Finding the Right Wheelchair Ramp

If you, a loved one, a family member or friend have mobility challenges and are curious about the cost, time and materials for a ramp, look no further.

Here are a few pointers you should know before purchasing or building a wheelchair access ramp for safety and independence at home.

There are several types of ramps that fit within these three categories: portable, semi-permanent, and permanent.

SUITCASE RAMP

This type of ramp is extremely portable and can be transported easily. Suitcase ramps can support up to about 800 pounds and are on average two tosix feet long. Typically, this particular type of ramp can be placed over small steps for ease of access. Suitcase ramps are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

FOLDING RAMP

Folding ramps are either bi-fold or trifold.The folding ramp does not use handrails and should only be used for wheelchair-accessible vans or placed over small stairs. It is for portable use only and is not ADA compliant.

THRESHOLD RAMP

Lightweight in nature and made from rubber or metal, the threshold ramp is typically a style of ramp which butts up against the lip of a door threshold or a curb. Most threshold ramps are ½ to six inches in height and extremely helpful in a pinch. Threshold ramps are cost-effective solutions for wheelchair, walker or scooter users.

MODULAR RAMPS

This ramp offers a more permanent fixture without a building permit. The Modular ramp can be built, taken down and reassembled in a different location as many times as needed. The material for these ramps is typically aluminum or other materials that are rust or warp proof especially made for outdoor use. Modular ramps are a very cost-effective ramp option.

TELESCOPING RAMP

Typically, a telescoping ramp consists of two separate panels, less than 12 inches in width. The panels can quickly be extended, retracted, adjusted, and realigned to fit any accessibility need, whether getting up small steps or into an accessible van. This ramp is perfect for mobility scooters.

PERMANENT RAMPS

Permanent ramps are made from concrete or wood. One important item to know is this type of ramp will require a building permit, unlike most of the modular ramps mentioned above. A permanent ramp is typically considered over modular ramps for aesthetics and longevity.

Check with your Medicare policy to see if your wheelchair ramp falls under their policy for durable medical equipment. Most policies require a wheelchair ramp to be medically necessary and prescribed by a licensed physician.

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