(Please print this page for your personal safe keeping)

Throughout The Home

  • Make sure you adequately assess the individuals needs in providing the safest precautions in the home.
  • Are electrical cords and extensions properly plugged in and safely out of the walking areas? Are the extension cords over loaded?
  • Are there smoke detectors in the rooms and loaded with fresh batteries? Have you discussed safety routes for escape in case of fire?
  • Is the home well lit inside and out?
  • Are there night lights in the hallways, stairwells, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens?
  • Is there a gas sniffer installed to prevent problems with inhalation?
  • Is it necessary to install ramps at doors and stairs if needed?
  • Are there door knobs with lever style handles for easier handling?
  • Are electric heaters placed away from curtains, rugs and furnishings?
  • Are fireplace chimneys clear of accumulation and checked yearly?
  • Are there light switches at the top and the bottom of the stairs?
  • Are the light switches located near the entrances to each room or area?
  • Are the stairwells well lit and free of clutter and objects?
  • Are stairways marked for visibility with a contrasting tape?
  • Are the steps uniform in size and height?
  • Are the stair handrails sturdy?
  • Are linoleum, tiles, carpeting, stair treads and area rugs all secure?
  • Are the carpeted areas free of holes and snags? Are they securely fastened around the edges?
  • Are water temperatures reduced to prevent scalding?
  • Are there rope ladders available on the upper floor levels?
  • Is the furnace checked yearly?
  • Does room furniture placement permit easy access to doors and windows? Are the rooms free of clutter?
  • Do all doors, drawers and windows open and close with ease?
  • Are the windows and door locks working properly for ease in operation.
  • Is there a first aid kit which contains up-to-date supplies?
  • Do the utilities have a notification program whereby if an elderly person fails to pay their bill on time, someone is notifed to prevent the cut off of the service?
  • Are stairs and steps painted with a non skid paint?
  • Is it possible to confine the living area or adapt it to a single floor?
  • Is it necessary to remove entrance floor thresholds for accessibility for wheelchairs and to lessen the opportunity for falling?
  • You may choose to use portable phones that can be carried from room to room rather than having many extensions. Make sure the batteries are operating properly and are fresh.
  • Make sure to provide adequate heating with extra portable heaters in the winter and fans or airconditioning in the hotter months.
  • Check the insulation and repair if necessary for the winter.
  • Install lever handles on all doors and faucets.
  • Check to make sure all bookshelves are stable so that they do not topple.
  • Keep an extra key in case you are locked out of the home.
  • If there is any doubt of your loved one’s capabilities while living alone, sign up with an alarm notification service for a necklace that they can wear wear to notify the police.


  • Ms. Mitchell began her full-time caregiving experience in the early eighties when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Later on she became the primary caregiver for her father, along with her mother who had become critically ill from burnout prior to her dad’s passing. In recent years, she cared for several friends with AIDS while continuing to care for her mother and actively providing support, information, referrals and resources for caregivers.

    Gail's leadership on the Internet and her success with Empowering Caregivers led her to found National Organization For Empowering Caregivers (NOFEC) INC in 2001.

    Prior to founding NOFEC, she created the iVillageHealth Chat: Empowering Caregivers, which she hosted for over 5 years. Within a month of hosting she created Empowering Caregivers: www.care-givers.com in 1999 as a resource for caregivers around the globe. Over three million visitors have frequented the website.

    She has presented at national and international care-related conferences and programs and has been a keynote speaker for many programs as well.

    Ms Mitchell has assisted thousands of caregivers online and offline in ways to empower themselves in their roles in caring for loved ones.

    For a list of clients and/or her resume, please contact info@care-givers.com

    Gail's articles have been published in many venues nationally and in Canada. Presently, she is a member of American Society on Aging and National Quality Caregivers Coalition.

    Gail has discovered that there is life after caregiving: She has become a successful ceramic artist and installation artist. She created Crystal Illumination Art to bring the transformative quality of illumination, light and color to the human experience and celebrate its ability to inspire, heal and nourish our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.