Home Safety Evaluation

Certain conditions or injuries—especially those associated with aging—can make it difficult for people to perform daily activities, even the that have been part of their daily routines for years. With the increase in life expectancy over the last several decades, elderly people are living longer and thus, experiencing health problems that make moving around difficult. This can make them particularly susceptible to accidents such as falls. In fact, it is estimated that one out of every three seniors over the age of 65 fall each year, with falls being the leading cause of injury, disability, nursing home placement, and death. Many seniors wish to continue living in their homes as long as possible, either due to financial constraints or personal preference. However, certain aspects of a person’s home environment may increase his or her risk of suffering a potentially debilitating accident. To decrease that risk, physical and occupational therapists provide home safety evaluations to identify problems with home features—such as flooring, lighting, furniture placement, and bathroom fixtures—that may pose a safety threat. These professionals also can suggest ways to change the home environment to make it better suited to a person’s health and functional abilities. Examples include fitting staircases with handrails and placing non-slip rubber mats in shower areas and handles next to bath tubs.