Wheelchair ramps are often dismissed as only being useful for wheelchair users and those using mobility devices. But the benefits of having wheelchair ramps at home extend far beyond that.
Having them makes moving around the house easier without worrying that someone might slip on uneven flooring or fall down the stairs. The obvious benefits of wheelchair ramps are that wheelchair users are able to safely and conveniently go up and down stairs and thresholds, and be able to easily access the house and its yard (and vice versa)-but wheelchair ramps will benefit every one of any age or ability.
Some examples of how access ramps can make everyday life easier:
What is a wheelchair ramp?
A wheelchair ramp is an inclined plane that can be used in place or in addition to steps.
This accessibility device can be permanent or temporary. Permanent ramps are made to be bolted or otherwise secured in place, and are typically made of aluminum, concrete, or wood. Temporary or semi-permanent ramps are not bolted in place but rest on top of a concrete pad or the ground so you can move them around or store them when you no longer need them.
For temporary ramps, it’s best to check how easy they are to fold and store and how much space they take up when folded. A portable ramp such as the Roll-A-Ramp is a good option for a temporary ramp, as it can be folded compactly for easy storage and transportation. It is made of aluminum and very durable.
Portable ramps are mainly constructed for indoor and outdoor use, or even to help the user go up and down a vehicle safely and conveniently.
Remember to get only access ramps made by credible manufacturers, those which are properly designed, and ADA-compliant. The minimum width and maximum slope of a ramp, particularly a permanent ramp, are frequently regulated by law in many places.
Benefits of having a wheelchair ramp in your home
Do you need a wheelchair ramp in your home? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of all people with disabilities are estimated to experience “severe limitations” regarding mobility.
But whether or not you’re living with a disability or limited mobility, you can enjoy the following benefits of having a wheelchair ramp in your home:
1. Greater independence and mobility
Ramps were essentially created to improve the movement of people with physical limitations. They make it easier for those who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids, as well as elderly persons, to navigate stairs, steps, and uneven flooring- helping people avoid accidents in these risky areas.
Ramps provide people with more independence. Rather than relying entirely on caretakers and family members for mobility, people with disabilities and mobility limitations can manage their movement better with wheelchair ramps.
This makes a huge difference in the lives of individuals with physical ailments- apart from physical safety, this increased level of independence is crucial to mental and emotional well-being, as they give people a sense of freedom and accomplishment.
2. Improves the aesthetics of the home
Are you concerned about the stigma associated with accessibility installations? No need to worry, as access ramps are now available in a variety of materials, and can even serve to beautify and improve the aesthetics of your living space.
Modular ramps are typically made of steel, aluminum, and wood. On the other hand, permanent ramps are usually constructed of concrete. You can now select a ramp that goes with the overall theme and décor of your home, thanks to the broader range of ramp designs and structural options.
Ramps with wooden frames can enlarge and enhance the appearance of patios and outdoor decks. Furthermore, installations that are modular or portable are practical since they provide you the flexibility to move them to another area of your house (or even lend them to a family member or neighbor in need!).
3. Convenience and safety for everyone
Compared to stairs, a ramp is significantly safer and simpler to use. Think of these people:
4. Access to different parts of the home
Some houses are built with obstructions in the entryway, such as high thresholds or one to three steps. People who use mobility aids like wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers may struggle even with just a single step. Furthermore, having to lift their feet can cause anyone to become off-balance, causing slips and falls.
Though there may be family members and caregivers who can help them, this entails dependence on others, which is an awkward spot to be put in for a lot of people. Installing a wheelchair ramp allows users to remain independent and retain their sense of freedom.
Whether the barrier is a single high threshold or a few steps, there are wheelchair ramps that are specifically designed for each home design and specific need. The installation of ramps will help individuals with mobility and balance issues reach spaces they might not have otherwise been able to access, due to these barriers.
5. Allows individuals to enjoy the outdoors
It takes just a simple ramp to provide yourself and your family members easy and safe access to the outdoors, where you want to take advantage of the sunshine, fresh air, and other outdoor activities.
6. Added safety during harsh weather conditions
Access ramps not only make it easier for individuals to move about their homes but also provide added safety in inclement weather.
Mobility aid users are aware that getting over puddles of water caused by rainstorms is a challenge they face frequently during the rainy season. It is very inconvenient when the wheels of wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers get stuck in the mud. Likewise, it is dangerous to walk through puddles and muck, since they can cause slips and falls.
If it is raining, wheelchair ramps offer a safe alternative to navigating slippery stairs or mud-caked lawns on a wet day.
7. Increases a home’s resale value
An access ramp can directly influence a home’s or property’s overall value and raise its resale value. The reason for this is that this feature can increase a home’s appeal to prospective buyers who are looking for homes that are already wheelchair-accessible.
A home with an access ramp can save some homebuyers the time and stress of installing one on their own, so they are willing to pay more for it. In some cases, a ramp can increase the worth of a house by enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
8. Privacy and dignity in your everyday activities
Wheelchair ramps installed inside and outside a home allow individuals with mobility issues to live an independent life and age in place in their preferred environments.
You can continue performing some activities with independence if you have this accessibility solution installed in your home, minimizing the assistance you may need from others.
You can continue to be free to live the life you choose in the comfort of your own home.
Wheelchair ramps can benefit your business, too!
While this article is about the benefits of installing wheelchair ramps in your home, we would like to point out that businesses can greatly benefit from having access ramps installed too.
Installing ramps along the entranceway and staircase areas is one of the easiest and simplest ways to make your business establishment more accessible and welcoming (Bonus: It can help create a positive impression about your business too!). Safe and accessible entrances ensure easy access for individuals with different abilities and needs – such as disabled individuals, parents with strollers, or people carrying bags or luggage
In case you are just renting your space and installing a permanent fixture is a no-no, modular ramps are a fantastic option because they are simple to install and can be made to fit any size needed.
Every person requires products and services to function properly in their day-to-day lives, so it’s always a good practice for businesses to make their products and services as accessible as possible. People can get more out of life when their workplace and the commercial establishments they visit are accessible and welcoming to them, no matter what their ability is.
Many people- whether with a disability or none- want to patronize businesses that are seen as more inclusive and socially responsible. According to a survey in the UK, three out of four people with disabilities claim to have left a store or other place because of accessibility concerns. Simply caring enough to make your physical space friendlier to everyone can build a loyal customer base for your business!
Your neighborhood becomes more compassionate, respectful, and good-hearted when each member does his part in making his own space accessible and inclusive to everyone, regardless whether or not accessibility standards are mandated by law.
Whether you or your loved one uses a wheelchair or not, an access ramp is a great way to increase accessibility and comfort in your living or working space.
Wheelchair ramps are for whoever needs them, and they are very simple to install. You just need to find the right kind for your home, whether it be temporary or permanent, and then work with a trustworthy equipment installer to make sure you get it installed correctly. In most cases, the process shouldn’t be difficult at all.
Adding a wheelchair ramp to your space is a great idea- it comes with a lot of benefits and very few (if any) downsides.
Not sure where to start? Our FREE assessment comes with a customized quote specific to your needs and is available for anyone living in Vancouver or within our service areas.
Home2stay serves the following areas: Vancouver, Surrey, Abbotsford, Richmond, Coquitlam, Tricities, Mission, Delta, Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Langley, Chilli Wack, White Rock, Aldergrove and other nearby areas.