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Home hazards checklist

We have seen some of the most common hazards which cause falls in the home, but there are many more that professionals such as Occupational Therapists look out for when visiting someone’s home.

Here we have attached a checklist (developed by the University of Sydney and the University of Newcastle Australia) which is used by many professionals across the world. Although there are many such checklists used across the world, this is one of the most common ones. However, it is worth considering that each country may have its own checklist as there may be some cultural differences, with different hazards in different countries.

Risk factors are never quite so straightforward and typically they interact- what falls experts call a synergistic effect. This means that having two risk factors is not double the risk of falling compared to having one risk factor, and three risk factors does not triple the risk of falling; indeed as the number of risk factors increase, the actual risk of falling increases much more. As such, falls can be complex to untangle and there is no replacement for professional advice.

We hope that this checklist may help you consider hazards in your home, but remember it is a checklist for professionals and should not replace the wealth of knowledge and experience a professional would be able to offer.

  • Now that we know about hazards in the home, over the next couple of weeks try keeping a daily hazard diary of any risks that you notice. This could be as simple as just writing things down on paper.
  • Where are they?
  • Did you previously consider it to be a risk?
  • Are there any potential solutions to lower the risk of the hazard?

There will be an opportunity in Week 4 to feedback your observations if you wish.

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This article is from the free online course:

Ageing Well: Why Older People Fall

Newcastle University

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