When it comes to improving home access for seniors, doors are an important area to consider. Improperly maintained doors can cause difficulties for anyone, but even more so for seniors. This can leave older adults at risk of harm should they need to enter or exit an area quickly. Poor door maintenance can also cause fall risks for seniors who try to force open or close a door. Here are some tips for improving door accessibility.
- Doorknobs: Consider replacing traditional round doorknobs for door levers. These are easier for older adults to grab.
- Narrow doorways: Narrow doorways can be cumbersome for those who use a walker or wheelchair. One way to remedy this issue is to install “swing clear” hinges. These allow a door to swing completely out of the door opening. This can add needed inches of room.
- Misaligned doors: These can be difficult to open and close and present a clear safety hazard. Door shims can help correct this issue. Another way could be to sand the edge of the door that is rubbing. This is not recommended if a lot of material needs to be removed.
- Garage Doors: Certain garage doors can be difficult to open and close. Most problems related to garage doors can be easily fixed, but it’s best to hire a licensed contractor to fix issues here.