General Safety Tips

December 13, 2010


The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has wonderful caregiver resources, among which is this safety checklist (

  1. Clear all passageways.
  2. Remove unnecessary furniture, knickknacks, clutter and items that may cause confusion.
  3. Fix loose or uneven steps, and loose or broken handrails.
  4. Put gates at the top of stairways.
  5. Install safety latches on cabinets that store dangerous items, such as knives, firearms, medications and cleaning products.
  6. Place guards around radiators and other heaters.
  7. Install secure locks that are higher or lower than eye level on outside doors and windows.
  8. Eliminate poisonous houseplants.
  9. Keep small objects that may be swallowed out of sight.
  10. Make sure electrical wires and phone cords are secured and cannot be tripped over, and that lamps cannot fall over.
  11. Remove or fasten down scatter rugs to prevent slipping.
  12. Put nightlights in bathrooms, hallways and bedrooms.
  13. Make sure light fixtures are easy to turn on, such as switches near doorways and glow-switches.
  14. Use maximum wattage allowed by fixtures.
  15. Reduce glare with frosted bulbs.
  16. Ensure adequate lighting by stairways and passageways.
  17. Remove stove and oven knobs when not in use.
  18. Install an automatic shut-off switch on the stove.
  19. Put away kitchen appliances such as blenders and toasters.
  20. Use non-slip decals or mats in the tub and shower.
  21. Install grab bars around the tub, shower and toilet.
  22. Try a bathtub bench or a hand-held shower.
  23. Keep the temperature gauge on the hot water heater at 120 degrees or lower to prevent scalding.
  24. Remove locks on bathroom doors.
  25. Outfit the individual with an ID bracelet or some other form of identification.
  26. Obtain a wristband transmitter or other tracking device to locate wanderers.
  27. Post emergency telephone numbers in large print near phones.
  28. Prepare and practice an emergency exit plan.

Don’t leave someone home alone—even for a few minutes—if they cannot respond to an emergency situation.
For more information, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.AFA.8484. Real People. Real Care.

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