Parkinson Disease: Home Safety

Man holding rolled-up area rug, talking to woman with cane.
Removing throw rugs can help prevent trips and falls.

As Parkinson disease progresses, home safety will be an increasing concern. This page includes tips that can help make your daily life safer and easier. Your healthcare provider may also advise a therapist to advise you on the best ways to set up your home.

Setting up living spaces

Get help from family and friends to make these changes:

  • Keep walkways open and free of clutter.

  • Move phone and electrical cords out of the way.

  • Remove throw rugs to prevent trips.

  • Have floors that are nonskid. Avoid floors with too many patterns.

  • Get a cellphone, cordless phone, or speakerphone. Program in the numbers for family and emergency services.

  • Make sure all furniture is sturdy.

  • Use chairs that have arm rests and that don't swivel. Choose chair heights that make standing easier.

  • Wear well-fitting, nonslip shoes.

  • Make sure rooms are well-lit. Install nightlights along walkways. Adjust blinds and shades to reduce glare.

  • Think about placing lines of tape on the floor between rooms. Stepping over the tape may prompt you to keep moving, if freezing at doorways is a problem.

  • Put smoke alarms in all rooms, including the bathroom and kitchen.

Setting up the bathroom

Use the tips below to make changes to your bathroom. Medicare or insurance may help cover the costs of some of these items, depending on your needs and plan.

  • Have grab bars put in the shower or tub for support getting in and out.

  • Install a handheld showerhead for easier bathing.

  • Raise the height of the toilet with a commode chair or elevated toilet seat.

  • Use a rubber-backed bath mat to help prevent slips and falls.

  • Buy a shower seat with a back to make bathing safer and less tiring.

Preventing falls

Parkinson symptoms make falls more likely. Safety improvements around the house can help. But if you start having frequent falls, talk to your provider. They may advise physical therapy. This helps you learn the safest ways to move around. If needed, your therapist may also teach you how to use a cane or walker. Consider buying a life line so that if you do fall while you're alone, you'll have a way to get help.

Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph Campellone MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2021
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.