Occupational Therapy Articles

Home Safety Assessment – A Checklist for Your Home Care Package Clients

Although home safety assessments are the most common allied health referral for home care package clients, these may not always be required.

To help determine if the client’s budget may be better used for other interventions to help them meet their goals, below is a checklist. You can also download a pdf copy here.

Home Safety Assessment – A Checklist For Your Home Care Package Clients

A home safety assessment is generally not indicated unless you tick one of the boxes below to indicate that there are:

Checkbox  Loose rugs or changes in surface creating a trip hazard
Checkbox  Low wattage lights leading to difficulty seeing at night
Checkbox  Steps without rails (or there’s no access via a ramp if a walking aid is in use)
Checkbox  Low toilets without handrails
Checkbox  Clutter leading to trip hazards and difficulty moving freely around the house
Checkbox  Low chairs which mean that the client can’t get up without using their hands
Checkbox  Steep paths or driveways that cause difficulty getting to and from the premises
Checkbox  Narrow driveways/carports causing difficulty getting in/out of cars (inc. others’ cars)
Checkbox  Shag pile carpet causing a trip hazard
Checkbox  Stairs (especially ones that are narrow, carpeted, or the edges aren’t defined)
Checkbox  Lack of well defined, non-slip outdoor paths
Checkbox  Shower alcoves are without rails or a seat creating a falls risk
Checkbox  Floor-mats that are not non-slip are in wet areas creating a slipping hazard
Checkbox  Kitchen cupboards are too high, low, or are difficult to access
Checkbox The bathroom is difficult to access overnight creating a falls risk and/or continence issues

If you did tick any of these boxes, then this usually indicates that a home safety assessment is required.

As well as helping to overcome the difficulties associated with using kitchen utensils, opening jars, etc an occupational therapist can review the environment and make recommendations for the most appropriate changes… taking into consideration the clients’ functional ability and the resources available.

Click here for more information about W&L’s mobile occupational therapy service where we can help you help your clients to stay at home longer.