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Contributed by David Clark

It’s a common misconception that we must give up our independence and move into a nursing home or retirement community as we age. With the proper safety precautions in place, many seniors can comfortably live at home for years to come.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most common dangers that seniors face within their homes and suggest five ways that you can help to mitigate these risks.

The Dangers of Living Alone

Seniors face many dangers within their homes. Here are four common hazards in a senior’s home:


According to the National Institute on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults. Falls and injuries usually happen in places with slippery surfaces, such as bathrooms or stairs.

To prevent falls, it is essential to make sure that all areas of the house are well-lit and free of clutter. In addition, seniors should wear supportive shoes with nonslip soles and install handrails on both sides of stairways.


Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires in the United States, and seniors are more likely to start these fires than any other age group. It is important never to leave cooking food unattended to prevent kitchen fires.

In addition, seniors should keep their stovetops and countertops clear of clutter and install a smoke detector in their kitchen.


Every year, thousands of seniors are hospitalized for accidental poisonings. The most common type of poisoning occurs when people take the wrong medication or accidentally take too much of their medication.

To prevent this, it is vital to keep all medications out of reach of children and pets and to always read the labels carefully before taking any medication.

Home hazards

Common home hazards include loose rugs, electrical cords, and cluttered walkways. These can all contribute to falls.

It is essential to remove all loose rugs from the home and tape down or tuck away any electrical cords to prevent accidents. In addition, seniors should make sure that all walkways are clear of clutter.

Keeping Your Home Safe

Here are five ways to help mitigate these risks and keep your senior loved one safe at home:

Have a conversation about safety

It’s extremely important to have an open and honest conversation with your loved one about the potential risks of living at home. This conversation should include a discussion of the dangers outlined above and any other risks that are specific to their health and home.

Make sure their home is well-lit

Good lighting can help prevent falls and make it easier for seniors to spot potential hazards. All areas of the home should be well-lit, especially hallways, stairways, and bathrooms.

Do a home safety check

Walk through your loved one’s home with them and look for any potential hazards. Remove anything that could cause a fall, and make sure electrical cords are out of the way.

Install safety devices

Many commercial products can help seniors stay safe at home, such as fall alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and home security systems.

Another thing you could do is Install grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet can help prevent falls. Handrails on both sides of stairways can also help seniors stay safe.

Check-in regularly

Even with all the precautions in place, it’s still important to regularly check in on your loved one. This may help you spot any potential problems early on.

Keeping Yourself Safe

In addition to taking steps to keep your loved one safe, it’s important to also take steps to keep yourself safe. Fortunately, there are a variety of assistive technologies that can help.

Hearing Aids

If your loved one has difficulty hearing, a hearing aid can make it easier for them to communicate with you and spot potential hazards. Hearing aids can also help prevent falls by allowing seniors to hear approaching footsteps and other environmental sounds.

Medical Alert Devices

There are many different types of medical alert devices available, ranging from simple pendants to more complex systems that can call for help in the event of a fall or other emergency. These devices can give seniors and their families peace of mind knowing that help is always just a button press away.


If a senior has difficulty getting up and down the stairs, a chairlift can help them stay in their home without putting themselves at risk. Chairlifts can also be used to transport heavy items up and down the stairs, which can help prevent falls.

Voice Command Devices

There are a variety of voice-activated devices that can help seniors with everything from turning on the lights to calling for help in an emergency. These devices can be a great way to help seniors stay independent and safe in their homes.

Video Doorbells

A video doorbell can help you see who is at the door without having to open it, which can be especially helpful if you live far away from your loved one. Video doorbells can also help you keep an eye on your loved one’s comings and goings, and can even be used to check on them if you’re worried about their safety.

Wrapping Up

Keeping your home safe for seniors doesn’t have to be complicated. By taking some simple precautions and being aware of the dangers that seniors face, you can help your loved ones stay safe and comfortable in their own homes for years to come.

What other safety precautions do you take to keep your senior loved one safe at home? If you found this article helpful, check out our blog for more great content like this. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!


David Clark is the CEO of Basement Guides with several years of experience in basement-related problems and home safety. He has written and published many resources and guides related to senior home safety, grants, and home modifications. David is currently working to spread the word about senior home safety and health through resourceful guides and articles. 

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