical devices.
  • Be certain that light switches, outlets and toilet paper are accessible.


  • Widen treads or shorten risers.
  • Replace outdoor stairs with ramps.
  • Install sturdy handrail or grab rails along both sides of stairs.
  • Put reflector tape on edge of treads.
  • Install barriers or gates at stairs if needed.
  • Provide adequate lighting and ensure steps are free of clutter.

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