Staying safe at home


There are simple things that you can do to prevent falls at home. You can:

It's important that the local council assesses your personal needs. You may then get the support needed to help you live well at home. For example, you may be able to get support with the cost if you need any larger changes in your home (home adaptations).

If you're at risk of falling, follow this guidance to stay safe at home. 


  • use non-slip mats in the bathroom
  • mop up spills, so that your floors are not slippery
  • remove clutter from the floor, hallways, doorways or garden
  • make sure that floors are free from trip and slip hazards, such as loose mats, rugs or carpet edges
  • make sure that you turn the lights on and that rooms are well lit
  • keep a night light near the bed for getting up in the dark
  • get help with tasks that you cannot do safely on your own
  • hold onto handrails in the toilet or bathroom, or on the stairs
  • wear shoes that fit well and support your ankles
  • use any assistive devices (items or equipment to help with everyday activities) that we give you
  • eat well, exercise and keep active
  • get regular health checks and eye and hearing tests
  • trim your toenails regularly and see a GP or podiatrist (foot health professional) about any foot problems
  • ask a GP how you can avoid falling, especially if you take lots of medicines
  • wear a personal alarm or pendant
  • have a fall detector fitted, which automatically senses if you have fallen at home and calls for help
  • carry a mobile phone with you


  • do not rush to get to the toilet or answer the phone or door
  • do not walk on slippery floors in socks or tights
  • do not wear loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
  • do not wear slip-on or backless shoes, or loose slippers
  • do not put rugs and mats at the top or bottom of the stairs
  • do not reach too high or low to get items
  • do not smoke (smoking can cause lung conditions that affect blood flow to the brain and make you more likely to fall)

Our staying safe leaflets

We have 2 leaflets called:

  • Preventing falls at home
  • If you fall and cannot get up

You can print these leaflets in large font size. They remind you how to stay safe and what to do if you fall.

(PDF 105.86KB)

Personal alarm and other telecare equipment

Telecare equipment is designed to help you live independently at home.

You can have special devices called sensors fitted in your home. These sensors detect if there's a problem. They send alerts to a 24-hour call centre, which then organises help for you. Trained operators can contact your family or the emergency services if you fall and need help.

The following are examples of telecare equipment that can help you at home:

  • Personal alarm or pendant. You can wear a personal alarm or pendant around your neck or on your wrist. If you fall, you can press a button on the alarm and help will arrive quickly.
  • Fall detector. You can have a fall detector, bed sensor or epilepsy sensor fitted at home. This senses if you fall, get out of bed and do not return within a set time, or have a seizure or fit. The sensor automatically calls for help. You do not need to press a button. 

You can ask your local council if it can help you to install a personal alarm or fall detector. If the council offers this service, you might need an assessment from a specialist telecare team. You might have to contribute towards the cost of monitored alarms. Your council can tell you the likely cost.

If you would like to arrange a personal alarm or other telecare equipment privately, you can find more information on these websites:

To get a personal alarm, you need:

  • a landline phone and a nearby electrical socket
  • a spare set of house keys for emergency access or spare keys in a 'keysafe' box outside your home (this secure box opens using a code that you set)

You cannot use a mobile phone with a personal alarm system. If you do not have a landline phone, you can ask your local council or Age UK about other options.

Small changes in the home

Take some time to find and remove any hazards in each room. This helps to prevent falls. For example, you might need to:

  • remove loose rugs or carpets or make them secure with tape
  • use non-slip mats in the bathroom
  • remove clutter
  • arrange items in a different way to avoid bumping into things
  • clean up spilled food or drink straight away
  • make sure that electrical wires, bedspreads and long curtains do not trail over the floor
  • keep things in easy to reach places to avoid climbing, stretching or bending
  • use brightly coloured tape to mark possible hazards, such as the edges of doors, steps or furniture

Larger changes in the home (home adaptations) and equipment

Home adaptations are changes you can make to your home. They make it safer and easier to move around and do everyday tasks.

Some equipment can make daily living easier. This could include:

  • lights that switch on automatically when you walk past or enter a room
  • handrails and ramps
  • a keysafe (a box outside your home to store spare keys) or another door entry system for people you trust to let themselves in securely
  • a shower seat or bath aid
  • a toilet frame
  • a stairlift
  • mobility aids to make it easier to reach things

You can ask your GP or district nurse for a commode (a toilet that can be easily carried or moved). You need to think about how you will empty the commode after use or if someone can do this for you.

Getting support

Needs assessment for support

If you need help to do everyday tasks or are worried about falling, you can contact your local council. They can do a needs assessment for you.

The assessment finds what help and support you need. This could include equipment and help in your home.

You need to have this assessment before the council can recommend a service. Examples are:

  • equipment like a walking frame or personal alarm
  • changes to your home, such as a walk-in shower
  • practical help from a paid carer
  • access to day centres and lunch clubs

Read more about getting a needs assessment on the NHS website.

You can apply online at GOV.UK.

The NHS website has a social care and support guide. This has information if you or someone you know needs help with day-to-day living because of illness or disability. The guide explains your options and where you can get support.

Home assessment for financial support with adaptations

Your local council offers a service that assesses your home and recommends changes to help. Having a home assessment is free.

The council arranges for an occupational therapist to visit you at home. An occupational therapist is a professional who helps if you have health problems that make it hard to do everyday tasks. They can recommend:

  • different ways of managing these everyday tasks
  • any equipment that might help you
  • any changes to your home (home adaptations) that could make daily living easier

It might be possible for the council to loan you some equipment.

If you need a large change to your home or equipment that costs more than £1,000, you could get a grant from the council. This is called a Disabled Facilities Grant. It can help with the cost of home adaptations if you have a disability.

The council decides if you need any large changes to your home, such as a wet room (a waterproof bathroom with a walk-in shower). It asks you to try other options first, such as a bath board or lift. Your council considers individual needs when recommending large home adaptations.

Community rehabilitation

If you struggle with everyday tasks inside or outside your home, community rehabilitation and falls prevention services can help. Ask your GP or social services team to refer you to these services.

You can have occupational therapy or a physiotherapy assessment at your home or in a clinic. An occupational therapist can teach you different ways of managing everyday tasks and give you small equipment that might help. A physiotherapist can teach you exercises to improve your strength and balance.

You can talk to your occupational therapist and physiotherapist about ways to avoid falling.

Private occupational therapy assessment

You might prefer to pay for an independent occupational therapist to visit your home and do an assessment.

An occupational therapist can review how you manage at home, and your current needs and priorities. You can then work together to find solutions to problems and overcome challenges. For example, the occupational therapist can recommend:

  • ways for you to manage daily tasks
  • equipment or changes to your home that could make daily living easier and prevent falls

You can find an independent occupational therapist on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website.

More information and support

NHS website

The NHS website has more information about staying safe at home.

Age UK

Age UK has:

You can call the Age UK free advice line on 0800 678 1602 (every day, 8am to 7pm).

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy publishes Get up and go: a guide to staying steady. This guide covers ways to avoid falling, including removing hazards in your home.

Living Made Easy

Living Made Easy is a website with impartial advice and information about daily living equipment and independent living. A national charity called the Disabled Living Foundation has designed this website.

The Disability Living Foundation has 50 years' experience of giving advice about independent living to people with disabilities, older people and their carers or families. They produce several online factsheets about adapting your home and daily living equipment.

To get advice about daily living equipment, you can also:

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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