Agency on Aging

Home Safety

Caring for another person may require you to assess their safety at home and take steps to keep them safe.  There are several publications and websites with useful information about home safety, but many do not include information about safety outside the house. It is especially important to consider safety when caring for a person with dementia.  Below are some tips from the Alzheimer Association designed to keep people safe outside the house.

  • Keep steps sturdy and textured to prevent falls in wet or icy weather.
  •  Mark the edges of steps with bright or reflective tape.
  •  Consider installing a ramp with handrails as an alternative to steps.
  •  Eliminate uneven surfaces or walkways, hoses, and other objects that may cause a person to trip.
  •  Restrict access to a swimming pool by fencing it with a locked gate, covering it, and closely supervising it when in use.
  •  In the patio area, remove the fuel source and fire starters from any grills when not in use, and supervise use when the person with Alzheimer’s is present.
  • Place a small bench or table by the entry door to hold parcels while unlocking the door.
  •  Make sure outside lighting is adequate. Light sensors that turn on lights automatically as you approach the house may be useful. They also may be used in other parts of the home.
  • Prune bushes and foliage well away from walkways and doorways.
  •  Consider a NO SOLICITING sign for the front gate or door.
  • Lock access to all garages, sheds, and basements if possible.
  • Inside a garage or shed, keep all potentially dangerous items, such as tools, tackle, machines, and sporting equipment, either locked away in cabinets or in appropriate boxes or cases.
  • Secure and lock all motor vehicles and keep them out of sight if possible. Consider covering vehicles, including bicycles, that are not frequently used.
  • Keep all toxic materials, such as paint, fertilizers, gasoline, or cleaning supplies out of view. Either put them in a high, dry place, or lock them in a cabinet.