Looking for a wheelchair ramp for your vehicle? A van ramp is an easy way to make your vehicle accessible to wheelchairs, scooters, and power chairs. Here are a few tips on how to choose a wheelchair van ramp.
Van ramps are either portable or semi-permanently installed. A portable utility van ramp allows you to use the ramp only when you need it or transfer the ramp from one vehicle to another. If you will be using your van ramp on a regular basis, we recommend a semi-permanently installed ramp. The ramp mounts to the floor of the van inside the doorway. Some mounted van ramps include a spring assist for easy operation by one person.
You can choose from either a rear door van ramp or a side door ramp. When parking, you’ll need to make sure you have enough room to the side or rear of the van to unfold the ramp. The ramp should not stick out into a traffic lane or parking lot row.
A side door ramp mounts inside the sliding door and folds in half to leave the doorway partly accessible for other passengers. A rear van ramp stores vertically inside the doorway and allows you to push the wheelchair into the back of the van. Keep in mind that a rear van ramp will take up most of your rear storage space.
The longer the van ramp is, the easier it will be to push or drive the wheelchair up the ramp. Just keep in mind that the longer the ramp is, the more room you will need around your van to unfold the ramp. The ADA recommends a slope no greater than 9.5 degrees for an occupied wheelchair or scooter and a slope no greater than 14.5 degrees for unoccupied chairs.
Looking for a wheelchair for yourself or a loved one? There are many options available, from customized electric wheelchairs to heavy duty wheelchairs to ultra lightweight transport chairs.
For manual wheelchairs, you have two choices: transport or self-propelled. Transport wheelchairs are for users who will be pushed around by a caregiver. Self-propelled wheelchairs are for users who want to be able to get around by themselves, along with the option of being pushed by a caregiver.
Since transport wheelchairs are lighter in weight than self-propelled wheelchairs, you can easily take the chair with you on outings. Transport chairs are easier to lift into the back of a vehicle for transport. Since the rear wheels are smaller than a self-propelled wheelchair, the transport chair is lighter and more compact.
For everyday use, self-propelled wheelchairs are more common. They make it easy for the user to move around, and they often provide more comfort for users who are seated in a wheelchair most of the day. For users who only need a wheelchair for trips outside the home, such as doctor appointments and shopping, a transport chair is quick and easy to use. Some users also like the transport chair for home use, with its smaller frame and the ability to move the chair with their feet.
The older you get, the more serious a fall can be. Broken bones are common in the elderly, and they take much longer to heal. The best way to prevent injuries from a fall is to prevent falls in the first place! Here are some tips to prevent falls at home.
Synergy HomeCare advocates respite and support for family caregivers. One of their staff members, Rebecca Brown, is a long-time family caregiver for her mother-in-law. She offers her advice as a caregiver below.
Most of the time support information is found through searching different websites or talking with friends. Doctors or medical professionals can also be a resource along with government agencies. Most of the time, support is found with other family members and friends. Some churches are also a great support resource.
My experience as a caregiver has brought me joy in seeing the person that I am caring for smile or know that I bring comfort and compassion to that person. Caring for someone in their most vulnerable time always brings moments of joy.
The lack of support from government agencies and the assisted living facilities that we have interacted with over the years seems to be our biggest hurdle. We found care in group homes to be questionable at times and have witnessed neglect on the part of staff and management. The agencies that are in place to assist people with these challenges are under staffed and there seems to be a lack of concern or compassion. The paperwork is never-ending and trying to navigate through the system is exhausting.
Take care of yourself first! You are no assistance to anyone if you are not in a healthy place yourself, be it mental, physical, or spiritual. Taking time to enjoy yourself away from your caregiving duties is crucial. Even short periods of time can be beneficial, such as taking a walk, having coffee with a friend, or reading a book at the library.
If you have a weak leg or unsteady balance, using a walking cane can help restore your confidence and keep you mobile. A single-point or quad cane allows you to live more independently and lowers the chances of re-injury.
For proper posture and support, the cane needs to be a certain height. The top of the walking cane should reach the crease of your wrist when you are standing up straight. Your elbow should be slightly bent (about 30 degrees) when you hold the cane. You should be able to use the cane to support your weight without being forced to stoop.
Hold the cane in the hand opposite your weak or injured leg. When you step forward with your weak leg, use the cane to support some of your weight. The cane and weak leg should strike the ground at the same time.
With the cane in your hand or leaning against the chair, grab the armrests and lower yourself slowly into the chair. Slide back until you are comfortably seated. To stand, scoot forward to the edge of the chair, grab both armrests with the cane in your strong hand, and push yourself up, letting most of your weight fall on your strong leg.
With the cane in the hand opposite your weak leg, grab the handrail with your free hand. Step up with your good leg first, followed by the weak leg and cane. To come back down the stairs, place the cane on the first step down, followed by your weak leg and finally your good leg. Most of your weight should be on your good leg. Do not use a quad cane on the stairs.