Community Oriented Policing Unit
Elderly Safety Tips
Slips, Trips and Falls
Accidents in the home are more frequent and more distressing,
both physically and mentally, the older we get. Falls, slips
and trips are the most common type of accident in the home.
If certain precautions are taken, most accidental falls can
be prevented. The following safety changes may help:
- Use 100W light bulbs in the kitchen and stairways will
make it easier to see any hazards;
- Buy long life bulbs so they do not have to be changed
- Highlight the outer edge of steps with non-slip white
paint to make them more visible;
- Try to avoid having trailing wires and clutter in walking
areas and on stairs;
- Use non-slip mats under rugs, in the kitchen, inside and
next to the bath and on stair landings;
- Install handrails by the toilet, bath and stairs will
aid balance and make getting around easier;
- Remove or repair frayed carpet edges will make them safer
and will reduce the risk of somebody tripping over them;
- Think about storing frequently used items in areas that
are easily accessible. This avoids the need to stretch or
- Seek help for chores, such as changing curtains or bulbs;
- Use a sturdy set of non-slip steps with a safety chain
and handrail is safer than standing on a chair;
- Remove casters from easily moveable furniture can make
them more stable so they can be leant against, or held onto
to aid balance;
- Spread salty sand on wet or icy steps will make them less
- Mop up spillages immediately will reduce the risk of slipping;
- Keep active, as exercise can improve strength, balance
and co-ordination, all of which can prevent a fall;
- Enjoy the sun as vitamin D helps to keep your bones healthy
Keeping Warm: At Home
- Wear several thin layers of clothes rather than one thick
layer. The warmth of your body will get trapped between
- Choose clothes made with wool, cotton or fleece synthetic
fibers that are designed to be light and warm;
- In the coldest weather, a good way to keep warm in bed
is to wear bed socks and a nightcap, as well as thermal
underwear and a warm nightdress or pajamas.
Keeping Warm: Outdoors
- Several thin layers of clothing under your coat will keep
you warmer than one thick layer;
- Wear something on your head, otherwise you will get cold
- Wear warm, dry, flat, non-slip shoes or boots, especially
in cold weather.
- Have at least one hot meal a day and have hot drinks regularly
throughout the day;
- Have a hot drink before bedtime;
- Prepare a thermos flask of a hot drink to have by your
bed in case you wake up in the night feeling cold.
- Do not remain sitting still for long periods of time;
- Spread chores out through the day so you can alternate
between rest and activity;
- Try to take moderate exercise, such as walking.
Keeping your Home Warm
- Fit draught proofing to help seal gaps around windows
- Lay insulation in the loft to reduce heat loss;
- Ensure your hot water cylinder and pipes, including pipes
in the loft, are lagged;
- Try to keep a temperature of 21oC (70oF) in all the rooms
you use during the day. At least keep your living room warm
throughout the day and warm your bedroom before going to
- Keep your bedroom window closed at night in Winter, when
temperatures can reach their lowest;
- In very cold weather, set your central heating to come
on earlier rather than turning the thermostat up higher.
- Bogus callers sometimes pose as water or gas board workers,
council workers or police officers, so they can steal property
from your home. You can try to prevent this type of crime
from happening to you by taking precautions:
- Check any credentials of the caller. Always ask for identification
and NEVER let anyone into your home if you are uncertain
about the individual(s). Remember it is your home and you
should not feel pressured;
- Contact the company they say they work for to double check.
STOP - before you open the door.
CHAIN - put it on.
CHECK - Ask the caller for their identification
- and check it - before letting them in.