New research shows that about 53 million people in the United States are living with some kind of disability. For the majority of these people, mobility is an issue. To underscore that point, an older adult is treated in an emergency room every 11 seconds because they suffered a fall. Another 6.8 million Americans need to use some sort of device to help with their mobility. From looking at outdoor models to getting the right size, there are things you can to provide outdoor wheelchair access to the people in your home.
Get the right length for your ramp. This is one of the most important parts of getting a good wheelchair ramp for your home. You need to make sure it is long enough so that the slope is not too steep. When you look at outdoor models, take the length in mind and the height. You need people who need to use a wheelchair to be able to safely navigate the ramp and that will be nearly impossible if you make it too steep. You need to take
several measurements to get the right length. Look at how high the steps are. That is your vertical distance. Look at how much space you have outside. You can bring a contractor in to help you get the right measurements to determine the right length for your ramp.
Next, you have to get the right kind of ramp. When you look at outdoor models, you may notice that there are a lot of kinds of ramps out there. You can choose free-standing ramps, portable handicap ramps, and threshold ramps.
The free-standing ramps are used most often when they are going to be in place for a long time. They are sturdy and durable.
Portable ramps are more lightweight. These are designed to be able to be moved to different areas and to go with you. These work well to load mobility devices into vehicles. They can also be stored easily in larger vehicles such as trucks or SUVs.
The last kind of ramp is the threshold ramp. These tend to be smaller than the other kinds of ramps. They are made to help with smaller heights.They are most often used in homes and are often put inside. You may not find as many outdoor models for these kinds of ramps because they can be used to help people move around inside the home. If there is a height differential between rooms inside a home, the threshold ramp can work well. These are also usually very light and easy to move.
Get the right material for your ramp. A lot of this will be determined by the kind of ramp you get. When you look at outdoor models, you will see them made from either aluminum or wood. Here are some differences between the two.
Aluminum ramps are most often free-standing ramps. They are usually made in modular units. You can buy the component parts to fit your business or home. This means you buy the handrails, platforms, stairs, and platform areas separately. The price tags on these kinds of ramps is lower than for wooden ramps. Because they come in modular units, they can take less time to put together. It is easier to dent these kinds of ramps.
Wooden wheelchair ramps are most often permanent ramps that have been added to a home for the long-term. These are sturdy and secure. They are designed and constructed to fit a particular home or business and space. Because they are built to last, they are also designed to match the style of the business or of the home. It is nearly impossible to dent these kinds of ramps. They will need some care and feeding to prevent the normal problems that wood can have such as rot or termite infestation. Often tape is added to make them less slippery.
Lastly, you need to pick the size of the width. The most stable ramps are full-width ramps. They are portable, stable, and durable.
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