A steep wheelchair ramp is dangerous and difficult to navigate. For safety reasons, your wheelchair ramp should not exceed a 9.5 degree slope when the wheelchair is occupied. See the tips below to find the right wheelchair ramp for your needs.
To find out what size wheelchair ramp you need, first measure the rise (vertical height) of application. In other words, figure out the vertical distance between where the bottom of the ramp will be anchored and where the top of the ramp will rest. Measure the height of the stairs, landing, vehicle floorboards, or other elevated landing place.
Once you find the rise, use the chart below to find the correct ramp length that you need that is within the slope recommendations for your application.
1:12 Slope (4.8 degrees)
2:12 Slope (9.5 degrees)
3:12 Slope (14.5 degrees)
Before using your wheelchair ramp, make sure it is properly set up and will not slip off the landing. Do not exceed the weight limits for your wheelchair ramp.
The act of caregiving can change your life forever. Such is the case for Cathlene Larson, a professional caregiver in New Hampshire who works with clients through Home Care Assistance. Cathlene received the Caregiver of the Month Award across the entire Home Care Assistance network in March of this year.
We asked Cathlene to share a few words about how caregiving has impacted her life and shaped who she is today:
Cathlene: “I truly believe that caregiving has helped shape who I have become as a person, as an adult. For me, there is nothing more rewarding, more personal, terrifying, humbling and awe inspiring than caring for another human being. I’ve had some of my most memorable experiences doing so.
“The people I have had the good fortune to work with have helped to teach me some of my best life lessons. They have taught me about patience, humility, to trust and to be trusted, to laugh (even at myself), to relish in life’s little triumphs, and to cherish even the smallest of things, for they are what make up life.
“I have been shown love and compassion and even been given advice by clients on days when pain and illness should have been all-consuming and I [should have been] the last thing on their minds, showing me the true testament of the human heart and spirit.
“I have been allowed to share and witness some of the best and worst days in a person’s life and, on a handful of occasions, the last moments of life—a true honor for me. In short, my work as a caregiver has helped me to see our humanity in all its forms and taught me to treasure them all.”
Thanks, Cathlene! And thanks for making a difference in your work!
Walking with a cane can give you back your independence and mobility. Here are some safety tips on walking with a cane.
Footwear matters. Rubber soles are best, since they have plenty of grip. Leather soles can be slippery, especially when wet. The shoes you wear should fit well and be tied securely (if they have shoelaces).
Keep the floor clear of debris and tripping hazards. Get rid of throw rugs, nail or tape down carpet edges, and glue down loose linoleum. Furniture should be arranged so that there is a clear path through and between rooms.
Clean up spills in the kitchen and bathroom right away. Be especially careful in the bathroom, where moisture and humidity can make the floor slippery even when it is not wet.
Make sure you are well balanced before you start to walk with your cane. After standing up from a sitting or lying position, give yourself a few minutes to adjust before walking. Don’t start walking if you feel dizzy.
Keep your eyes straight ahead as you walk with a cane. Don’t look down at your feet. You might trip or run into something if you are looking down at your feet.
A bath seat can make bathing safer and more pleasant for your loved one. If your bath seat comes unassembled, you will need to put it together before you can use it. The following instructions are for the Roll Mobility bath seat with backrest.
First, attach the backrest to the backrest tubes, using the bolts provided.
Then, lay the bath seat upside down on a flat surface.
Fit the tubes into the angled grooves on the bottom of the seat. The tubes should cross in the middle.
Attach the tubes to the seat with a washer and bolt. Tighten the bolt to secure the tubes to the seat.
To attach the backrest to the bath seat, lay the bath seat upside down on a solid bench or raised work surface.
Place the backrest upside down on top of the bath seat, with the backrest on the side of the bath seat marked “Rear.”
Line up the holes on the backrest tubes to the holes in the bath seat tubes.
Secure the backrest to the seat with the bolts and washers provided.
Adjust the height of the bath seat as needed by pushing in the snap button and sliding the leg tube up or down until the button protrudes through the correct adjustment hole. Repeat for the remaining three legs.
Make sure all four legs are adjusted to the same height by counting the number of holes between the bottom of each leg and the push button. Ensure that the legs are locked in place before use.