21 Feb Home Updates, Life Improvements.
All those little annoyances in the house like a narrow doorway or having to kick in the bottom of the garage door because it has become misaligned with the house settling in, can significantly hamper your aging loved ones mobility throughout the home. Fortunately, you can improve the sticky door situation in a weekend and a trip to your local home improvement store.
Here are some ideas to get you started from theseniorlist.com:
Door Knobs – Consider replacing door knobs with door levers. These are simply easier for seniors to open than a traditional round door knob. Internal door hardware is affordable and relatively easy to replace. Entry door locks are more expensive, but won’t necessarily break the bank if you shop around.
Misaligned Doors – When doors are out of alignment, they can rub on the frame and become difficult to open and close. There are a few quick tricks you can try before you resort to re-framing the door.
- If the problem is very minor, you can sometimes just sand the edge of the door that is rubbing. This is permanent and is not recommended if the problem is seasonal or if too much material must be removed.
- Use shims to move the upper or lower hinge out from the door frame slightly. While you may be able to use cardboard or washers to accomplish this, it’s probably better to purchase door shims that are specifically designed for this purpose.
- Another trick is to slightly bend one or both of the door hinge knuckles. Crescent wrenches are frequently used for this, but there are now knuckle bender tools to make it easier.
Keyless Entry Systems – Some seniors have difficulties when using keys. Door locks with combination buttons and remote key fobs are now available. Some of these can even be activated by other remote devices such as cell phones or security systems.
While these are all great improvements for the doors themselves, don’t forget to address the lighting near your doorways. For example, motion detectors can automatically turn on the lights when approaching the door. This will free up both hands for opening the door, carrying groceries or even stability. Now all you need is a friendly welcome mat!
Find more ideas to improve mobility in the home here.