Choosing the Best Wheelchair Ramps

For those using a wheelchair or any other wheeled mobility device, moving the wheelchair in and out of a place will pose a challenge if there are steps leading to it. It is here that installing a wheelchair ramp will be of great help.

A wheelchair ramp is an inclined plane installed in addition or in place of steps. It can be permanent or portable. The permanent ones are designed to be bolted or attached in a place. They are mostly made of aluminum, concrete or wood. The portable ramps are made of aluminum and are foldable for the ease of transport. It is important that the ramps are carefully designed for them to serve the desired purpose.

The following factors have to be considered before choosing or designing a wheelchair ramp.

Purpose of Buying Wheelchair Ramp

The purpose for which the ramp is being installed will decide the kind of ramp required. For instance, in case of a slightly raised doorway or landing, a threshold ramp will serve the purpose. If there are a few steps leading into and out of the home, a foldable aluminum ramp can be used.

For instance, the EZ-Access Aluminum Threshold Ramp is meant for doorways to ensure a smooth entry and exit. It can even be used for raised landings and sliding glass doors. Made of aluminum it is sturdy, anti-skid, and corrosion-resistant. It is lightweight and thus portable.

 Ez-Access Aluminum Threshold Ramp
  Safepath EZ Edge Transition Rubber Threshold Ramp

Likewise, the safe path EZ Edge Transition Rubber Threshold Ramp is an effective solution to threshold barriers. Easy to install, it can fit in easily in front of a door or any other vertical barrier. It is made of 100 percent recycled rubber. And can be used on a variety of surfaces such as concrete, wood, asphalt, marble, tile, etc. The beveled sides allow approaching the threshold at any angle. The anti-skid surface ensures adequate safety.

Types of Wheelchair Ramp

Entry or Suitcase Wheelchair Ramp

In order to accommodate any height less than six (6) inches, a small entry ramp is good enough. It can be used for doorway lips, landings, and a single short stair. It is usually 3 feet long. Any greater height will require a suitcase ramp. It can be as long as 10 feet and can work well for two to four steps.

The EZ-Access Suitcase Signature Series Ramp is ideal for users who require an immediate access. A portable device, it is made of aluminum and is lightweight. Its single fold hinge runs through the entire length of the ramp ensuring it remains strong and safe to use. The ergonomically designed handles further add to its portability. Its self-adjusting bottom transition plate allows a smooth change of surface for a wheelchair. It unfolds to as wide as 30 inches platform and has a user weight capacity of 800 lb.

  Safepath EZ Edge Transition Rubber Threshold Ramp

Permanent or Portable Wheelchair Ramp

A large wooden or metal modular ramp for a vertical rise of more than 30 inches, will be a permanent ramp. These are costly, difficult to install as their installation requires some renovation to the home. However, if the situation warrants movement of the ramp from one place to another, a portable ramp is needed. These are less costly and easy to install. Most of the portable ramps feature a heavy-duty handle or carry bag for shifting the ramp from one location to another.

Selecting Correct Wheelchair Ramp Size

For safety purposes, it is important to have the correct dimensions in terms of the width of the threshold, landing, vehicle rise or step. The vertical rise the wheelchair is supposed to cover should also be measured. The wheelchair ramp angle i.e. its slop or incline should also be ascertained.

The weight capacity of the ramp is also significant. This should be the maximum weight the ramp is supposed to bear. If the ramp will be used to transfer object(s), their weight should be ascertained. If it will be used for the wheelchair, the weight of the device, user, and caregiver (if any) should be accounted for.

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA)has given clear specifications for portable mobility ramps used in residential areas. The standards prescribed should be adhered to for adequate safety.

So, it is advisable, as a user you should be clear on the purpose, type, size and special features of the ramp required by you. This will ensure you end up buying the right device matching your requirement.