Checklist -- Ways to Prevent Falls in the Home

Falls in the home are serious business--they are the leading cause of death by injury for those over 65. Luckily, there are many things you can do to make a home safer, especially for those with mobility or balance issues.


  • Make sure all handrails are not broken and are securely fastened.
  • Put handrails on both sides of the stairs.

Floors and rugs:

  • Make sure all floor boards are even and rugs, including area rugs, are secured to the floor with tacks, non-skid pads or double-sided tape.
  • Use non-skid floor wax.


  • Be sure that you can move safely in bathroom area, and in and out of the tub or shower.
  • Remove soap build-up in tub or shower on a regular basis.
  • Place non-slip strips in bath/shower.
  • Install adjustable height shower heads. 
  • Mount grab bars at the toilet, bath and shower on walls with secure reinforcements, to prevent the bars from coming loose.
  • Secure bath mats with non-slip, double-sided rug tape or use a slip-free bath mat.


  • Items that you use frequently, such as dishes and food items, should be easy to reach. Use a grabber when necessary.
  • If you have to use a step stool, make sure that it has a bar at the top to hold on to.


  • Place nightlights in hallways, bedrooms, bathrooms and stairways.
  • Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Place a lamp (and telephone) near your bed.
  • Keep lighting uniform in each room and add lighting to dark spaces.

All Rooms:

  • Check whether hallways and rooms have obstacles to safe movement.
  • Move newspapers, boxes, electrical and phone cords, plants, and furniture out of traffic areas.
  • Store clothing, bed coverings, and other household items where you can reach them comfortably.

Outside of your home: 

  • Repair holes and uneven joints on walkways.
  • Arrange to have leaves, snow, and ice removed from stairs and walkways. Use salt or sand throughout the winter months.
  • Make sure outside lighting is working in entryways and other walk areas.
  • Check that handrails are not broken and are securely fastened. Both sides of steps should have handrails.

**List excerpted from Preventing Falls at Home published in 2013 by the Administration on Aging.




Back to blog