Seniors | Inexpensive ways to stay safe at home

Many low-cost things can be done to help you live independently and safely in your home well into old age.

Some tips from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and AARP:

Wear nonslip shoes, not slippers, in the house.

Avoid area rugs or use double-sided tape to hold them in place.

If you must climb, use a sturdy stepstool with a handrail, not a chair.

Place everyday items, including cooking items, in easy-to-reach places.

Sit to cook if possible. Keep the microwave low enough to reach.

Use a raised toilet seat, which can add 2 to 5 inches without replacing the toilet.

Place nonskid safety strips in the tub, and use a tub bench or shower chair.

Install grab bars in the bathroom or, if that’s not possible, a safety rail can be clamped onto the side of the tub.

Railings on both sides make stairs easier.

Look for tools such as a button hook/zip pull or a “grabber” for hard-to-reach items.

Carry a portable phone or cellphone around the house in case of a fall or other emergency.

Consider a home assessment from an occupational therapist who can tailor suggestions to your needs.

When remodeling, AARP suggests consulting a certified aging-in-place specialist, a program of the National Association of Home Builders that designates contractors, remodelers and others who are trained in modifying homes for the elderly. — ap