The health and safety of our clients and staff is always our top priority. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Spectrum Rehabilitation Services is dedicated to reducing risk and following best practices while continuing to serve the clients who rely on us for treatment and support. Learn More

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Home Safe Home

Falls are the leading cause of injury admission to Canada’s acute care hospitals, accounting for 68% of all days spent in hospital due to injury and 76% of all in-hospital deaths related to injuries. Falls account for 85% of injury admissions for people aged 65 years and older, involving primarily women, compared to 22% of injury admissions for people between the ages of 15 and 34 years. The average age of a woman admitted to hospital because of a fall is 67 years compared to 50 years for a man.

Source: News release of October 5, 1999 from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). For details see

Safety in the home is a concern for everyone.

An occupational therapist can perform a safety audit of your home and make recommendations to decrease the risk of falls or injuries in your home. For example, an occupational therapist can recommend or check that bathroom grab rails are properly installed, and suggest additional ways to prevent falls and other injuries.

Just to be safe…

  • Keep all important numbers by every telephone in the home. Where possible, pre-program emergency numbers.
  • Maintain a first aid kit in the home and in the workshop.
  • Ensure regular servicing of fuel burning appliances such as oven, water heater, space heater, wood stove, furnace, fireplace, etc. to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Install smoke detectors according to your local Fire Department’s recommendations and keep these in working order.
  • Keep a flashlight beside the bed.
  • Install motion sensor lights on outside pathways; keep shrubbery trimmed back.
  • Get to know your neighbours and watch out for one another.
  • When away, even on weekend trips, follow tips to reduce the risk of home invasion. For example, adjust automatic timers on your lights, ask a friend or neighbour to pick up your newspapers, mail and check the house daily, arrange for snow removal or lawn cutting.

Complete this simple checklist for a safer home…

Floors and Stairway

Yes No  
Clean and free of clutter.
Area rugs have a non-skid backing to prevent falls and do not have curled edges that can pose a risk for tripping.
Scatter rugs are tacked down with double-sided tape.
Handrails beside stairs are securely mounted on both sides of the stairway and should extend beyond first stair.
Good lighting on stairways.

OT Tip: Always turn on the light before entering a room; there may be a toy or other article on the floor that you could trip over.


Yes No  
Pot handles are turned inward when using the stove.
A sturdy, non-slip step stool is available for reaching objects in high cupboards.
A fire extinguisher is within easy reach.
The floor is free of loose scatter rugs and clutter.

OT Tip: Use small appliances and utensils which have safety design features, such as a cool-touch toaster, automatic shut-off kettle, bladeless electric can-opener, secure-grip utensils.


Yes No  
Bathmat in the tub.
Non-slip flooring.
Thermostatic shower control to prevent scalding.

OT Tip: Install grab-bars in bathtub area; do not rely on a towel rack or soap dish for support.


Yes No  
Electrical cords from appliances and lamps are rolled up and clear of walking areas.
Automatic timers for lights conserve energy and provide a security feature.
Motion sensors that turn on lights for you in the basement, walk-in closets, the garage and walkways.

OT Tip: Consider appliances that are both energy-efficient and safer to use; e.g.microwave, cordless tools.

Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do so you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.
Alexander Graham Bell
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