One of the most important elements of independent living and recovery at home is fall prevention. Each year, one in four Americans aged 65+ are admitted (or re-admitted) to hospitals due to injuries from falls. In fact, falls are the most common cause of hospital admissions among older adults.

Fortunately, most falls can be prevented! We encourage you to find and fix hazards in your home. When assessing your home, remember to look for these three main points:


Ensure that each area is well-lit, especially stairs, even after dark. Replace any burned out lights and set up automatic night lights where needed.


Identify and remove trip hazards such as low furniture, wires or cords, loose carpet, throw rugs, uneven surfaces, and household clutter.


Keep things you need often on lower shelves where they are easy to reach. Use handrails on stairs, next to and inside the tub, and next to the toilet.

SAFETY TIP! You should always have three points of contact while moving around your home or performing activities. For example, if you are walking up steps or maneuvering in and out of your shower, you need two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand in contact with something sturdy at all times.

Fall Prevention Checklist for the Home

Review this checklist to help identify and fix potential hazards in your home.


  • Always keep objects off the stairs.
  • Fix loose or uneven steps.
  • Ensure that your entire stairwell is well lighted. You can get light switches that glow to find them easily at night.
  • Make sure any carpet is firmly attached to every step, or remove the carpet and attach non-slip rubber treads to the stairs.
  • Make sure secure handrails are on both sides of the stairs, and are as long as the stairs.


  • Ensure there is a clear path through each room; if you have to walk around furniture, ask someone to move the furniture so your path is clear.
  • Remove any throw rugs, or use double-sided tape or a non-slip backing so the rugs won’t slip. Pay extra attention to loose or curled edges.
  • Pick up things that are on the floor. Always keep objects off the floor.
  • Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall so you can’t trip over them. If needed, have an electrician put in another outlet.
  • Keep things you use often on the lower shelves (about waist high).
  • If you must use a step stool, get one with a bar to hold on to. Never use a chair as a step stool.


  • Place a lamp close to the bed where it’s easy to reach.
  • Put in a nightlight so you can see where you’re walking at night. Some nightlights go on by themselves after dark.


  • Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower.
  • Have grab bars put in next to and inside the tub, and next to the toilet.

This checklist is modified from the CDC, and the original brochure can be found at this link.