Turning a round door knob can be an impossible task for people with weak hand grip. That was how I got trapped twice in the same accessible toilet at the Penang International Airport a few years ago. Since then, I have a phobia of using toilets with such knobs affixed to the door.
Most of the doors in the house have round knobs, too. I should replace all the knobs with levers but never got around to doing it. That was why the bedroom doors were seldom closed. I was afraid I could not turn the knob to open them.
Door knob extender for people with weak hand grip.
The other solution, short of replacing the knob, is to install adaptive devices called the door knob extender or door knob turner to the knob. These devices make it convenient for people with weak grips to turn the knob by way of a lever. They are difficult to find in Malaysia. A lot of online stores carry such items but they are rather expensive.
A few weeks ago, while I was browsing at the newly-opened Daiso at 1 Utama, I found a door knob extender for RM5 only. All items at Daiso are priced at RM5. What I like about this extender is that it is easy to attach and remove. All that is need to slot it into a knob and turn. My only gripe is that the lever is rather flimsy as it is hollow.
Door knob turner for people with weak hand grip.
When I went to Daiso again, they had run out of that particular device but had another that was smaller. I bought one to see if I could actually use it because it looked a tad too small for a comfortable grip. After attaching it to the door, I found that it has a more solid feel to it and provided a better grip despite its size. This one is going into my wheelchair bag for those accessible public toilets that still use the round door knobs.
Technology brings welcome relief to people like me who have lost functional use of our limbs. My legs are extremely weak. My arms are strong. My hand function is limited. I use a wheelchair for mobility. Answering the phone while on the move was not an option. I needed both hands to propel the wheelchair. Multitasking was an impossibility.
A tiny device such as the bluetooth headet has done wonders to my freedom while I am out and about. It allows me to answer the phone while I am driving. I need both hand to drive – the right for the steering wheel and the left for the accelerator and brake.
The first bluetooth headset I had was the I-Tech Clip II Mini. It was wired. I had problem clipping it to my clothes as I have lost the opposable thumb function. Wuan had to clip it on for me. After a period of use, the wire of the Clip II Mini has stiffened. It no longer allowed the earphone to fit snugly to my ear anymore.
I bought the Jabra BT2035 bluetooth headset for RM88 last weekend while we were at the Mid Valley Megamall. It was to replace the existing one. This unit is more convenient than the Clip II Mini as all I have to do is to plug the device to my ear and then I am good to go. There were no wires whatsoever.
I relish the freedom of being able to use my hands for something else while I am chatting on the phone. I thank the innovative people who come out with such solutions. This and a lot of other simple but affordable devices have made life easier for people like me.