Planning Ahead: Holiday Accessibility

With October only a day away, fall is officially in the air. Depending on which part of the country you live in, you may even be experiencing the cooler temperatures and changing leaves in full force already. As the days become shorter and temperatures drop, we begin thinking thoughts of apples and pumpkins, crisp fall nights and warm fires, but we often forget that the holidays are just around the corner.

While it may seem too soon to be thinking about holiday plans, it is important to consider how grandma will get up the front steps with her walker for Thanksgiving dinner, or how your uncle will access the 2nd-story guest room after his foot surgery this December. Fortunately, 101 Mobility offers product rentals to accommodate your short-term accessibility needs. As the holidays approach and many customers realize the last-minute need for a rental product, stores may not have the necessary time or inventory to facilitate the request. To make sure that you reserve your equipment and avoid last-minute stress, consider the following temporary solutions now:

Portable Ramps

Portable Ramp

Benefits:

Portable Ramps (also known as “Suitcase Ramps” or “Lightweight Ramps”) are aluminum ramps available in lengths ranging from 2 feet in length to 12 feet. They are heavy duty enough to handle weight up to 800 lbs, yet light enough to be able to simply lay down in the designated area for use, then move out of the way when not in use.

They do not require professional installation, and can often be rented for as short as single-day or weekend use. This makes them ideal if you will only require the ramp while a guest visits for dinner or if you have multiple entrances that you would like to make accessible. They are also good for use inside of a home, if you have a sunken living room or dining room.

Portable ramps can be a great option if your holiday plans involve visiting numerous people at different homes. They can be easily transported in most automobiles and used in different locations as needed.

Because you can safely store portable ramps when not in use, there is no concern about snow, ice, or other debris collecting on the surface when not in use so it is always ready for use.

Limitations:

ADA Guidelines recommend that ramps adhere to a 1:12 ratio, meaning that for every inch of rise, the ramp extend 12 inches in length. While the guidelines are not strict requirements for residential use, it is best to remain close to the 1:12 ratio to ensure that the ramp is a safe slope rather than a dangerous roller coaster for the user. This means that portable ramps are only safe for use on 1-2 steps, depending on the exact height of each step.

Portable ramps are typically only about 30″ wide, which is narrower than or the exact width of some power wheelchairs. If your guest will be using a power mobility device, be sure to measure the width to ensure that it will fit on the ramp with a safe margin for error before considering a portable ramp.

Most portable ramps do not have handrails. If the user is unsteady or requires railings for additional support, a modular ramp may be a better option.

Modular Ramps

Benefits:

Modular Ramps are heavy-duty aluminum ramps composed of pre-fabricated sections. Our Mobility Specialists can configure our modular ramps to nearly any length and configuration, so they can safely assist your loved ones up larger flights of stairs.

Our modular ramps are manufactured to ADA Guidelines, so they can accommodate nearly any mobility device or need. They are a standard width of 36″, and have a weight capacity of 850 lbs. Each ramp also has sturdy handrails on both sides, so the user can safely navigate the ramp. The surface is a grooved aluminum, which maintains traction, even in rain or other inclement weather.

Modular Ramps can typically be assembled or removed in less than two hours, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with a “construction zone” at your home during the already stressful holiday season.

Limitations:

Modular ramps require an on-site consultation before renting, as our Mobility Specialists need to take various measurements and assess the area to determine how the ramp should be configured. This means that we cannot always have a modular ramp in place same-day if a last-minute need arises, so it is best to plan ahead and have your free measurements taken as soon as possible if you are considering renting a ramp.

Modular ramps must be assembled by a trained Mobility Specialist as they are highly technical. Because of the labor involved in assembling and removing modular ramps, there is typically a minimum rental period. Check with your nearest 101 Mobility for rental specifics in your area.

Due to the 1:12 rise to run ratio requirements, modular ramps may require a large amount of space to ensure that they maintain a safe slope. For example, if your home has five steps at seven inches each, your rise of 35″ would require a 35 foot long ramp, so you must have ample space in your yard for the ramp.

Outdoor Stairlifts

 

 

Benefits:

Outdoor stairlifts can be mounted on nearly any outdoor staircase, regardless of how many steps there are. This makes them an excellent option when the home has a large staircase but a small yard without sufficient space for a ramp, or if the yard is on a hill.

Stairlifts are an excellent option for individuals who are semi-mobile but have difficulty with stairs. They provide a safe alternative to struggling with stairs, especially in the winter months when steps may become slippery with snow and ice. They also come with a seat cover that can be placed over the seat when not in use, so it is always dry and ready for use.

Stairlifts ensure that the user is secured safely with a seat-belt and arm rests. They are easy to operate with just the push of a button on the arm rest or on the included remote.

Our stairlifts do not require a special power source – a standard wall outlet nearby is the only requirement to power the unit. Our stairlifts also come standard with a backup battery, so in the event of a power outage the unit will continue to run for a fixed period of time off its own charge.

The seat bottom, arm rests, and foot rest fold up toward the unit when it is not in use. This allows for additional space on the staircase for other users to pass by the unit safely.

Limitations:

To use a stairlift, the individual must be able to stand sufficiently to enter and exit the lift’s seat. For individuals who are completely wheelchair-bound, this may not be an option.

Outdoor stairlifts are great for carrying individuals, but they do not carry devices such as walkers and wheelchairs. The user may need to have another individual carry his or her mobility device up and down the stairs separately.

Stairlifts must be installed and removed by a trained Mobility Specialist, as they are highly technical products. Because of the labor involved, there is typically a minimum rental period. Check with your nearest 101 Mobility for rental specifics and availability in your area.

Indoor Stairlifts

Indoor Stairlift

Benefits:

Indoor stairlifts are a great option if you will have house guests who need access to 2nd-story bedrooms or bathrooms.

Similar to their outdoor counterparts, indoor stairlifts are a great option for individuals who are mobile but have difficulty with stairs. They provide a safe alternative to stairs, and ensure that the user is safely secured with a seat-belt and arm rests.

Stairlifts take up only a small amount of space on a stair case, allowing plenty of room for others to utilize the stair case as well. The seats, arm rests, and foot rests also fold up when not in use, allowing even more space on the stair case.

Stairlifts are powered by a standard wall outlet, and include a backup battery. As long as your home has an outlet within six feet of the top or bottom of the staircase, it can power a stairlift. The backup battery constantly charges when the unit is not in use, so in the event of a power outage the unit will continue to work for a set period of time before requiring a charge.

Our stairlifts can be operated by the user, with the push of a button on the arm rest, or by pushing a button on the remote that is mounted at either the top or bottom of the staircase. They can also be locked when not in use, so kids and other house guests are not tempted to “play” with the unit.

Limitations:

Stairlifts are great for carrying individuals, but they do not carry devices such as walkers and wheelchairs. If the user requires a walker or wheelchair, it may be best to keep one unit at the top of the stair case and another at the bottom, or have another individual carry it up and down the stairs as needed.

To use a stairlift, the individual must be able to stand sufficiently to enter and exit the lift’s seat. For individuals who are completely wheelchair-bound, this may not be an option.

Stairlifts must be installed and removed by a trained Mobility Specialist, as they are highly technical products. Because of the labor involved, there is typically a minimum rental period. Check with your nearest 101 Mobility for rental specifics and availability in your area.

Many staircases are straight, but some may have turns, curves, and landings along the way. Stairlifts are available in standard straight rail models, as well as custom curved variations. Unfortunately, because the curved units are custom manufactured, they are only available for purchase and can not be rented.

Need a Quote?

Whether you are unsure of which product would be best suited to your home or situation, or would like to get pricing on a certain product, you can contact us by clicking here or call us at 877.350.2755. Our Mobility Specialists are ready to answer your questions and help prepare you for the holidays now so you can go into the season focused on visions of gingerbread and candy canes, not walkers and canes.

 

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About Jessica Solimando

Jessica is a Blog writer and Social Media Manager for 101 Mobility. She has been with the company since November, 2014. Her favorite topics to learn and write about include inspirational individuals and natural health and wellness tips.

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