If you use a wheelchair, scooter, or any other mobility aid, it’s essential to ensure that your home is accessible and accommodating. If you have steps or raised thresholds, installing a ramp can make it easier for you to navigate around your home. With various ramp styles available in the market, it’s important to consider certain factors to ensure that you choose the right ramp that meets your specific needs. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision.
1. Assess the Ramp Placement
Determine where you need the ramp to be placed. Consider whether the user will ride the mobility aid on the ramp or if the mobility aid alone will be on the ramp. This will help you determine the size and design of the ramp that will provide smooth accessibility.
2. Measure the Required Dimensions For Your Ramp
Measure the height and length of the area where the ramp needs to be installed. This will help you calculate the slope and length required for a safe and comfortable incline.
- If you will ride up and down the ramp while seated in your wheelchair, you’ll generally need one foot of ramp for every inch of rise.
- If you will walk alongside or behind your mobility device and power it up unoccupied, you’ll generally need one foot of ramp for every three inches of rise.
3. Consider Portability
Decide if you require a portable ramp that can be easily transported and stored when not in use. Portable ramps are convenient for situations where you may need to access different locations or when traveling.
4. Choose the Right Material
Ramps are available in different materials, including fiberglass, aluminium, and solid rubber. Consider the pros and cons of each material to find the best option for you.
- Fiberglass / carbon fibre ramps are robust, non-corrosive, and often foldable for portability. They come in various styles, including threshold, channel, and broad ramps.
- Aluminium ramps are lightweight, adjustable, and commonly feature a check plate or ribbed surface for improved grip. They are available in narrow, broad, threshold, channel, and suitcase styles.
- Solid rubber ramps are durable and provide excellent traction. They are typically used as permanently placed ramps and can support heavy weights. Rubber ramps have a castellated surface to prevent slips and can be cut to the desired size.
5. Seek Professional Installation
If you’re unable to install the ramp yourself, it’s recommended to seek professional help. Professionals can ensure that the ramp is securely and safely installed, especially for permanent placements.
By considering these factors and following our guidelines, you can choose the right ramp that suits your accessibility needs. Enhancing the accessibility of your home will significantly improve your mobility and independence.