KMINA Rollator and Door Widths
How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky?
Maybe we can’t easily answer those questions from the old Irving Berlin song, but a question we do need to ask ourselves at some point is “How wide are our doorways?” Sometimes we find out the hard way that doorways are not necessarily a standardised width. Have you ever tried to get a new lounge through the front door? Manoeuvre a large table or desk around a corner, down the hallway? What might be an occasional problem for some households, can be a regular difficulty or irritation for others, and even a safety problem.
Mobility in the home
One of the most important walking aids used by older people is the rollator, or wheelie-walker. People with conventional outdoor rollators often abandon their use of the rollator indoors, as they can be heavy and wide and difficult to manoeuvre in the home. Elderly people or people with mobility limitations who need to use a rollator/wheelie-walker, often have trouble negotiating their way around inside their home. Gong Life Care Solutions supplies a rollator which is especially designed for indoor use, and contributes to a user’s sense of independence and safety walking around at home. Our KMINA rollator, at just 54 cm in width, is narrow enough to easily get through doorways and around furniture.
The width of doorways in Australian homes can range from 620 mm – 920 mm. An acceptable standard door width is 820 mm, but there are other measurements that also need to be considered in a home to ensure that people using rollators, walking frames and wheelchairs can actually get to all areas of the home, especially the “little room” – the toilet.
The Liveable Housing Australia Design Guidelines list the following as basic key liveability features for a home – they call it the silver level requirements (they also describe gold and platinum best practice levels, not listed here):
- Doorways to rooms on the entry level used for living, dining, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, laundry and sanitary compartment purposes should provide:
- a minimum clear opening width of 820mm
- a level transition and threshold (maximum vertical tolerance of 5mm between abutting surfaces is allowable provided the lip is rounded or bevelled).
- Internal corridors/passageways to the doorways referred to in
(a) should provide a minimum clear width of 1000mm.
Dwellings should have a toilet on the ground (or entry) level that provides:
- a minimum clear width of 900 mm between the walls of the bathroom if located in a separate room; and
- a minimum 1200 mm clear circulation space forward of the toilet pan exclusive of the swing of the door
At the Sydney ATSA Independent Living Expo a few weeks ago, our KMINA indoor folding rollator/wheelie-walker was tried out by a lot of visitors, including Occupational Therapists. We could hear the surprise in people’s voices as soon as they moved the rollator. They all remarked how light, manoeuvrable, strong and stable it felt. Everyone loved the basket and tray top, and several commented that it was very practical for moving around inside the home, especially as it’s narrower and lighter than traditional walkers. An impressive feature noted by several carers was the braking system, which is a full width bar, which can be operated by both hands or either hand, and is therefore extremely beneficial for users who only have the use of one arm or hand, or have weakness on one side, eg. from a stroke. Because it is very light (only 5 ½ kgs) and manoeuvrable, it can be used in narrow spaces like the bathroom and toilet. It can also double as a kitchen trolley for carrying meals and drinks. And of course, the basket helps the user to carry items around the home.
Independence around the home
It is known that older people can limit their physical activity and mobility due to psychological influences such as fear of falling, and anxiety. This unfortunately affects the quality of life of older people. Fear of falling can affect both self-image and self-confidence. Sadly, this can occur after experiencing one or more falls. Poor balance, pain, and the fear of falling again eventually leads many older people to the conclusion that a walking stick (cane) no longer helps them enough, and that a walking device which provides more stability and a greater sense of safety, is needed. Rollators provide increased security, balance, and a place to store things while getting around the house.
Our KMINA rollator weighs only 5.5 kgs and it folds and unfolds easily for putting into the boot of the car, or storing in the house when not in use. It is designed for people who have moderate to low dependence, who are able to walk with some assistance, but desire more independence around the home. It is certified by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and European Conformity (CE). The KMINA rollator will improve a user’s confidence in moving around safely in the home and promote their independence and sense of well-being. Please check the Gong Life Care Solutions website, https://gonglcs.com.au/products/kmina-rollator
- Irving Berlin, song “How Deep is the Ocean” https://www.irvingberlin.com/behind-the-songs
Contact us on 1300 907 280, Tues to Fri, 8.00 am – 5.00 pm AEDT
We deliver free anywhere in Australia.
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