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Making a home accessible for everyone may seem daunting, but installing the right door and cabinet hardware is an easy first step. Lever-style handles and magnetic latches are just some of the features that can make doors and cabinets easier to access for those with limited mobility, strength, or dexterity. Read on to learn how simple swaps and upgrades to your hardware can remove barriers and boost accessibility.
For many older adults and people with disabilities, seemingly simple tasks like opening doors and cabinets can become difficult or even impossible. Conditions such as arthritis, injuries, and muscle weakness can reduce hand strength and make twisting standard knobs painful.
Mobility issues like the use of a wheelchair can put cabinets out of reach. These challenges lead to dependence on others rather than freedom in one’s own home.
The good news is that accessibility-focused door and cabinet hardware can help alleviate these frustrations. Rather than forcing the user to conform to the design, it works the other way around. Upgrading things like old round doorknobs to lever handles adapts the environment to meet each person’s specific physical needs.
Door and Cabinet Hardware Options
Lever-style handles are one of the most helpful adaptations for doors throughout the home. Requiring only downward pressure to operate, levers are ideal for those lacking hand strength and dexterity. Rather than tightly grasping and twisting, simply push down with wrist, arm, or elbow to easily open doors.
Bar cabinet pulls are also a great ADA-compliant choice, as they provide a large grip surface area to make them easy to use with minimal force. ADA-compliant pulls should provide ample room to wrap fingers around the handle for pulling.
The ideal shape is an oval or rectangle orientated vertically, as this allows the hand to clasp the bar in a natural position. It eliminates the tricky twisting or pinching required by small knobs, making it accessible to all.
Magnetic latches offer another level of accessibility for cabinets and doors. Installing magnets means there is no resistance when opening, so those with limited strength can still operate them with ease. Just a light push releases the magnetic hold, making handles unnecessary.
The beauty of accessible hardware lies in the independence and dignity it provides. Small adaptations to door handles and cabinets allow people to maintain self-reliance in their own homes, avoiding the need to ask for help constantly. Not only does it empower the user, it also reduces stress and strain on caregivers.
Besides making homes easier to maneuver, accessible hardware can also help prevent falls and injuries. It also increases usability for those with visual impairments or arthritis.
At any age or ability level, comfort and independence at home are priceless. Take some time to evaluate the ease of use of your current door and cabinet hardware, especially if you live with an older relative or a family member with limited mobility.
Swapping out a few pieces for more accessible options can make everyday living easier for family members with mobility limitations or conditions like arthritis. The simple act of installing a lever handle instead of a knob can have a profound, positive impact.
At Facets of Lafayette, your local cabinet and door hardware store in Lafayette, LA, we believe that improving accessibility in your home should be simple and affordable. With some minor hardware upgrades from our store, you can remove obstacles and increase ease of access for all members of your household.
Our knowledgeable staff can guide you in choosing the right cabinet pulls, door levers, and other equipment to enable greater independence in your living space.
Come see us at Facets of Lafayette today to find the perfect accessibility solutions to transform your home into a place of possibility for everyone.