Staying safe at home

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.

~ Jane Austen

Staying safe in your home and garden

Monthly Checklist

We all spend a lot of time at home and in retirement that may be an even larger proportion of your life. That is why it is so important that your home should be safe.

This checklist should help you keep safe.

  • Check and remedy any safety hazards around your home. These could include:
    • Trip hazards such as loose carpets, cables and general detritus,
    • Security of handrails and whether other safety equipment is functioning as intended,
    • Defective electrical cables and sockets,
    • Anything that gets hot (room heaters, kettles, ovens, …).
  • Check smoke alarms regularly (and fit if there are none).
  • Vacuum regularly to keep dust levels down.
  • Open windows regularly to get some fresh air into the house.
  • Keep at least one room warm during the winter
  • Keep warm in bed. Use blankets and possibly a nightcap during really cold nights, a suitable electric blanket can keep you warm overnight if you tend to get cold even in bed.
  • If you are at home for much of the day, try and use a room that gets lots of sunlight as this minimises the possibility of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which can leave you feeling depressed. You can also get SAD lamps that replicate sunlight to fight this type of depression.
  • Keep on top of home maintenance. A small job can turn into a big job if not dealt with promptly. Try and get someone you trust to come and look around your home and advise you on any jobs that need doing.
  • Make sure you have a way of calling for help if you are trapped in your home or garden and unable to get to the phone (e.g. because of a fall).
  • Make a plan for what to do in the event of a fire. Try and have at least 2 escape routes and if any route has a door with a deadlock, make sure you can get to the key.
  • If you live alone, consider fitting a keysafe so people can access your property in the event of an emergency. Remember to tell at least one trusted person how to open the keysafe.

The next section explores Lifelong learning.

Healthy Active Ageing

This blog post is an excerpt from Healthy Active Ageing, a series of mini-guides that together cover most of what we can do as human beings to make the later stages of our lives as positive as they can be.
If you complete the details below we’ll email you one of the guides every until you have the full set. You will know a lot of the information but there is nothing wrong with a reminder every now and then; and there may even be some information which is new to you.


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If you know something is wrong then please contact an expert immediately.

Your doctor can help with medical problems, or if you are in an emotional crisis you could contact the Samaritans. You can call them free from any phone on 116 123, email or you may have a branch near you that you can visit (see

If the cause of your crisis is feeling overwhelmed by a financial or legal issue then they may suggest a local legal centre or the Citizens Advice Bureau as a good first step to solving your issues.

There is a Spanish phrase that says ‘Where there is a will, there are many ways’. Just because what you have tried so far has not worked does not mean there is nothing else to try and these people are expert at finding the right solution in a crisis, and they care.