More than ever before, there are people who depend on electric scooters or wheelchairs to get around because they have reduced mobility. It is generally thought that this increasing trend is because people are living longer. Medical advances are aiding people with serious diseases to live longer. Because of this, society must adjust the access to buildings to make it easier for people on wheelchairs and motorized scooters to gain entry. There are laws that protect the disabled – which includes the elderly who need use of wheelchairs – so that there is an element of equality in access available to all.
Public places must allow for access; for the individual who needs wheelchair access for his or her own home, it is up to them to build or install a wheelchair ramp.
If you are considering a wheel chair ramp for your home, there are three things to consider: purpose, style and dimensions.
- Purpose – the goal is to make access in and out of your home much easier and simpler for the person in a wheelchair, walker or electric scooter. Wheelchair ramps are the main way to give aid of access to individuals who need mobility assistance.
- Style – wheelchair ramps come in many different styles. The type of ramp to choose also depends upon whether you want something permanent for long-term use or just temporary for a shorter term use. The style chosen might also depend on any building codes or community guidelines that apply in your residential area, so make sure to check into those before deciding. Metal style ramps can often be rented; sometimes grants are available to purchase them depending on your situation and where you live.
- Dimensions – The American Disabilities Act (ADA) has standards and guidelines for ramps. These standards apply to public access ramps but because they have been formulated through strict research procedures for safety, it’s a good idea to follow them. The dimensions of the ramp will depend on where it is located and how much room is available for the ramp. Basically it is suggested that a ramp have one inch of incline for every foot of ramp. Always take into account the needs of the individual. Will there always be someone to push the wheelchair up the ramp for the individual or will they be left to their own devices to get themselves and their wheelchair up the ramp?
It’s important to make sure your elderly loved one is able to lead a restriction-free life as much as possible so that she feels she has a higher quality of life.