As the population of older adults continues to grow, home modifications are a key factor in allowing individuals to live in the environment of their choice. Occupational therapists can complete a home safety assessment with a goal of maximizing safety, participation, and independence in the home. We provide this service to our patients who may be experiencing a decline in safety or independence, or are planning for future needs. An occupational therapist can observe and evaluate a person while they navigate their home environment, complete their self-cares, home management, or hobbies and provide recommendations that are designed to increase independence and participation, promote health, and prevent further decline or injury. During a home assessment our evaluations may consist of the following:

  • Education on areas of the home that can increase the risk of falls or present other safety hazards
  • Analysis on how a person is able get around their home to complete a task or activity
  • Provide recommendations for home modifications, which may include adaptive equipment, grab bar or other hardware placement, lighting, family caregiver training, or remodeling

Here are some simple strategies you can use to increase your safety at home:

  • Remove things you can trip over (like papers, books, shoes, or furniture) from stairs and places where you walk
  • Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping
  • Keep items you use often where you can reach them without needing to use a step stool
  • Have grab bars installed next to and inside the tub or shower and next to the toilet
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors
  • Improve the lighting in your home, especially on stairs to help you to be able to see well
  • Have handrails put on both sides of all staircases

If you have questions about remaining safe in the home for yourself or someone you know, let us help. Contact us at 320-843-1340.