One of the primary limitations for those of us in wheelchairs is a simple daily activity many people take for granted: opening the door. To live independently, you need to be able to open the door, especially when you are by yourself and need to get out of the house to run an errand or simply get some air. You can buy an expensive automatic door opener and pay somebody to put it in, but if you don’t want to rush to that solution just yet, we have some affordable alternatives that will cost you around 25 dollars instead of 25 hundred dollars.

Who can use a manual door opener?

First, let’s be clear. Some people with mobility impairments do need an electronic, button-activated door opener. But often, there are non-electronic solutions that will get the job done for you without emptying your checking account.

Turn knobs and deadbolts

Handy Hook Door Opener

For all-around use by those in wheelchairs, we recommend the one-of-a-kind Handy Hook Door Opener. As you can see in the picture above, it is much like a clothing reacher, but it does so much more. Rest the reacher under the door knob and turn the reacher handle. This makes the door knob reachable from a sitting position and provides increased torque for easily turning the knob.

Also, safety is not forgotten. On the other end of the reacher, on the bottom of the handle, there is a special tool for locking and unlocking deadbolts.

Gain leverage

Door Knob Extender

Another option to make turning the knob easier is the DoorKnob Extender. This is installed simply with a screwdriver and provides extra leverage for those with hand weakness, tremors or arthritis. It is not a reacher tool like the Handy Hook Door Opener, but it does have a handy hole you can tie a cord or string through if you cannot reach the knob.

Gain extra grip

Door Knob Gripper

If you can reach your door knob with no problems but do have problems turning the knob, the DoorKnob Gripper is probably what you want. It is out-of-the-way and simply slips around the knob to give you more gripping power. With the Door Knob Gripper, you won’t have to deal with that slippery door knob anymore.

When one door closes, another one opens. If you’re faced with having to buy an expensive door opener, first consider whether these creative, low-cost solutions will work for you.

© Copyright 2015 The Wright Stuff, Inc. Articles may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from The Wright Stuff, Inc. must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this article.