Wheelchairs are a necessity for everyday living for those with reduced mobility. However, they can be a challenge when it comes to stairs or rises into buildings. In these cases, a ramp is needed. But what do you need to consider when buying a ramp? A lot of the specifications you need depend on your situation, so how can you narrow down your options? Here are 3 things you’ll need to know before purchasing a ramp.
Mobility Device Information
One major thing you’ll need to know is the combined weight of you, your mobility device, any accessories, and your caregiver if you have one that helps you get around in your wheelchair. This total weight will be on the ramp consistently, so the size and material of the ramp must be able to handle it. You can get a general idea of the weight of your mobility device through the manufacturer’s website, but you’ll still need to determine that additional weight.
Length and Material
Once you have weight determined, the next step is to measure the steps the ramp will be going on. The ADA guidelines suggest that for every 1” rise, you’ll need 12” of ramp. But this is dependent on the area. Different ramp designs are built for different inclines. Make sure you take your time to do the math and determine what length is best.
Next you’ll need to determine what material the ramp will be made of. There are loads of options. You can use wood, aluminum, concrete, or steel. Take your budget into account when selecting the material.
Extensions and Travelling
If there is a lip on your door, then you may need an extension of some sort. The ramp should smoothly connect to the entryway of your home or building. There are lots of types of extensions that you can use to accomplish this. Again, it’s a matter or situation, consideration, and lots of measuring to find the perfect fit.
Do you want your ramp permanent or portable? This will go into account when creating the ramp. If you want it to travel with you, then it will need to collapse somehow. Whether it folds in half or quarters, make sure that it has extensions that can work with any doorway.
The best wheelchair ramps are the kind that will provide easy access up those challenging stairs or ledges. While it can take a bit to measure out what you need, once the ramp is complete, your day will be much easier to handle!