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How to open a door from a scooter?

Hi, I was wondering if anyone could offer any advice. When I go out on my mobility scooter, I have problems closing and opening the front door. To go out, I have to swivel the seat round so I’m facing backwards, lean out and grab hold of the letterbox then pull the door towards me. As we’ve got a UPVC door, I then have to pull the door handle up before I can try to get my key in the keyhole and lock up. I’ve then got to swivel the seat round again and get my legs back on the scooter before I can head off. When I get back, I drive up to the front door but am too far back because of the steering column to be able to reach the door handle. Theoretically, I could raise the steering column and move forward so that I could lean out and reach the handle, but I can’t always do that because of fatigue. I’ve got some events coming up at my son’s school which means I’m going to have to lock up and get back in again unaided. How has anyone else got around this? Thanks in advance, Heather

Hi Heather, it is a problem.

If you are able to get off the scooter that is the simplest solution.

For doors that swing closed I carry a rubber wedge to hold them open.

A wheelchair using friend had a remote locking system for his door, so at touch of button the door opened and then he could lock it with touch of button. No idea where he got it or how much it cost though (and no longer in touch with him).

Try googling ‘remote lock for doors’ or something like that.

But if you are able to get off it’s the best way. I always carry a folding walking stick as well so I can get off scooter… often handy for going into small shops that I can’t get scooter in.

Hope that helps,

Pat x

Hi, Thanks for your reply. I can’t get up from the scooter. Everything has to be done from a seated position. Inside, I park the scooter at the bottom of the stairs and pull myself up to standing using the bannister. When I’ve been sitting for a while I tend to stiffen up. I also suffer a lot from fatigue, particularly heat fatigue. If I go anywhere sunny, I’m done for. I asked my MS Nurse for some ideas, and she mentioned the remote locking, but said it was only available on the NHS to those who were very disabled. Heather

Well Heather not being able to get off of scooter IS very disabled… (sorry love I know none of us like to think like that… but what does she mean by VERY disabled… unable to move!)

The friend I had who had remote locking was unable to walk due to spinal injury… but in every other way he was perfectly ok… not ill like with MS.

Ask you GP to refer you to OT and they will come and see you and make suggestions… and hopefully you will get the remote locking on the NHS!

Hope so!

Pat x

Hi, An OT Assistant came out to the house to see what adaptions could be made. It seems nearly everything is means tested, and although she couldn’t tell me what the current limits are, I suspect I’m not eligible as my husband works. She sent me a leaflet on a contractor they use to do various building adaptations, as you can apparently pick-and-mix what services they provide. She also gave me a leaflet about Lifeline which is an alert service connected to your phone incase you have a fall. I think an OT is due to come out at some point. I’ve done a bit of research on remote locking for doors, but all I’m tending to find is security stuff for buildings. Does anyone know the proper name for what I’m after so I can do a more accurate search? Failing that, I’ll have to get back to the OT Assistant and see if she can provide details of who they normally get to do it. Thanks for your replies. Heather

Hi, I googled ‘door locks for disabled people’ and got a lot of links.

Here’s one but take a look at others too:

http://www.easylinkuk.co.uk/page94.html

Pat x

Hi Heather, if you could get a simple self closer and a Yale lock fitted,as it sounds like you’ve got a Dead Lock at the moment,you might be able to to the following.

Open the door and wedge it.Reverse out through the door,park, then pull the wedge out with the string which is cunningly attached to the wedge, the bulk of which is in a tin etc hanging from the handle that you collect on the way out.If the self closer is adjusted correctly it will shut the door.

Upon your return you bump up to the door,open it with a part turn of the key and push through it with the scooter…or…if you have the strength wedge it open with a wedge on a stick etc,then remove this once you are in

Any contractor should be able to come up with a solution along these lines.I’ve been doing it for 18 months, and haven’t got the £1000 to have an automatic system fitted.The Council refuse to help 'cos it is a privately owned block of flats and there is no money in the kitty

Good luck,

Wb

Thanks for the suggestions. The OT Assistant phoned on Friday so I was able to quiz her about it, so she’s adding it to the list as she presents my case this week. However, remote locks I’d found on the Internet were for wooden doors and our front door is one of those UPVC multi-point locking jobbies. In the meantime, she’s ordering me a raised toilet seat and a shower chair. Whey-hey! Heather