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How to Choose the Right Wheelchair Ramp

February 15, 2016


You’ve decided that a wheelchair, power wheelchair or mobility scooter will help you remain aging in place  — but getting your mobility device into your home may be a challenge if you have steps leading into your home. Luckily, the easy installation of a wheelchair ramp will help! But with all the options available, how do you choose the right wheelchair ramp? Hoveround can help.
 
Factors to consider when choosing a wheelchair ramp:
 
Where do you need to install a wheelchair ramp?

● Threshold. If you have a doorway or landing that is just slightly raised, a threshold ramp may be the right choice for you. Hoveround offers a simple installation wheelchair ramps threshold and a self-supporting threshold that are anti-slip and high-traction with many styles available depending on your needs.

● A set of steps. If there are a few steps leading into your home, Hoveround offers single-fold wheelchair ramps that fold in half to carry like a suitcase, or tri-fold wheelchair ramps that separate and fold in half and are constructed from durable welded, aircraft-grade aluminum. The ideal ramp for your home should be at least 36” wide with handrails. Check out our PVI OnTrack Wheelchair Ramps for the most appropriate solution. 

● A raised landing. Just a step and a landing area? Single-fold or tri-fold wheelchair ramps can work with a raised landing as well, but the best solution will always be a solid 36” wide ramp to safely and comfortably get in and out of your home.

● Vehicle. If you need to easily transport your power wheelchair, you can use a tri-fold wheelchair ramp— which Hoveround offers with a required Top Lip Extension (TLE) that increases the lip from 3 inches to 9 inches. That way, the ramp will be able to safely rest on the floor of your vehicle for transportation.
 
How stable is the base surface?
Make sure the area that the wheelchair ramp will be resting on or attached to is solid, level and even in order to ensure the ramp will be stable and can use it safely. Inspect the area and make sure it can handle the regular use of a wheelchair ramp, and always check out the ramp before each use to make sure it is still on stable ground.
 
How much weight can the wheelchair ramp support?
When choosing a wheelchair ramp, it is imperative to find one that will safely support the weight that will be on it — that includes the weight of the mobility device, the user, the caregiver (if needed for assistance), and any additional necessary items.  Many power wheelchair ramps can accommodate 300 to 600 pounds, but most Hoverounds ramps can safely support up to 800 pounds.

 
How wide does the ramp need to be?
The width of your wheelchair ramp depends on the size of your wheelchair and the additional room you’ll need to maneuver on the ramp — along with your own personal comfort. Generally, a minimum width of 36 inches will suffice, but you may decide that a wheelchair ramp width of 42 inches is more comfortable for you.
 
What should the slope of the ramp be?
The slope of the ramp is how steep it will rise, and it’s imperative for safety reasons that you make sure the slope is appropriate for the incline limits of your mobility device.
 
The ADA recommends the following guidelines for wheelchair ramp slopes:
●If you will ride up and down the wheelchair ramp while seated in your wheelchair, you’ll need about 1 foot of ramp for every inch of rise.
●If you will walk alongside or behind your mobility device, and power it up unoccupied, you will need about 1 foot of ramp for every 3 inches of rise.
 
(For example, with three steps and a total rise of 18 inches, you’ll need an 18-foot wheelchair ramp — but if you can use the ramp while walking your wheelchair up it, you may be able to use a 6-foot wheelchair ramp.)
 
Ask Hoveround
Hoveround https://www.hoveround.com/ offers free consultations to help you determine which wheelchair ramps will best suit your needs, so give our Mobility Specialists a call today at (800) 542-7236 and regain your independence!
 

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