Tulsa, OK; Dallas, TX; Wilmington, NC; Knoxville, TN; Rochester, New York (PRWEB) December 14, 2012
For anyone who uses a wheelchair or experiences difficulty with steps, there are now a variety of mobility solutions to choose from, including ramps, vertical platform lifts, incline platform lifts and even outdoor stair lifts. These products significantly increase outdoor independence; Yet, many people are unaware of the outdoor accessibility options available.
Gordon Raney, Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and the owner/operator of 101 Mobility franchises in Tulsa and Dallas, has a few guidelines to help you pick the best product to meet your mobility needs:
Best for? Ramping is the most common way to address accessibility issues within the home. They are perfect for individuals using wheelchairs, scooters, or who simply struggle with stairs. Folding ramps provide a solid threshold over smaller steps or curbs. More substantial modular ramps are suggested for higher landings.
How much ramp is needed? For every inch of vertical rise, a foot of ramp is necessary. The slope of a homeowner's property will also dictate the amount of ramping needed. If the land is sloped downhill, more ramping will be needed to create a steady incline and vice versa.
How to maintain it? Aluminum EZ Access Ramps require basically no maintenance; no rust, rot or decay. Aluminum modular ramps can be disassembled, moved, and easily rebuilt should families move or decide to re-sell.
Best for? An incline lift may be a viable option for those who have difficulty making transfers to and from their chair or scooter.
How does the incline platform lift work? The lift includes a large platform onto which the individual can drive their wheelchair or scooter. The platform then follows the incline of the stairs by a rail installed into the staircase, not the wall.
How much space is required? Incline platform lifts generally work well with larger staircases as enough space for the platform to stop at top and bottom landings is required. Keep in mind that average platform size is 28” x 36” and they fold up when not in use.
Best for? The platforms are large enough for a wheelchair or scooter; similar to the incline lift, vertical platform lifts are great options for people who are unable to independently make transfers from their chair.
How is this different from an incline lift? Vertical Platform Lifts are essentially mini platforms that lift in a vertical fashion as opposed to an incline platform lift which follows the route of the stairs. Vertical platforms lifts are generally used for porches.
When to choose a vertical platform lift over a wheelchair ramp? Porch lifts take up considerably less space than wheelchair ramps and certain models enable the user to travel up to two stories high. At approximately 30” of vertical rise, a wheelchair ramp would need to be 30 feet long and likely contain 2 landing platforms. At this point, it becomes more cost effective to opt for a porch lift instead of a modular wheelchair ramp.
Best for? Outdoor stair lifts are ideal for someone who is able to walk but experiences difficulty with stairs.
How does an outdoor stair lift work? Similar to indoor stair lifts, they safely transport a person from ground to porch by following the route of the stair case.
How to keep it protected from the elements? Outdoor stair lift models have marine-grade vinyl seats and other standard features to withstand weather conditions. Ordering a cover to keep the lift free of any dirt or debris is recommended, especially for those who live in an area where it frequently snows and rains.
Still have questions? No problem, find your nearest 101 Mobility location by clicking here.