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A Balancing Act: Simple Steps to Help Seniors See the Need for Home Modifications

By Mary Becker-Omvig, MS, OTR/Lfa

(Page 5 of 7)

Home Modification Checklist


  • Install grab bars or safety rails for support when getting in/out of tub/shower – never use towel racks or shower curtain rods instead of grab bars.

  • Apply non-slip strips on bathtub and shower floors.

  • Use bathmats and rugs with non-skid backings.

  • Use an adjustable-height shower seat rather than standing, if necessary.

  • Install an adjustable height or handheld showerhead.

  • Turn down the water temperature on the hot water heater to 120 degrees to prevent scalding.

  • Consider a raised toilet seat or grab bar to make getting up and down easier; make sure toilet paper is in easy reach.

  • Avoid locking the bathroom door when bathing to allow quicker access to you in case of a fall.


  • Widen or clear pathways through the bedroom – arrange furniture to create open space.

  • Make sure all electrical cords have been cleared from paths.

  • Place smoke detectors outside of bedrooms on each level of the home.

  • Keep a phone with a cord within easy reach of the bed cordless phones aren’t useable when the electricity goes out.

  • Post a list of emergency numbers near the phone; include current medications, dates prescribed and the pharmacy phone number.


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