As we age, it becomes increasingly important to make our homes as comfortable and safe as possible. One way to do this is by installing lever door handles instead of traditional round doorknobs. These handles have many benefits for older adults, especially for those who experience uncomfortable symptoms of arthritis in the hands.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of lever door handles, which options may be best to meet one’s specific needs, and what to know before installing them into the home.
Which Type of Door Handle is Easiest to Use For Those with Arthritis?
Although there are a variety of door handles that can improve accessibility around the home, our top recommendation for someone trying to ease arthritis symptoms would be to install lever door handles throughout the home.
Installing these handles is not only simple but an inexpensive way to make aging at home more comfortable for someone who may be experiencing severe muscle pain. Plus, not only are they easier for those with arthritis or limited grip strength to use, but lever handles can also be operated with a forearm or elbow eliminating the need to overexert hand muscles.
Benefits of Lever Door Handles
There are many benefits of lever door handles. This includes:
- Easier grip
- Easier to turn
- More stylish
Easier to Grip
Perhaps the most important benefit of lever door handles is that they are much easier to grip than traditional round doorknobs. Lever handles, designed with a larger and longer handle, require less dexterity to operate which can eliminate the challenge of needing to use one’s entire hand to grasp the handle. This can be an important feature for those with arthritis or other conditions that affect the hands.
Easier to Turn
Another benefit of lever door handles is that they offer a wider range of motion and surface area than traditional doorknobs. This can be a real life-saver for those who have difficulty with dexterity. Lever door handles take less effort to turn and can even be turned with an elbow or a wrist.
Lever door handles can also be a good choice for anyone who is looking for a more stylish option than traditional doorknobs. Lever handles come in a variety of styles and finishes, so it’s easy to find one that fits a particular taste or home style.
What Are the Best Door Levers for Adults With Arthritis?
There are many different lever door handles available, but it’s important to note that some handles ares officially are designed for those with arthritis, coming with features that may be important depending on one’s level of discomfort and specific symptoms.
The best lever door handles for older adults with arthritis are those that can be operated with a light touch. Some lever door handles also have a built-in locking mechanism that can be released with a thumb lever, making them even more convenient.
If you’re considering what make and model to implement into the home we highly recommend Schlage’s Latitude Door Lever.
- Includes a privacy function for when locking may be desired
- Built from metal to provide extra durability
- Available in multiple finishes and styles
Another option you might consider, if you don’t want to fully replace the door handles throughout the home is to implement what is known as a door knob extender.
This rubberized product is specifically designed for those with arthritis and eliminates the need to replace all the knobs throughout the home. If this sounds like a better option, we recommend Impreza’s Rubberized Doorknob Extensions.
- Easily converts a standard 2" - 2.5" doorknobs into accessible handles
- No installation is needed, just simple slip the covers right onto the knobs
- Won’t damage or interfere with the current doorknobs
Interested in working with a home safety expert to find the most appropriate solutions for arthritis at home? Click the link to schedule a 1:1 home safety checkup.
Installing a Lever Door Handle
Although we recommend you consult a home improvements installer before installing lever door handles at home, we realize that many people may want to handle the product assembly on their own. If this is the case, here are a few tips to help.
To remove the old handle:
- Make sure to always place a doorstop so that the door does not move.
- Find the screws holding the handle in place. Exterior doors may also have a pressure release.
- Using a screwdriver, remove the screws and take off the old handle.
- Find the screws holding the latch in place. Remove them, and take out the old latch.
To install the new handle:
- Ensure the new handle and latch are approximately the same size and will fit into the space provided by the previous handle. Door handle latches come in standard sizes, but older homes may not be standard. If it needs adjustment, you can use a chisel to alter the opening in the door.
- Reattach the new latch and screw it into place.
- Line up the new handle with the screw holes. Secure it in place by screwing it tight.
- Check to make sure the handle is level, and reattach the pressure release if needed.
How Much Does It Cost To Install?
Installing a lever door handle is a relatively inexpensive project that can make a big difference for older adults. As mentioned above, the majority of the time all you need is a screwdriver and a few minutes of time. Though if you're still unsure about which lever door handle to choose or concerned about proper installation, you can always work with Jukebox Health to get your questions answered. We’re happy to help.
Lever door handles are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons. They are easier to grip, easier to turn, and come in a variety of stylish finishes. They are a great option to support aging at home and are one of our top recommended products for those who are currently living at home with arthritis. These handles and many other home modifications are designed to help ease some of the common arthritis symptoms.
And if you're interested in learning more about lever door handles or other home modifications the Jukebox Health Client Care Team is always available.