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Hinged rod attachment used to lift door handle from wheelchair level

Back Door Locking Mechanism

  • Gerry Van Hee
  • York
  • 4052 - YO22/1238
  • Complete

Our client is now wheelchair bound and cannot use the upvc door from the garage to the back garden as she cannot reliably lock it. As a consequence, she has stopped using her back garden as she is too worried that she cannot lock the door again.

The Challenge

Our client lives alone and uses an electric wheelchair both indoors and out. She cannot lock the back door to the garden due to her severe arthritis and lack of strength in her shoulders, arms and hands. As a result, she has stopped going into the back garden as she is too worried that she cannot lock the back door again.

The back door to the garden is in the garage which has been modified to allow full wheelchair access. However, the door handle is at a standard level and now is too high to be operated from wheelchair level. The critical point is the need to push the handle fully up to allow the key to be turned to lock the door.

An additional point was the need to be able to pull the door closed from the wheelchair position as the door swung fully open and out of reach. Our client currently happily uses a traditional walking stick to hook the handle and draw it in.

The solution

York volunteer, William Burbidge, constructed a hinged-rod made from aluminum extrusion and connected it to the door handle. The vertical part of the hinged-rod was long enough to allow the handle to be operated from wheelchair level. The rod needs to be pushed up sufficiently to set the door so the key can be turned to lock it. To help our client, the white tape marker on the door indicates how high the rod should be pushed to get correct locking operation.

The rod is connected to the door handle using a 3D printed shaped form which encapsulates and secures itself on to the existing handle. The shaped form also supports a wooden draw handle which our client uses to pull the door closed using the same old walking stick.

The whole mechanism is non-invasive and can be removed from the door without any damage or lasting effect.

The benefit

Our client is now confident enough to go out into and enjoy her back garden, assured in the knowledge that she can close and lock the back door safely at the end.

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