Last night I installed a grab handle on the roof joists in the attic. Since my operation, the only way for me to get up into the attic was to drag my cane up the ladder and use it to steady myself when stepping onto the attic floor. It occurred to me that if I had something to grab at the top, I could eliminate the cane.
Went to Home Depot and bought a big handle (like you would use to close a barn door). I broke two drill bits trying to drill through the 50 year old joists. Then, I stripped out the heads of the screws that came with the handle trying to install them.
Finally settled for too-long deck screws (that use a square bit instead of the Phillips head screws) and I put the handle up. I used a hammer to bend over the end of the screws that stuck out the other side of the joist.
I'm good to go!