Did you know that 60% of people living with Parkinson’s are likely to have at least one fall per year, with 39% falling frequently?

It’s a real risk that comes with the progressive disease, and it makes it critical that a home is as safe as possible. 

This blog looks at home adaptations that minimise hazards in the home for people living with Parkinson’s.

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease And Fall Risks

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects at least 1% of the over 60’s in the UK. 

There are over 40 symptoms of the condition, meaning every individual experiences the disease differently. For some people, the condition can take many years to develop into something that heavily impacts daily life, but for others, it may progress much faster. 

Along with the tremors and muscle stiffness typical of the illness, Parkinson’s disease also affects movement and balance, and this can significantly increase the risk of falls. For example, people with Parkinson’s can develop abnormal posture and asymmetric gait and can even get ‘stuck’ and become temporarily unable to move. 

As well as being more likely to fall, individuals living with Parkinson’s also have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, meaning they have weaker bones that are more prone to fracturing and breaking.

The high correlation between Parkinson’s disease and falling carries both physical and emotional impacts. Let’s take a closer look. 

Physical Impacts

When someone falls, they are at serious risk of injury. These can include cuts, abrasions, bruises, fractures and broken bones.

As well as the pain that goes hand in hand with a fall, injuries can worsen balance and create an even greater risk of future falls. Independence levels may also be hindered while the individual recovers.

Emotional Impacts

Not trusting your body and developing a fear of falling is a very real and very debilitating occurrence among Parkinson’s patients. 

Individuals living with Parkinson’s disease may experience a loss of confidence and become socially isolated, sometimes not wanting to leave the house. 

A fear of falling in itself creates a higher risk of accidents and can lead to severe anxiety and depression. 

All of these factors combined make fall prevention a top priority when considering the homes of people with Parkinson’s.

Making A Safe Haven

Plenty can be done with fall prevention in mind. Some are simple changes that can be made yourself, while other home adaptations will require the expertise of professional contractors.

We’ll tackle each room of the house in turn. 

Living Room

Removing clutter minimises obstacles that could cause trips and falls. This includes loose cables.

Another wise move is to secure or remove rugs and carpets. To secure a floor covering, use non-slip mats or double-sided tape underneath to prevent it from slipping around. If the living room features laminate flooring, consider swapping this out for something with texture for better grip. 

Another home adaptation that enhances the safety of the living room is improving the lighting in the area. Install brighter lights to aid ageing eyes, LED strips or spotlights to highlight important areas, and motion lights to reduce the need to locate and manipulate light switches. 


Install grab rails near the bathtub, toilet, and shower to provide support while using the facilities. People with Parkinson’s can become unsteady on their feet and may need to pull or lean on the rails to help them.

For safe bathing, consider the simple home adaptation of a shower seat. This means the user can rest while bathing instead of standing for long periods. Changing from a traditional shower cubicle to a level-access shower is also advisable, as this removes the trip hazard of the shower tray.. 

Minimising Home Hazards for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease


Fall prevention is important in every room of the house.

In the bedroom, ensure the bed is of appropriate height and has easy entry and exit. 75% of people with Parkinson’s report having difficulty sleeping, so making the bed as accessible as possible can help. Electric, adjustable beds help the user stand, sit and find a comfortable position and reduces the risk of someone falling or straining as they get in and out of bed.

Rather than travelling to the bathroom in the dark, consider adding a commode to the room. Navigating dark rooms and locating light switches is an accident waiting to happen. 

An easy home adaptation to install in the bedroom is assistive rails, which can be added to both sides of the bed for additional support in getting in and out. 

Efficient lighting is crucial here, too. In addition to the main ceiling light, touch lamps require far less dexterity to operate, and motion sensor nightlights go a step further for fall prevention in the darkness.


Minimising hazards in the kitchen is crucial to keeping people with Parkinson’s safe from harm.

Store frequently used items within easy reach to avoid stressing the body by reaching for them. Reaching and twisting can tip someone off balance easily and cause a fall. Installing drop-down baskets in wall-mounted cupboards helps with this.

Bring in a kettle tipper or hot water tap for convenience and to prevent users from having to lift heavy kettles and saucepans – especially ones full of boiling water. 

When it comes to the sink and taps, think about swapping in a shallow sink with lever taps. Deep sinks can be tricky to reach down into, and regular taps require a level of dexterity that will become more difficult as the disease progresses.

Rest Of The Home

Getting in and out of the home safely is of prime importance for people living with Parkinson’s. Uneven ground and steps or stairs can present trip hazards. Instead, consider installing an access ramp. 

Access ramps with handrails enable users to gain support while entering or exiting a property. Several types are available, from temporary ramps that fold up for storage to modular aluminium ramps that can be erected and taken down quickly. 

Steps and stairs inside the home can also be a problem. Many families choose to introduce a stairlift to aid in fall prevention whilst getting from one floor to another.

Spending time outside and staying active is important for physical and mental well-being. As well as making sure the ground is flat and free of debris, the addition of raised planters can provide an accessible leisure activity for people with reduced mobility. 

Significantly Adapting A Home

We’ve covered minor home adaptations, but for some, there is a need for more significant changes. 

Perhaps a family member is moving in, or using the stairs is becoming too difficult for someone living at home. Or maybe you’re thinking ahead and making advanced changes before symptoms worsen.

Wider Doorways

Standard UK doorways aren’t wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walking aid. Widening doorways improves access and aids fall prevention by providing enough space. The process takes around 2 hours and must be carried out by a professional.

Creating A Groundfloor Bedroom Or Living Space

When someone’s symptoms become more debilitating, it’s not unusual for a family to choose to build an extension to accommodate a ground-floor bedroom with an en-suite. Living downstairs with all necessary facilities within easy reach can improve independence and reduce the risk of falls. 

In other situations, it might make more sense to adapt an existing room instead. Whilst this doesn’t always provide easy access to a bathroom, a temporary shower and toilet pod can be installed to create an en-suite experience. 

Temporary shower pods are 100% waterproof structures that can be erected in a single day to give users more independence and privacy when bathing and toileting in the home environment. Read more about them here


Renovating a bathroom and turning it into a waterproofed wetroom reduces the risk of slips and falls, making it safer and promoting independence in personal care.

Wetroom features that can help with fall prevention include:

  • Grab rails for additional support
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Shower seats 
  • Wall-hung accessible toilets
  • Modular sinks
  • Lever taps.

Getting Help With Home Adaptations

Beginning the journey of adapting to your home can be daunting, but there is plenty of support available. 

Finding Financial Support

Your Local Authority will be able to help with changes under £1,000, and there are grants such as the Disability Facilities Grant to help cover the cost of major adaptations. 

For more information about funding adaptations, read our blog on the topic. 

Online Information

Parkinson’s UK is a charity that focuses on research and support for individuals and families living with Parkinson’s in the United Kingdom.

As well as an informative and easy-to-navigate website, Parkinson’s UK provides telephone and in-person support for many people, providing a rich community for people who need a friendly ear.

Specialist Contractors 

Home adaptation contractors are experts in making properties more accessible and enhancing the lives of people with reduced mobility. They have a lot of experience working with the sensitive nature of medical diagnosis and work quickly and efficiently to make your property safer. 

Minimise Home Hazards To Prevent Falls 

Living with Parkinson’s comes with many challenges, but reducing hazards in the home minimises fall risks and increases independence.

Does someone you know have Parkinson’s? Looking for simple changes you can make straight away? See our website to find out more about us.