McLaren Port Huron – a leader in healing, your partner in health.

Home Safety Checklist for the Visually Impaired

OUTDOOR SAFETY

  • steps and sidewalk are in good condition
  • doorway is well lit
  • hand rails on both sides of porch steps
  • street address visible from road

GENERAL SAFETY

  • first aide kit
  • smoke detector
  • carbon monoxide detector
  • fire extinguisher
  • telephone & emergency numbers are readily available
  • telephone equipped for hearing enhancement if needed

BATHROOM

  • non-skid mat or strips in bath or shower
  • hand rails by tub/shower
  • hand held shower
  • bath or shower chair
  • electrical appliances stored away from tub or shower area
  • hot water heater regulated to prevent burning (101◦ or lower)
  • lever style water handles

STAIRWAYS & HALLS

  • stair treads are deep enough for whole foot
  • steps are in good condition & free of objects
  • handrails allow secure grasp by hand
  • handrails on both sides of stairways
  • first & last step marked so easily notices (painted or taped where possible)
  • hallways & stairs are well lit
  • use of night lights when possible

BEDROOM

  • keep lamp or flash light within reach of bed
  • night light
  • telephone or emergency response system

OTHER

  • flooring in good condition
  • changes in levels clearly marked, especially bathroom
  • elimination of small loose rugs
  • clear wide walk ways
  • electrical cords placed along walls out of traffic areas


ADAPTIVE HELP & SAFETY TIPS FOR FAILING VISION

PROPER LIGHTING MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE

  • use many light sources evenly distributed around the room
  • minimize shadows with consistent lighting
  • make sure bulb wattage is high enough
  • put light switches on the outside of rooms so that the older person never has to fumble around in a dark room
  • use three-way bulbs & dimmer switches to control light intensity
  • put nightlights in hallways, the bedroom & the bathroom
  • put intense light at the top & bottom of staircase & steps
  • under cabinet lighting can be helpful in kitchen work areas

CUT OUT GLARE

  • use sheer curtains or blinds in rooms that take in bright sunlight
  • don’t use fluorescent lights; they produce more glare than incandescent
  • don’t use wax on floors, and use low-gloss wax on furniture
  • cover or discard shiny furniture or counter surfaces; paint walls with matte-finished paint

CREATE CONTRASTS & RECOGNITION WITH COLOR

  • contrasts should be used in the design of all rooms; the walls should be a different color than the floor, and also the furniture; staircases should contrast with other flooring
  • light objects should go on dark surfaces, or vice versa; for instance, a telephone should contrast with the bedside table
  • mark edges of steps & stairs with light paint or tape
  • put glow-in-the-dark, brightly colored tape around light switches, doorknobs, and keyholes
  • use light-colored mugs & cookingware when pouring hot liquids
  • use colored containers & dishes; clear glass “disappears”.


COMMUNITY RESOURCES

The Council on Aging, Inc.
Serving St. Clair County
600 Grand River Ave.
Port Huron , MI 48060
Toll-free: 800-297-0099
Offers a variety of in-home services including installation of safety devices

Blue Water CenterFor Independent Living
310 Water Street
Port Huron, MI 48060
Toll-free: 800-527-2167
Provides independent living services

Lighthouse International
111 East 59th St.
New York, NY 10022-1202
Toll-free: 800-829-0500
Website: www.lighthouse.org
Leading
resource on vision impairment & vision rehabilitation including a newsletter

St. Clair County Library 
210 McMorran Blvd.
Port Huron , MI 48060
Toll-free: 800-272-8570
The “Star Program” offers talking books, described videos & large print books for the legally blind, visually disabled, physically disabled and reading disabled

Commission For The Blind Commission For The Blind
411 E. Genessee 125 E. Union St., 7th Floor
Saginaw, MI 48607 Flint, MI 48502
For individuals 55 & Older For individuals younger than 55
989-758-1765
810-760-2030
989-758-1405 (fax) 810-760-2032 (fax)
Provides services to reduce disability & maintain functioning due to vision impairment