Mobility is something that many folks tend to take for granted – that is until they start to lose it. Suffering an accident, having major surgery, being diagnosed with a limiting physical condition, or simply getting older are all factors that can lead to limited mobility. But the good news is that there are solutions available to help keep you moving!
If you’re having trouble getting in and out of your front door because of stairs or uneven surfaces, a wheelchair ramp for home could be a perfect solution. In this article, we’ll look at some notable benefits of having a home wheelchair ramp, note some important considerations for planning your wheelchair ramp installation, and finish by letting you know how Home Healthsmith can help.
Benefits of a Wheelchair Ramp for Home
A wheelchair ramp makes home entry and exit more accessible, safer, and convenient.
- If it’s hard for you to navigate staired, elevated, or uneven surfaces leading up to your home entrance, you won’t have any of those worries once you have a low-slope wheelchair ramp installed.
- By choosing wheelchair ramps that include both wheel guardrails and sturdy handrails on the sides, you won’t have to worry about taking any unexpected spills.
- Once you start using your new wheelchair ramp, you’ll love the convenience of not having to drag your walker or wheelchair up any stairs. Entering and exiting your home becomes much easier and more convenient.
Important Considerations for Installing a Wheelchair Ramp for Home
There are many material and design options available to you. You’ll need to consider factors including:
- What type of assistive mobility device is being used
- Whether that device might change over time
- How permanent you want the ramp to be
If there’s a possibility of needing to move the ramp at some point in the future, you’ll want to keep that in mind as well. Ramp length, rise, weight capacity, and available budget for the project should also factor into your decision. All that being said, a versatile aluminum modular ramp system from Home Healthsmith really does check all the boxes.
As an additional service, Home Healthsmith has ramps available for rent. These are a great option for people in a short-term situation or unsure if they will need to purchase a ramp.
Ramp Length and Slope
One of the first things you’ll want to do is to map out the ramp layout. A general rule of thumb is the higher the entrance, the longer the ramp will need to be in order to maintain a safe, gradual slope.
The ADA recommends a maximum rise/run slope ratio of 1:12 for commercial or public use, and a maximum of 3:12 for residential or personal use. (For example, a 1:12 slope ratio means that for every 1 inch of rise, the ramp should include 12 inches of run or length).
Check with your local municipality to see if there are any other applicable incline requirements. It’s also important to choose a platform size that allows ample room to move around, with level landings included at both the top and bottom.
Handrails, Guardrails, and Edge Protection
These items add an extra level of safety and should also follow ADA-recommended guidelines. Handrails should be placed on both sides of any ramp with a rise greater than 6”. These should extend the full length of the ramp and should be placed at a comfortable height for easy reach.
Vertical guardrails are also necessary if the ramp is elevated, as guards help prevent any falls over an open side. Including edge protection along the ramp run and landings is also recommended to help keep the wheelchair wheels from escaping the ramp lane on the sides.
Clear Pathways and Adequate Lighting
Any pathway can pose more danger in the dark, so you’ll want to factor adequate overhead lighting installation into your wheelchair ramp plans.
Once your ramp is up and running, you’ll also want to make sure there’s no debris that could interfere with ramp function. Keep your ramp swept or blown off regularly.
Considering Installing a Wheelchair Ramp for Home?
Home Healthsmith provides the most versatile aluminum modular ramp system available, including custom options for ramp surface, handrail styles, and much more. We provide a lifetime warranty on our aluminum ramps, and they also offer great resale value in the event you ever need to move or simply no longer need your ramp.
Concerned about getting your wheelchair ramp installed properly? You can trust our proven installation process. The Home Healthsmith team arrives on time and provides an expert installation that includes site clean-up and trash removal.
Our goal is to help people just like you achieve their home quality of life goals by following a simple formula: mobility + safety = freedom. If you’re located in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Connecticut, you can schedule a free assessment with our team right now. Get connected, and let’s get started!