Mobility can become a real issue for those who have been injured in an accident or who may be attempting to care for an elderly or infirm loved one. The addition of a wheelchair ramp can help to ensure that those who suffer from a mobility impairment will be able to enjoy greater freedom of movement and autonomy. The following tips can help to ensure that your wheelchair ramp installation goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Measure All Dimensions Carefully
Just because a ramp may be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, walker or other mobility-assistance device does not guarantee that using it will be a comfortable or convenient experience. Building in a little extra width or opting for a shallower angle can go a long way towards ensuring that the finished ramp can be used with greater ease. Failing to determine the optimal dimensions for your installation could lead to all sorts of problems that home and property owners would be wise to avoid.
2. Handrails and Guards
Ramps that lack necessary safety equipment can be a bigger hazard than many homeowners might expect. Well placed handrails can allow for greater ease of use while sturdy guards and railings are often essential in order to minimize the risk of an accident. Trying to use a ramp that lacks proper safety equipment can be a recipe for disaster.
3. Non-slip Surfaces
When using a wheelchair ramp, traction is of paramount concern. Ramps that lead to entryways, decks, porches and other exterior environments are often exposed to the elements. Selecting a surface material that will afford greater durability is always a smart move. The potential hazards posed by a slick surface should never be taken lightly and even ramps and installations that are located indoors or that may be covered by an awning can still get wet.
4. Invest in Durable Materials
A ramp that has not been built to last could wind up being a wasted expense. Working with sturdy construction materials, all-weather surfaces and safety equipment that won’t rust or wear out can help to ensure that a wheelchair ramp is able to last as long as possible. Building your ramp using only top-quality materials and equipment can also reduce the amount of maintenance, upkeep and repair work that may be needed in order to keep it in good working condition.
5. Consider Upgrading to a Lift
While a conventional ramp is often more than adequate, especially for those who plan on using an electric wheelchair, powered scooter or other motorized mobility-assistance device, it may not always be the best option. Powered lifts can offer superior convenience and enhanced mobility. Easier ways to travel between floors or the ability to navigate tight corners or narrow stairwells can count for quite a lot. Finding the best equipment options and professional installation services can make upgrading your ramp to a lift much simpler and easier than you might imagine.
Dealing with any issue that results in mobility impairment is never easy, but the right resources can make a world of difference. Determining the right dimensions, seeking out the best materials or upgrading to a motorized lift are all important concerns. Installing a better ramp, lift or stair-chair within the home can make life much easier for those who depend on a walker, wheelchair or other device to get around.