Tips to help seniors live independently at home

(AP) - There are many low-cost things that can be done to help seniors live independently their homes for longer periods of time.

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 step stool with a hand rail, not a chair.

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

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

_Use a raised toilet seat, which can add 2 inches 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 "reacher" that grabs hard-to-reach items.

_Carry a portable 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 functional ability.

_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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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