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How safe is your loved one?

Smiling senior woman in garden with sunflowers

Is your loved one living at home alone? Use our home safety and wellbeing checklist to see if they need extra support.

Are you worried about a loved one living independently at home? Perhaps you’ve seen warning signs that might suggest things are getting difficult. If so, don’t ignore the signs. On your next visit, take the time to evaluate the level of home safety and get a sense for general wellbeing.

Start by talking to your loved one to discuss how they feel they are managing and understand if they need help with any aspect of their daily routine. Pick a time when you’re not rushed and won’t be interrupted by children or technology.

Your loved one may be feeling overwhelmed, tired, sick or just lonely. Listen carefully without interrupting and only ask questions to clarify your understanding.

Even if your loved one is managing well, it can be an idea to get some help with time consuming daily chores in order to free up time for fun activities like going to the movies, having a friend visit or go line dancing. So before you book Mum into the local Retirement Facility, think about how home care can help support and increase the safety and wellbeing of your loved one.

If you’ve got concerns make an appointment to see your loved one’s GP and see what advice they can offer or talk to a Care Specialist on 1300 537 354.

Food, nutrition and kitchen safety

Does your loved one have:

  • A Pantry well stocked with food
  • Fresh fruit, vegetables and produce on hand
  • No signs of rotten food or food past its expiry date
  • No items in fridge or cupboard that don’t belong there
  • A healthy appetite

Are they able to:

  • Go shopping independently, or do they receive help to do the food and grocery shopping
  • Prepare a meal without assistance/or receives help
  • Use the kettle and microwave with relative ease

Communication and social interaction

Is your loved one able to:

  • Recognise family and friends
  • Hold a coherent conversation
  • Show no alarming signs of memory loss
  • Go on outings in the community without getting lost or disoriented
  • Clearly communicate needs
  • Remember to turn up to appointments or events
  • Keep in contact with friends and family
  • Get involved in activities or outings in the community, or have visitors to the home

Medication and health

Is your loved one:

  • Wearing clean and well-fitted glasses
  • Showing no signs of poor vision, such as squinting or sitting too close to the TV
  • Keeping up to date with optometrist, GP or dentist appointments each year
  • Maintaining a healthy consistent weight. No noticeable weight loss.
  • Aware of prescribed medications and correct dosage
  • Making sure any health issues or wounds are being monitored and managed effectively
  • Showing no concerning signs of depression such as changes in mood or loss of interest in hobbies or activities

Personal hygiene

Are your loved one’s:

  • Clothes clean and presentable
  • Bed sheets clean
  • Slippers and footwear firm fitting (to prevent trips)
  • Not showing any significant change in personal care or grooming habits


Is your loved one able to:

  • Walk independently indoors and outdoors. Has a steady gait and appears stable when walking
  • Use any canes, walkers, scooters or other aids correctly and keep them in good shape
  • Show no signs that may indicate a recent fall such as bruises and scrapes
  • Walk up and down any stairs safely in the home
  • Remove rubbish and put bins out and collect it from the kerb
  • Get in and out of bed safely
  • Drive confidently and safely (if driving, licence is current) and car is free from recent dents or scratches
  • Access alternative transport when needed

A safe house and home?

For your loved ones safety make sure:

  • There is good lighting is in the home, blown lightbulbs are replaced and night lights positioned
  • The home is clutter free and easy to walk about, with no tripping hazards – extension  cords, loose rugs, worn or puckered carpet
  • Power points are not overloaded with multiple electrical appliances
  • Heaters are being used safely and are functioning properly
  • Electrical cords are in good condition and free of damage or fraying
  • The house is reasonably clean and tidy
  • The phone or emergency call button is easily accessed
  • Pets are being cared for, and don’t prevent a tripping hazard
  • Safety rails are in places like the shower, toilet, bath and stairs
  • Smoke detectors are installed, tested and batteries have been changed recently
  • A fire extinguisher/ blanket is in the kitchen and you loved one knows how to operate it

Bathroom safety

Is your loved one able to:

  • Use toilet independently
  • Access incontinence supplies and dispose of them properly
  • Get out of the shower or bath safely

Make sure:

  • Secure grab bars are available
  • Shower has a non-slip mat
  • Bathroom looks in order and is clean

Not ticking the boxes? Does it look like it’s time to get help? To find out more about Care in the Home and for more help in finding the right aged care providers, contact us at CareAbout on 1300 537 354.

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