Before Your Wheelchair Purchase, Consider Your Ramp
When you need to get a wheelchair for yourself, your focus may be entirely on the chair you'll be getting. This is of course, vital to your comfort and daily life. However, it's also important to remember that you may need to make other related purchases that could affect your budget for the chair itself.
One such investment will be the ramp you use to get the chair inside your house. The ramp may affect how often you choose to come and go; if it's not sturdy or becomes damaged easily, that could mean more expenses later and less ability to travel outside the home. Therefore, consider these ramp-related buying issues.
One ramp detail to think about is how permanent a structure you intend your ramp to be. This will largely depend on your own needs and how they relate to your property. If your family might be selling the house in a few years, pouring concrete for a ramp may be something you opt not to do, for instance. If your injury will only last a few weeks, a temporary setup is best. Temporary, smaller ramps can be made and set up in a day. Permanent versions, such as poured concrete ramps, will need a few days to be made. Permanent ramps could be more appropriate if you're going to always live in your current home and have a lifelong disability to consider.
Whether for appearance or cost reasons, many people are interested in shorter ramps when having theirs made. However, that is often a regrettable decision. Short ramps don't take up much space, but by design tend to be rather steep; this is not always comfortable for someone in a wheelchair. Gradual, longer inclines can make you feel much safer as you roll in and out of the entrance.
It's not unusual that you're probably picturing a hardwood ramp. Wood blends in well with most homes and is inexpensive to cut, purchase and use. However, vinyl is sometimes a superior choice. If your personal preference is for a wood look, vinyl can be customized to look like that. Also, vinyl will never rot, buckle or begin to warp the way wood often can.
Your decisions about a ramp could affect your decision about the wheelchair you buy. Consult wheelchair retailers and contractors about your ramp before you get your wheelchair so you can more accurately understand all the costs involved.