How can I make entryways more accessible?

To make entryways more accessible, have at least 18 to 24 inches of free space on the side that the door opens. Be sure that any screen or storm door is hinged on the same side and opens the same way as the main door, or just remove that extra barrier.

Add a bench or package shelf outside exterior doors. A shelf will also give you a place to set purses, briefcases, and packages so that you do not have to work around them as you try to unlock or open the door. If you have room, a bench inside is also nice; it offers a place to set things or to sit down to remove shoes and boots.

Add a door-closing device. Once you are through the door, does your wheelchair, walker, or scooter make it difficult to reach the door knob and pull the door closed? You could tie a cord or rope around the door knob and fasten it to a hook mounted at a location that you can reach. Or, if you prefer something a little nicer looking, the E-Z Pull Door Closer is an inexpensive solution that is durable, flexible, and almost invisible. Designed by a paraplegic, one end hooks around the door knob, while the other end slips into a holder on the door where it is easy to reach and gives you good leverage for pulling the door closed. You can also remove the puller and take it with you to use on other doors while you are away from home.

Electric door openers provide maximum independence. On the expensive side, however, if you are unable to turn keys or open or close doors, opening your door with a remote control or keypad, like you see in public buildings with accessible access, may be the only solution. And when you are inside, you can open the door using a remote control, “buzzing” in your guests, just like you might at an apartment entry. These devices can also be fitted with pressure-sensitive mats or whisper devices for people with severe disabilities.
Home Accessibility (300 Tips for Making Life Easier)

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Home Accessibility (300 Tips for Making Life Easier)

Written by the best-selling author of Multiple Sclerosis: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier and Parkinson's Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier, Home Accessibility: 300 Tips for Making Life...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.