One out of every three people aged 65 or older falls every year in the United States. These falls are the leading cause of injuries, both fatal and nonfatal, in senior citizens. Many of these falls and injuries occur in the home. It's important that seniors and their families take precautions and make modifications to make the home safer for the older adults who live there. These can modifications allow senior adults to maintain their independence and their mobility. Many of the necessary changes are also simple and low in cost.


Vision problems are common among elderly people. Inadequate lighting or not having lighting in the correct places can cause falls. Many people find that they need brighter light bulbs as they age, so switching out bulbs is one way to make a home safer. Motion lights and nightlights both help prevent falls at night. And electrical cords should be tucked against walls so that they don't become a tripping hazard.


Area rugs are lovely but can prevent a slipping hazard. If a senior won't give up their small area rugs, make sure they are secured with non-skid tape to reduce the risk. People who regularly polish their hardwood floors should stop, as slick floors are a huge risk factor for falling. Skid-proof tile is a great choice for flooring, as is low-pile carpeting.


A lot of falls happen in the bathroom because it's typically a very slippery room that frequently gets wet. One important safety feature to add in the bathroom is grab bars. They should be placed around the bathtub and toilet and need to be securely attached so that they can take the body weight of the person who will be using them.

Additional Safety Information for Seniors and Older Adults