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  • Writer's pictureEngage PT, OT, SLP Therapy and Wellness

Occupational Therapy Top 10 Home Modifications for Safety

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Making small changes to your home can make a big impact on your everyday function.

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April is OT month and to celebrate we’re featuring 10 easy and inexpensive modifications to improve your safety at home:

In the living room

Corral clutter — It’s fine to keep items you want within reach next to your favorite easy chair but avoid storing things where they may fall on the floor or get underfoot and pose a tripping hazard. Try an arm rest organizer to keep things tidy.

Light it up — Increase the amount of ambient light in the room by opening window shades fully during the day and adding a torch style light to your decor. Torch lamps improve safety by shining light onto the walls and ceilings (and not in your eyes) to improve overall illumination.

Make space — Arrange furniture to give at least 30 inches of clearance for all walking paths.

In the kitchen

Cook with confidence — Mark stove knobs to make it easy to see that the burners have been turned off (try a black Sharpie, colored enamel paint pens or high visibility bump dots)

Tackle task lighting — Add under cabinet lighting with LED strips (plug in or battery operated) to add illumination for counter top tasks that require hand eye coordination for chopping or pouring.

In the bathroom

Add contrast — Bathrooms can be an area of the house where lighting is good but contrast between surfaces is low (making it harder to judge depth when stepping) and floors can be slippery. Add a colorful rubber tub mat to add contrast with a nonskid benefit.

Raise it up — The standard toilet height of 14.5 inches is often too low for people with balance or movement challenges. Adding a raised toilet seat is always a good option but can be seen as an inconvenience to others sharing the bathroom. Try a hinged raised toilet seat to keep yourself safe and the rest of the household happy!

Grab and go — Grab bars are a great addition to increase safety in bathroom but installation of wall grab bars can be an involved process. For a quick solution, install a tub mounted grab bar. (* Don’t use on fiberglass tubs.)

In the bedroom

Light up the night — Add motion sensor night lights (plug in or battery operated) to the walking paths around your bed and convert your bedside lamp to a touch lamp so it is easy to turn on quickly when needed.

Get a grip — Bed transfer handles (also known as bed canes) are a great addition to enhance safety for people with balance challenges or dizziness. Click here to see some examples.

Want to learn more about how an OT can recommend home modifications that can make you safer and boost confidence in your daily routine? Call Engage Therapy in Syracuse NY to set up an evaluation at 315-810-2423 or email

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