The first step to make a home safer is to assess the number of common falling and tripping hazards within the home. CICOA’s Safe at Home program helps seniors and people with disabilities continue living in their homes by enhancing the safety and accessibility within the home. Here are a few things we look for during an in-home assessment that could increase the likelihood of falls.

OUTDOORS
Yes
No
Are there handrails at the front steps? Are they secure?
Are there handrails at side and back steps? Are they secure?
Are steps steep and uneven?
Are there broken or crumbling steps?
Are there broken or uneven walkways around the home?
Are there overgrown trees and shrubs obstructing walkways?
Is the threshold at each entrance even with the porch or first step, or do you have to step up or down as you enter/exit the home?
FLOORS
Yes
No
Are there uneven thresholds between rooms?
Is the carpet loose or torn?
Do you have throw rugs with curled edges or wrinkles?
Are all carpets and throw rugs taped, tacked down or on non-skid backing?
Are there floor registers (especially in older homes) that can snag a walker or cane?
Do you have cords (lamp, telephone, extension cords) running across floors? Keep cords near walls and away from walking paths.
Are all walkways tidy? Remove objects from the floor that you might trip over. Arrange furniture and other items so they are not in your way.
STAIRS AND STEPS
Yes
No
Do all interior steps have handrails?
Do handrails go from the top of the steps all the way to the bottom?
Are handrails securely fastened?
Do you need handrails on both sides of the steps?
Are steps and stairways clear of items?
Are steps steep and uneven?
KITCHEN
Yes
No
Are frequently used items on shelves/in cabinets that are easily accessible?
Is the refrigerator hard to open or unstable?
BATHROOMS
Yes
No
Is the bathroom entry too narrow to be used with a walker or cane?
Do bathroom doors swing into sinks or toilets?
Do sink faucets have lever handles (as opposed to knob handles that can be difficult to turn)?
Is the bath tub too high for you to step in and out of easily?
Does the bath or shower have a plastic mat or non-slip strips in them?
Do bath mats outside the bath or shower have a non-slip backing?
Are there glass doors on the shower or tub? (Glass doors are more likely to shatter and cause injury in the event of a fall.)
Are there grab bars near the toilet?
Are there grab bars both inside and outside the tub and shower?
STORAGE
Yes
No
Is medication stored in an easily accessible location?
Are items you use often stored in easily accessible locations (about waist level)?
If you must use a stepstool, does it have a bar or handrail? (Never climb on a chair or table to reach something that’s too high.)
LIGHTING
Yes
No
Do you have lights over all porches and walkways outside the home?
Do you have lighting at the top and bottom of the stairs?
Are there light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs and at each end of long hallways?
Do you have a lamp close to the bed that you can reach easily?
Do you have nightlights in bedrooms, hallways and bathrooms?
Are all light bulbs working?
OTHER
Yes
No
Do you have a telephone near your bed so you don’t have to get out of bed quickly to answer it?
PETS
Yes
No
If you have pets, are food/water bowls located out of walkways?
Do your pets frequently leave spills on the floor? Wipe up spills immediately.
Does your pet wear a bell on its collar so you know where it is and avoid tripping over it?

If you need help with your home assessment, call the Marion County Public Health Department at (317) 221-2155.