Parkinson Disease: Home Safety

Man holding rolled-up area rug, talking to woman with cane.

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 doctor may also recommend 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.

  • Get a cordless or speakerphone. Program numbers for family and emergency services.

  • Make sure rooms are well lit. Install nightlights along walkways.

  • If “freezing” at doorways is a problem, consider placing lines of tape on the floor between rooms. Stepping over the tape may prompt you to keep moving.

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 particular needs and plan.

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

  • Install a hand-held 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 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 doctor. He or she may recommend 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 are alone, you'll have a way to get help.