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Stay at Home Solutions blogs on topics such as aging in place, universal design, adaptive equipment, home modifications, accessibility, durable medical equipment, legislation, and caregiving.

How to Gain up to Two Inches to Access Interior Doors

My grandfather lives in a ranch house built in the 1950s. He alternates using a front-wheeled walker and four wheeled walker inside the house for mobility. The bathroom door connected to his bedroom would not allow him to use either walker to get in and out of the bathroom because the door width was too narrow. This lead to an increase risk of Grandpa falling because he had nothing to stabilize his balance while walking in and out of the bathroom. We did not want to remove the bathroom door because it provides privacy for him.

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Grandpa's front-wheeled walker is more narrow than the four wheeled walker at 20 and 1/2 inches. He only needed an additional 1 and 1/2 inches to fully open the bathroom door in order to use his walker to enter and exit the bathroom. I ordered two off-set hinges from National Hardware (see link below) off of Amazon for $40.12. We removed the two regular door hinges from the bathroom door and replaced it with the two off-set hinges with NO further alterations to the door or door frame. (If you look at the pictures below, you will notice markings on the door frame for the hinge. The previous owner had modified the bathroom door from swinging inward to swinging outward.) This lead to the bathroom door opening an extra 1 and 1/2 inches that we needed for Grandpa to walk in and out of the bathroom with his walker. 

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Now, Grandpa's risk of falling is reduced! The price of the off-set hinges pales in comparison to an ER visit and hospitalization caused by a fall then injury. Grandpa maintains his privacy with his bathroom door and is more independent with moving in and out of the bathroom with the walker. This easy fix is a win-win for Grandpa and my family! We all have more peace of mind.

Simple solutions like these help people remain in their home and age in place. Please contact me to help you determine what simple solutions will work for you or a family member.