Wheelchair access to front door

HIiI live in my own flat in a communal block of privately-owned flats. At the moment I use a walking frame when I go outside but at some point in the future I will be in a wheelchair. When this happens how will I be able to negotitate the main door to the block, the fire door and then my own flat door? I live on my own so can't rely on someone else to open them for me. Presumably I will need some sort of automatic release system installed. I imagine this is very expensive so will I need to apply for social housing? How do other people cope with this situation? I would be very grateful to hear your experiences.

Thank you


Hiya Johnathan

I live on my own too , I am still walking but not very far, anyway, the parking outside my house is impossible so was causing me problems with access in and out of my house as my carer had to park streets away somtimes and when he took me out there was the stress of not knowing if he was going to be able to get me close to the house. I conntacted social services and they sent out an occupational therapist to assess me and my needs, I got a handrail for going up stairs, but they also had half of my front garden made into concrete hard standing so that my crer, friends or family could park right outside mt front door, it has made a massive difference to my life. Apparently the council has special funds put to one side for adaptations to diabled peoples homes.

Hope this helps

Elaine xx

Hi Jonathan,

I've been using in a wheelchair since I was 12, am now 31 and have lived in my own flat for almost 3 years. I have 3 carers who do Sun - Fri, working 1 or 2 of 3 shifts (morning, afternoon/evening, night) and another carer does Sat.

I open my doorr with a buzzer and, altihough I go to the gym so have good upper body strength, I get out and about with the aid of carers.


Having to have a ramp built up to door.Can't manage the old one as its on a slope and made of gravel Find the step to the hand rail too much now so I can sympathise.That is the hardest part of my journey.When I eventually get to the scooter I've left an important key behind or even worse I have to take my coat and scarf of for another wee.Then I have to start all over again.By that time I've lost the will to live as wellas go out.

Hi Jonny - I guess that it depends on your needs, but when I was living on my own about a year ago, I already had my cerebellum issues. I already knew that between RELYING (v. being an option) on a walker or using a wheelchair for the bus for those with disabilities and senior citizens (totally different stories there), I had a list of criteria that I needed beforehand-like no steps, flush or ramped entry, elevator or first floor, etc.

It also depends on if you’re renting or buying (which would determine the permanance of whatever you decide to install), etc. I’m not familiar with what communal flats are - maybe you can help me better understand what that is.

Also, it depends on whether you’re making adaptations to what you already have - which sounds like you are - or not. They sell ramps that you can “carry” around on the back of your chair; you probably want to limit the amount of steps with using the ramps since you need the strength to get up stairs and an amusement-park spirit to go down.

That’s one idea for you; if I think of others, I’ll post.

I truly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Keep the faith.