Media Release


Home Safety Targeted in Baby Boomers Renovation


Homesafe Group

On average falls killed four people a day over the age of 75 in 2011 with trend to increase.*


Baby boomers undertaking home renovations have been urged to think twenty years ahead and design in safety for old age to prevent accidents and protect their ability to remain in their own home.

Homesafe Group Managing Director, Robert Caulfield said a recently released report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, shows that deaths from falls of people over 75 is more than the national road toll, with 83,000 people over the age of 65 attended hospital due to a fall in 2009/ 2010, spending on average 15.5 days in hospital.

On average falls killed four people a day over the age of 75 in 2011, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released in March 2013, a fourfold increase from the 2002 figures of 365.

"This area is a gap in the national political debate in the lead up to the Federal Election where everyone is focused on the Budget and cutting costs, there is no national awareness campaign of significance that aims to prevent accidents in the home of our elderly, despite the huge cost to the Health Budget and the suffering of over 83,000 people over 75 every year who are hospitalised."

Mr. Caulfield said, "The Homesafe Group, which has been formed by a consortium of Architects working in collaboration with Kidsafe and the Monash University Accident Research Centre, is targeting the reduction of preventable injury in the home by providing low cost architect designed renovation concepts to cope with a growing trend in an ageing population.

"The home is the most likely location for a fall, accounting for 49 per cent of cases, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This is a direct target for the Homesafe Inspection and Design Program, both to remove hazards in existing homes and also to ensure people renovating include safety in the design of new home renovations."

Mr. Caulfield said that on a financial level, the cost of accidents in the home has a substantial impact on hospital budgets and also on the victims themselves, which can lead to the loss of independence. Many are forced to leave their homes following a fall because the injuries are so severe.

"Home safety design does not add cost nor does it compromise design integrity, but it can save lives- there is no worse situation than seeing your loved ones injured in your own home, later realising that it could have been prevented.

"Typical home safety features include redesigned stairs, toddler proof doors, low maintenance roofs and gutters, non slip surfaces and safety lighting.

"Baby Boomers renovating their homes can take out a 'design Insurance policy' at the planning stage of their renovation which can often save them money, increase safety and the value of their home when it is sold.

"Given the ageing population and the increasing number of older people who will be in danger of falling, 'Safety in Design' will become a key consideration, especially when it can be achieved at no extra cost at the design and planning stage of a home renovation."

Mr. Caulfield said careful planning at the design stage can also provide older home renovators with the opportunity to avoid renovation cost blow outs and develop an economically viable renovation through both choice of materials and project management.

The Homesafe Group has a comprehensive renovation cost guide on the website at

*Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Media Communications, Homesafe Group - Mobile: 0417 329 201