How Wheelchair Ramps Can Make Your Life Easier

by Bethany
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Mobility can be an issue for those with disabilities or aging seniors. Requiring a wheelchair can limit access to certain buildings, even public buildings which are required by law to have accessibility. Wheelchair ramps are a great solution for those in a wheelchair or electric scooter. Ramps allow for a low sloping route to create accessibility. This low-slope creates less difficulty in reaching the door.

Wheelchair ramps come in a variety of materials and types. Some wheelchair ramps are made for vehicles while others are better suited for homes or buildings. Having wheelchair access in your home makes it much easier to get in and out of your house. A wheelchair ramp for your home creates independence that allows you to roam freely instead of requiring assistance. A portable wheelchair ramp also creates ease of use to get in and out of a vehicle without assistance.

8 Important Facts about Electric Wheelchairs

While a wheelchair ramp can be expensive to build or buy, there are many ways to lower the cost. Financial assistance is available through insurance and other programs. However, you may need a professional diagnosis that states a medical need for a wheelchair ramp. You can also pursue cheaper means of installing a wheelchair ramp, such as building one with help from friends and family. However you create your ramp, a wheelchair ramp is a necessity to make your life much easier.

What Is A Wheelchair Ramp

A wheelchair ramp is an incline that brings access to a building or vehicle. Stairs are a common access point that block use to people with a mobility disability. Wheelchair ramps seek to eliminate this problem. They can be either portable, permanent, or semi-permanent. Most permanent or semi-permanent ramps are used for building or home access. Many portable ramps are for vehicle access.

A permanent ramp is attached to the ground securely with bolts or other means. It can be made from concrete, wood, or aluminum. Semi-permanent ramps are temporary and rest on a slab on the ground. They are made from the same materials as permanent ramps. Portable wheelchair ramps fold up easily for transport. They are usually made of aluminum.

The incline is important when creating a wheelchair ramp. A reduced incline is better and more practical but can increase the length of the ramp. American standards require public ramps slope no faster than one inch per every one foot of the ramp. A ramp can only be 30 feet long before it must turn or have a platform. More and more countries are requiring a wheelchair ramp in building codes when building a new public building. Wheelchair ramps are considered a minimum requirement for accessibility.

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Where Do You Need Wheelchair Ramps

A wheelchair ramp works well anywhere there are a small number of stairs. Inside of a building, elevators are what you need to reach a new floor. Wheelchair ramps are excellent for public buildings, homes, and vehicles. Older public buildings, including historical sites, may need wheelchair ramps. Building codes in place at the time of older buildings’ creation did not require a wheelchair ramp. While it would be pleasant if every home had a wheelchair ramp, many homes do not. Unfortunately, it is not required in building codes of homes to have a wheelchair ramp. However, many homes have several steps leading up to the door which block access for those in a wheelchair or scooter. Vehicles and vans need a wheelchair ramp for those with a wheelchair or scooter to get inside.

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Wheelchair Ramps For Home

There are many different ways to create a wheelchair accessible home. Different types and models of wheelchair ramps can provide you with the type of access that best suits you. Wheelchair ramps can be built on top of steps, next to stairs, or a step-ramp combination. You can have a portable wheelchair ramp or a permanent one. Your wheelchair ramp can be made out of a variety of materials, including stone, concrete, wood, aluminum, and rubber. You can even make your second or third floor accessible with a wheelchair ramp. If you are looking to make your home accessible for a short amount of time, wheelchair ramps are available as rentals.

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Wheelchair Ramps For Vehicles

A wheelchair ramp for your vehicle makes usage of that vehicle possible for those in wheelchairs or scooters. A wheelchair ramp can be installed on the floor of your vehicle or as a removable ramp. Vehicle ramps can fold up into the van or floor. Some are bulky and can be heavy, but some are lightweight, easy to use, and compact. The type and model you need may require on the vehicle you are using. It will also depend on the height of the vehicle. While lifts are another common vehicle accesibility (Author note: Spelling of keyword is incorrect. Accessibility is correct) feature, ramps are usually less expensive and require less space and installation.

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Average Cost of Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchair ramp depends on the type of ramp that you buy. Most permanent wheelchair ramps cost between $100 and $250 cost per foot of ramp. The national average cost is almost $2,000. These ramps are professionally built and cost for both labor and materials. To build a ramp yourself, it costs closer to $35 per linear foot. However, choosing a professional can save you cost later down the road. Portable ramps are much shorter in length and not as stable, but can be less expensive. They are also more difficult to setup and teardown without the assistance of someone without disabilities. Pricing of portable wheelchair ramps ranges from $100 to $2,000 depending on the type of ramp and how new it is. You can buy portable ramps new, used, or rent them. Renting costs between $100 and $275 per month.

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Does Insurance Cover a Wheelchair Ramp?

Depending on your condition and insurance, it may be possible to receive financial coverage for your wheelchair ramp. Medicare and Medicaid can offer full reimbursement, but usually only with a medical professional’s diagnosis. A medical professional must diagnose that the wheelchair ramp is a medical necessity before most insurance will cover it. In some states, Medicaid offers some assistance to seniors and those with disabilities to cover a wheelchair ramp in full or in part as a part of necessary home modifications. While it can be difficult to receive financial assistance from insurance, it is not impossible. You can also find financial assistance through other programs.

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Types of Wheelchair Ramps

There are several types of wheelchair ramps. Permanent, semi-permanent, and portable are the three main categories. Permanent and semi-permanent ramps are used in building access while portable is more commonly used for vehicle access. Portable ramps come as a folded, roll-up, or track option. A track ramp has two ramps which line up with the wheelchair’s wheels. Semi-permanent ramps are used as a temporary fix until a permanent ramp can be installed. Permanent, semi-permanent, and portable ramps come in all kinds of materials such as wood, concrete, metal, fiberglass, and more. There are also home ramps which can switch between steps and a ramp.