Housing Safety Devices, Tools, & Modifications

Devices or home modifications to help prevent falls or accidents

  • Nonskid strips in tubs, showers, and stairs
  • Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
  • Set hot water heater to 120 degrees
  • Label all medications and note expiration dates
  • Non-breakable glasses and dishes
  • Electrical cords and appliances in good condition and out of the way
  • Toxic substances for cleaning, etc., clearly labeled and stored away from food

Devices or home modifications to ensure safe movement in and around the home

  • Furniture rearranged for easy movement
  • Widened hallways
  • Ramps over steps
  • Nightlights in bedrooms, halls, and bathrooms
  • Flashlights and batteries in convenient places
  • Clutter removed from stairs and exit areas

Devices or home modifications to prevent crime or vandalism

  • Security system
  • Doors and locks that are easy to turn
  • Deadbolts on all doors
  • Outdoor lighting to deter theft
  • Trim shrubs and move debris away from windows and walkways

Communication tools for emergencies or staying in touch

  • Cordless phones, headsets, and speakerphones
  • Emergency response system or “call button”
  • Phone numbers of emergency personnel, neighbors and friends clearly posted near all phones
  • Computer with electronic mail

Adaptive equipment to help make activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, dressing) easier to do

  • Raised toilet seat
  • Bath bench and hand-held showerhead
  • Handrail and/or grab bar near toilet and shower/bath
  • Eyeglasses and hearing aids
  • Clothes that open in the front
  • Specially designed eating utensils
  • Remote controls for TV or lights

Alternate forms of transportation or mobility

  • Canes and walkers
  • Motorized carts
  • Routes for busses and other public transportation
  • Phone numbers for taxi service or private transportation posted by the phone

To locate specially designed, adaptive devices, contact the following.

  • Sears Home Health Care – catalog available at no cost by calling Sears Catalog Store at 1-800-948-8800
  • Solutions: Products that Make Life Easier – catalog available at no cost by calling 1-800-342-9988 or by writing to: Solutions, P.O. Box 6878, Portland, Oregon 97228-6878
  • Enrichments – catalog available at no cost from Sammons-Preston by calling 1-800-323-5547 or by writing to: Sammons-Preston, P.O. Box 93040, Chicago, Illinois 60673
(Reprinted from As Families Grow Older, Making Choices about Living Arrangements; ©1999, 1998, Winter Park Health Foundation)