Whether a relative needs a wheelchair for a few months or there's a more serious health issue that makes a wheelchair a lifelong necessity, you'll need a ramp. Ramps enable easier travel and access to the house. However, many people don't think carefully about the ramp they'll have to purchase; inadequate preparation could lead to disappointment with the ramp and unnecessary challenges. Consider this information before ramp selection.
Getting the Right Ramp
Your first challenge to think about is how long you'll need the ramp and what your living situation is. If your relative will always need a wheelchair and will not move ever again, for example, a poured concrete chair ramp is a possibility. However, such ramps could take days to pour, mold, and cure.
Modular ramps are a semi-permanent solution which works for most cases. They're usually made from aluminum, a lightweight metal that can be easily moved and won't warp or rot the way wood ramps might. They can be made off-site and installed rapidly. Adjustments are easy to make as well. Modular ramps are typically the most sensible choice for people who need wheelchairs for any length of time but who aren't sure whether they will need to relocate. In fact, even if you remain in the house and do renovations, the modular ramp can easily be moved to fit properly. Modular ramp installation also takes a few hours, so they can be used right away.
Thinking of the Chair
If you've already been eyeing wheelchairs, it's imperative that you think of the models you're considering as you select a ramp. Heavy, motorized chairs are likely to require wider ramps that can handle more weight, for instance. Ensure you're thinking about weight limits and how easily the chair can maneuver on the ramp.
Choosing the Best Length
Many people who are new to wheelchairs and ramps think that they'll pay more to get a long ramp — and decide against it. However, shorter ramps typically demand more exertion from the person in the wheelchair, and the incline can be too steep for them to feel safe. In fact, some steep inclines might not be ADA compliant. Therefore, examine longer ramps. Modular ramps can be customized for length, so if you choose one size but find that you need something longer, additional panels can be installed.
Ramps are important for giving those in wheelchairs the opportunity to travel out and return to the house without trouble. Explore modular ramps and customize one for your family's particular needs.