Safety Tips and Solutions for Every Room in Your Home

Bathrooms:  Fall Statistics

  • Although they are typically the smallest room in the house, bathrooms are also the riskiest for falls.

  • According to CDC research, annually about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms due to bathroom fall injuries.  Almost 14% are hospitalized

  • Bathroom fall injuries increase with age, peaking after 85.

  •  More than a third of these injuries occur while bathing or showering, and almost 15% occur while using the toilet. 

  • The most hazardous activities for all ages are bathing, showering and getting out of the tub or shower.  Injuries in or near the bathtub or shower account for over two-thirds of emergency room visits, and are four times more likely to occur getting out of the tub or shower than into it.

Bathroom Fall Prevention:

Injury-proofing your bathroom is very important, but also very easy to do. The following safety steps will help prevent bathroom falls:

  • Grab Bars:  Install anchor grab bars in and around the shower, bathtub and toilet. Test them for strength and stability by grabbing onto them as if you were actually falling. They should not budge. In terms of optimal placement of grab bars, a study done by a national housing organization found that a minimum of two bars are necessary to ensure safety in all phases of tub entry or exit.  A bar installed vertically on the side tub wall assists best with entry and exit, while a longer, horizontal bar on the back wall helps during sitting and standing in the tub.  Ideally, a third grab bar should be next to the toilet.

  • Non-skid Mats:  One reason bathroom falls are so injurious is that generally every bathroom surface is a hard surface.  Falling in a bathtub, onto a tiled floor or making impact with a fixture can result in a severe injury.  For seniors with strength or mobility issues, a standard rubber tub mat or a bathmat that may slide is not enough to ensure optimal safety.  Placing non-slip mats inside and outside the shower or tub and near the toilet and sinks not only prevent but also cushion potential falls. 

  • Tub and Bathroom Seating:  For individuals with balance or fatigue issues, consider placing a stool or shower chair in the tub or shower stall. A walk-in bath may be a good option as well. Ensure there are also places to sit and take care of grooming activities like brushing teeth.

  • Toilets can be modified with a raised toilet seat. A higher rising toilet can also be installed.

  • Make sure towels, soap and shampoo are within easy reach from the shower or tub.

  • Put nightlights or motion lighting on the path from the bedroom to the bathroom, and in the bathroom itself.

Bathroom Safety Products:

Drive Medical’s bath safety products have tool-free installation, ensuring easy installation with no damage or drilling into fixtures or tile.

  • Drive’s Rotating Suction-Cup Grab Bar comes in three different lengths and rotates to any angle.  Its large suction cups guarantee an extremely strong hold, and it has color-coded indicators to ensure suction stays at a safe level.

  • Drive’s Clamp-On, Height-Adjustable Tub Rail also has easy, tool-free assembly, with a patented soft-edge design that does not compromise safety. 

  • Drive’s Premium Series Shower Chair with Back and Arms is easily height-adjustable and non-slip, with an enhanced comfort seat to fit all shapes and sizes.

  • Drive’s Bath Mat is extra-long to provide a large, slip-proof surface for extra safety.  Its mold-resistant latex-free rubber helps prevent germs and mildew that can cause infection or respiratory problems in elderly or immune-compromised individuals.

The majority of older adults’ falls occur in the home, and the associated risks and preventions vary by room.  Following is a room-by-room guide to home fall statistics and recommended safety measures.

Kitchens:  Fall Prevention

Kitchen safety is one of the most important types of home safety to practice for the elderly, next to bathroom safety.  Kitchen falls are most often caused by either reaching or climbing for objects out of reach, or by wet floors from spills or cleaning.

  • Lighting:  Make sure light switches are located at all entrances to the kitchen, and that there is enough light at the range, sink and countertop areas.  Install night lights and/or motion lighting. Drive’s Light and Go Mobility Light can latch onto a cabinet handle and help light the way.

  • Counters:  Ensure there is plenty of counter space and keep regularly used items there.

  • Cabinets:  Keep all cabinet doors and drawers closed when not in use.  Cabinets should be easily reachable and/or have pull-down shelves.  Use a reaching device like Drive’s Hand-Held Reacher so you do not need to climb for items, and store your most commonly used household items on lower shelves for easy reach.

  • Never use chairs or tables to climb. Use Drive’s Footstool with handle and a non-skid rubber platform, if you do have to climb for something, use a step stool with handrails.

  • Floors:  Install non-slip, anti-glare flooring.  Always wipe up spills quickly and make sure they have been thoroughly cleaned. Be alert to cooking grease on the floor from frying foods.  If you have rugs, make sure they are attached to the floor securely with double-sided tape.

  • Do not try to carry too many things at once, and have a place near your door to put packages and groceries down while you close the door and get ready to put items away.

Bedrooms and other Living Spaces:  Fall Prevention

For seniors with decreased strength and mobility, just getting up from a chair or bed, or opening a door can be difficult and can lead to falls.  Taking some safety precautions can prevent falls in these rooms.

Living areas:

  • Arrange furniture so you have clear pathways.

  • Remove area or throw rugs or use non-slip backing tape so the rugs will not slip.

  • Keep electrical and telephone cords out of walkways.

  • Do not sit on a chair or sofa that is too low and makes it difficult to stand up.

  • Install light switches at the entrances to rooms so you do not have to walk into a dark room to turn on a light.

  • Remove papers, boxes, books, clothes, shoes and all clutter from pathways.

  • Get up slowly after you sit or lie down, easy to do with Drive’s EZ Assist Pole.

  • Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.

  • Improve the lighting in these rooms. Put in brighter light bulbs; fluorescent bulbs are bright and cost less to use. Hang lightweight curtains, shades to reduce glare or attach a Drive’s Light and Go Mobility Light can latch onto a furniture handle for easy access.

Recommended Bed/Living Room Safety Products:

Because the majority of falls in these areas happen due to difficulty going from sitting to standing, Drive Medical has devices that provide simple solutions to these problems.

  • Drive’s Padded Swivel Seat Cushion is fully rotating, lightweight and portable, and allows individuals to turn up to 360 degrees while seated.

  • Paired with Drive’s EZ Assist Pole with Rotating Handle, individuals can easily and comfortably get on or off any seat or chair independently and with full support.

  • Drive’s Doormatic Automatic Door Opener operates internal doors, and is very easily installed without drilling, tools, or structural changes.  Because it is installed with Velcro®, it applies to many different surfaces, and comes with obstacle detection for added safety, as well as optional remote control or motion sensor for more severe mobility or strength impairment.


  • Place a lamp and telephone within easy reach of your bed.

  • Sleep on a bed that is easy to get in and out of.

  • Arrange clothes in your closet so they are easy to reach.

  • Use Drive’s Shoe Horn, Dressing Stick, Sock Aid, to help you as you dress for the day.

  • Put in a night-light so you can see where you’re walking after dark.

Drive's Fall Prevention resource page

View our fall prevention resource page to see more related articles.

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