Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter most when it comes to creating a safe and accessible home. We have given you many tricks and tips in our YouTube videos that will change your life over night, but there is always something more that you can do. Things like electric outlets, lighting fixtures and smoke detectors. Are your closets easy to use? Can you do the laundry with ease? Do you have enough light to read?
Take a look around your home (or the home of your loved one) and answer the question in this checklist for storage and lighting safety online or print out the list to complete by hand. Did you answer “yes” to a question? Great! That part of your home should be easy to use for many years to come. Have you answered “no” to a few questions? You may need to take a second look at these aspects of your home setup.
If this list has brought up a lot of worries, contact us and we would be glad to go over some ideas to get your home “age-in-place” ready. We would also be glad to come into your home and apply our knowledge to your home to create the safest environment possible for those that are aging, low-vision, mobility issues, and hearing loss.
Yes / No
Ο Ο I’ve tossed our belongings that I don’t use.
Ο Ο I can reach most of the things in my closet even while sitting.
Ο Ο My clothing rod is 20-44 inches above the floor.
Ο Ο I have a closet organizing system with drawers and shelves.
Ο Ο The drawers are no more than 30 inches from the floor.
Ο Ο I have full-extension drawers that pull out all the way.
Ο Ο My shelves are no more than 18 inches deep.
Ο Ο My lower drawers are deep and my upper drawers are shallow.
Ο Ο I have special shoe shelves on the wall.
Ο Ο I have a light in my closet.
Ο Ο The light switch is easy to reach.
Ο Ο The door of my closet is at least 32 inches wide.
Ο Ο My electric outlets are at least 27 inches from the floor.
Ο Ο I keep all my appliances within 6 inches of an outlet.
Ο Ο I try not to use extension cords.
Ο Ο I can turn on a lamp in each room using a switch by the door.
Ο Ο There is an electric outlet on the light switch near each door.
Ο Ο My laundry room is on the first floor of my house.
Ο Ο I have a front-loading washing machine.
Ο Ο All my laundry supplies are within easy reach.
Ο Ο I use a rolling cart or fold-down shelf to sort clothing.
Ο Ο I make a full use of natural light by opening curtains and shades.
Ο Ο My reading chair is near a window.
Ο Ο My windows are clean.
Ο Ο I’ve added more incandescent lights to my home.
Ο Ο I use the highest wattage bulbs allowed for each light fixture.
Ο Ο My light bulbs are easy to change.
Ο Ο I use three-way bulbs in all reading lamps.
Ο Ο I use floor lamps to direct light where I need it.
Ο Ο All stairways have plenty of light.
Ο Ο There is a light switch at the top and bottom of each staircase.
Ο Ο I use nightlights in parts of my hosue where I walk after dark.
Ο Ο I use rocker light switches throughout my home.
Ο Ο My light fixtures are easy to clean.
Ο Ο I clean them often.
Ο Ο I clean outdoor lights too.
Ο Ο All my outdoor lights too.
Ο Ο All my outdoor walkways are well lit.
Ο Ο I have outside lights that turn on automatically.
Ο Ο I have a smoke detector on each floor of my home.
Ο Ο I have at least one battery-operated detector.
Ο Ο I have at least one detector that runs on electric current.
Ο Ο I have smoke detectors outside each bedroom area.
Ο Ο My smoke detecrors are mounted on the ceiling.
Ο Ο I change my smoke detector batteries at least twice a year.
Ο Ο I vacuum my smoke alarms once a year.
Ο Ο I test my smoke alarm once a month.
Ο Ο My family knows what to do when the smoke detector sounds.
Ο Ο I keep a fire extinguisher on each floor of my home.
Ο Ο I keep an extra fire extinguisher in my kitchen.