Automatic door opener: What technology will help my sister, who has limited mobility, open her back door?

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What technology will help my sister, who has limited mobility, open her back door?


My sister has mobility issues, and I was wondering if there was some type of device that can help her with opening her back door (by remote or some other means), so that she can easily let her dog outside?

Our answer

It is very important that individuals with limited mobility be able to open and close their exterior doors easily and confidently. Thankfully, there are a number of products on the market that are designed to make opening and closing residential doors easier. If your sister has difficulty walking and moving within the home or community, you may be interested in knowing about automatic residential door openers or remote control door systems. These systems can range in price from about $200 to $2000 (CDN). Before purchasing an automatic residential door opener, you should make sure that the product you select will work with the specific door type and dimensions. You may also require assistance with the installation. Below are direct links to some products you may wish to explore:

  •  Olide DSW120 Swing Door Opener  by Chinentech Industrial Limited (at Amazon Canada) automatically opens and closes doors with the included wireless remote. This device, which can be installed on most doors, costs about $1000 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees. 
  • Vevor Automatic Door Opener is a residential swing door operator that opens and closes the door at the press of a button. This device costs about $400 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees. 
  • Open Sesame Automated Door Opener Kit (at Home Controls) allows you to lock, open and close your door automatically with a wireless remote control. This device, which is available for purchase through a U.S. retailer, costs about $2300 (USD), plus additional shipping fees. 

If your sister's mobility issues are limited to her hands and wrists, a simple solution, such as a doorknob grip, may be appropriate. Doorknob grips can help individuals with limited mobility in the hands and wrists to open doors by providing extra grip on the existing door knob. Below are direct links to some examples of such products, which typically range in price from about $10 to $40 (CDN):

  • EZ Doorknob Grips by Able Life (at Amazon Canada) are designed to make gripping and turning a doorknob easier for those who have limited hand mobility. This product, which easily snaps onto a doorknob, includes two door knob grips and costs about $15 to $20 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees. 
  • Rubber Doorknob Extension (at Amazon Canada) is a soft rubber lever that easily attaches to a round doorknob (measuring two inches by two inches), making it easier to turn and open. This product costs about $30 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees.

If your sister has someone who can help with installation, lever-style door handles are also available for about $10 to $50 (CDN) from home improvement stores, such as Home Depot. These types of handles are generally easier for people with limited hand and wrist mobility to use compared to standard door knobs. 

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