If you have followed along, you will remember Beth, an active, 89-year-old woman lives alone in her one level town-home. She has lived alone for many years and has a good support network of family and friends from church. Beth is John’s cousin and they talk weekly. John has mentioned their search for a home to age in place and Beth has mentioned she has no intention of moving or spending her retirement on a pricey remodel. She likes her town-home and, except for a few inconvenient nuisances, she is pretty content.
Beth has noticed that opening her doors has gotten a little harder lately and she doesn’t have the strength she once had. It sometimes hampers even everyday tasks like opening and closing her front door.
Beth’s door knob looks like the one shown. It is a basic contractor grade round door knob and dead bolt.
She mentioned her struggle to her nephew and she would like to look for some new handles that would be easier to open. They decided on their next outing together, they would visit the big box store and see what was available.
While looking at the many styles and finishes available, a nice clerk came over and asked if she could help them find something. Beth explained how her current door knob is getting harder to open and asked if there was something else that would work better.
The clerk took Beth and her nephew to a display and said, “Try this one and see what you think.”
Beth placed her hand on a lever-style handle and easily pushed it down to open. “This is much easier,” she exclaimed. She had her nephew try it also, “See, isn’t it better?”
The clerk replied, “Isn’t it great? I bought one like this just because it is easier to open when I have my child in my arms or even a bag of groceries. I love it.”
Beth asked if it was hard to install and her nephew piped in and said, “I can change that out for you Beth.”
The clerk said, “You have a variety of choices of lever door knobs, not just this one. There are all kinds from plain to very ornate. They all work the same way.”
Beth felt like a kid in a candy store. There were all kinds of finishes and styles, some with curves and others that were straight. She decided she wanted to change out all of her door knobs to handles. “Why not? I ‘m not getting any younger you know! I’m 89,” she whispered to the sales clerk.
Her nephew got a twinkle in his eye. “So, I’m guessing you want me to change out all of these?”
“Well, if you wouldn’t mind,” she said. “Or I could get my handyman to do it.”
“Oh Beth, I don’t mind, but you do realize this means we are going to have to order Chinese take-out from your favorite spot. All this work is going to make me hungry.”
They decided how many they needed and thanked the sales clerk. The sales clerk smiled and exclaimed, “Chinese food sounds yummy! I might have to do that myself after work.”
As they sat eating their Chinese food Beth thanked her nephew for installing her new door levers. “I really like the ones we chose. These are easy to take hold of and I don’t have to twist my wrist. Thank you for your help.”
Stay tuned as we continue to follow Beth as she makes her home safer and more comfortable without the major remodel or relocating that some of her friends and relatives are having to do.
- How-To: Replace a Doorknob (casasugar.com)
- What Are Some Easy Adaptations in the Kitchen if Aging In Place? (aechurba.wordpress.com)