If you have arthritis, that can make everything about your life harder, and the challenge even extends to opening doors. If you want to make life a little bit easier, you may want to consider modifying the design of your door handles or making other changes. Here are some tips to consider.
1. Add Knob Grips
There are several different rubber grips you can add to both knobs and levers. Typically, made of soft rubber, these grips enlarge and soften the door handle, making it easier to grab even if you can't make a tight fist. You can get these add-ons through online distributors, or you can sometimes make your own with a bit of foam.
2. Switch Knobs to Levers
If you don't like the look of rubber door grips, you may want to put in new door handles. In most cases, levers are easier to manage, if you have arthritis, than knobs. That's because you can use many levers by just pressing them up or down, without needing to grip them. The gripping and twisting needed for knobs can be hard.
3. Use Coded Locks Instead of Keys
In some cases, you may be able to manage the door handle, but the lock troubles you. Small keys can be particularly hard to manage if you're having a flare up. To save your hands the effort, consider putting in electronic locks with codes instead of using keyed locks. You may want to look for keypads that have large buttons to make punching in the code easier.
4. Look Into Arthritis Handles
Arthritis handles may also be something to consider. These handles don't replace traditional door handles. Instead, you can add these adaptive handles to a door with its existing handle in place.
These handles look like large plastic hooks. You slip one part of your hand in the handle and pull the door toward you. There's no need to bend your fingers or do any gripping or twisting. In this same vein, any door handles that allow you to slip your hand in and pull can work well if you have arthritis.
5. Remember Doors and Cupboards
Finally, if you're thinking about replacing or modifying some of the door handles in your home, remember not to just focus on the doors. You may also want to replace drawer and cupboard handles as well. Keep in mind the same tips as discussed above.