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Safety checklist: Doors, stairs, hallways

  1. Are there secure handrails on both sides of the stairway?
  2. Is there good lighting in all transition areas, especially stairways; night lights in hallways and stairways; light switches at top and bottom of stairs?
  3. Is there good visual demarcation between stair treads?
  4. Are steps deep enough to fit entire foot and not so steep that one must strain to climb them?
  5. Are changes in floor levels clearly marked and do they have handrails?
  6. Are carpets and rugs low-pile and securely fastened to the floor?
  7. Are hard surface floor coverings even and secured and not highly polished?
  8. Are doorways wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through?
  9. Are doors easy to open, with handles rather than knobs?
  10. Are traffic areas clear and stairs clutter-free?

For more complete home safety check lists, click on the following links:

"Safe at Home Checklist" from Rebuilding Together, along with the Administration on Aging and the American Occupational Therapy Association

"Preventing Falls at Home" brochure with an easy-to-follow checklist from the Administration on Aging

"The AARP Home Fit Guide: Information and Tips to Keep Your Home in Top Form for Comfort, Safety, and Livability" booklet includes checklists on home maintenance and energy efficiency, as well as livability evaluations and recommendations for fixing problems and how to get professional help

CAPS directory of Certified Aging in Place Specialists from the National Association of Home Builders