3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Ramps for Stairs for Elderly Loved Ones
In one study, nearly half of the elderly people surveyed self-reported difficulty with going up or down stairs.
There may come a time when your elderly loved ones may prefer a gentle ramp instead of stairs. There is a wide range of ramps to choose from, so which should you opt for? Each situation is different, so you'll need to ask some questions to determine the best choice.
Read on as we look at some questions you should ask when choosing ramps for stairs for elderly people.
1. What Ramp Size Do I Need?
The first thing you should determine is exactly what size wheelchair ramp you're going to need.
According to the ADA standards, you should try to create the most gradual or gentle slope possible, but it should not exceed a ratio of 1:12. In other words, for each inch in height that the ramp gains, it should be at least 12 inches long. For a three-inch step, for example, the ramp should be a minimum of three feet long.
You also need to consider the width of your ramp. If it's going to accommodate a wheelchair, it will need to be at least 36 inches wide.
2. What Ramp Material Is Best?
There are a number of options to choose from. Each has its own pros and cons.
Steel ramps are very strong but they also tend to be very heavy. This can make them more troublesome to install without help.
They can also be prone to rust if they are not well cared for.
Wooden ramps also require regular maintenance in order to keep them in good condition.
The upside is that they are less expensive than some other options and are usually fairly simple to install. Wooden ramps can also look nicer than some other ramps.
Concrete ramps are very durable and make an excellent option for the long term. These are more difficult to install than wooden ramps, and so they cost more upfront but may be a better value over the entire lifespan.
Aluminum is much lighter than steel, although it's not quite as strong. Aluminum ramps are easier to install and hard-wearing.
3. What Layout Do I Require?
The final decision is what kind of layout you'll need.
This will all depend on where you want your ramp and the surroundings. Depending on your situation, you may be able to use a straight ramp or you might require a ramp that turns through 90 degrees.
If you are short of space, a switchback ramp may be the only option. This is a type of ramp that contains one or more full 180-degree turns.
Are You Looking for Ramps for Stairs for Elderly People?
Please talk to your local dealer if you have more questions on ramps for stairs for elderly people.
We offer a wide range of accessibility products, covering everything from wheelchair accessible vehicles to lifts and securement. We've been committed to changing the lives of people with physical disabilities for more than 45 years.
Whatever your accessibility needs, contact us today to find out how we can help you.
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