Access: Reduced Dexterity

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Arthritis is a very common condition, which affects many older people in particular. One effect is a reduction in dexterity, which can make it very much more difficult to cope with small or fiddly items.

Conditions such as muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy and stroke can also impair the ability to use the fine motor skills associated with manual dexterity.

Access to premises will be much easier for customers with any of these conditions if doors are either automatic, opening as they approach, or else have large, easy to use handles, which require minimal effort to work.

Toilet facilities can also provide challenges for people with reduced dexterity. Make sure that door locks are easy to use, and consider no-touch controls for toilet flushing; hand washing taps; and hand dryers. These use infrared technology, and are not only more user-friendly, but also help to prevent cross-contamination in shared facilities, as people don’t need to touch taps, flush levers, etc. Automatic taps help save water, too.