Many people with mobility issues think that they must pick between accessibility ramps or stairlifts. The truth is, each of these devices functions entirely differently and both make activities of daily life easier in varied ways. Instead of choosing between the two, let ramps and lifts augment and enhance one another, to optimize and increase autonomy and access among those using them.
Would you benefit from the use of a ramp? What about a stairlift? The two of these mobility aids together can make the home environment a lot more accessible, convenient, and comfortable for those that need them. Talk to area professionals about mobility aids and equipment that can increase independence and enhance overall quality of everyday life.
Individually, ramps and stair lifts serve different purposes and suit distinct environments better. That is, depending on your home configuration, available space, physical limitations, and budget, one choice may make more sense than the other.
While both are best to optimize accessibility, if you must make a choice regarding mobility aids, there are some things prospective buyers should know:
When it comes to bang for your buck, ramps are a great mobility option. These are easy to install, available widely, and buyers have a wide range of price points. Ramps work for smaller staircases and steps best, or in areas where space is limited. Ramps work indoors or out and you can elect to buy portable ramps, which can be temporary mobility solutions.
Another advantage of ramps is that anyone can use them with ease, seamlessly, and without interruption or delay. Ramps make life easier for anyone who uses, enters, or exits the premises where the ramp has been installed.
Ramps are durable and hold up to the elements typically, but choose options that make the most sense for your climate. Wheelchair ramps are the most permanent with configurations based on the home’s layout and access. There are ADA regulations pertaining to the specifications of accessibility ramps, including a 1:12 slope to make it a viable means of entry or exit for anyone. This means that for every 12 inches of rise, there is one foot of ramp so it is not too steep to be practical.
While ramps are versatile options, stair lifts are an amazing amenity that helps those with physical limitations gain independence and accessibility in their home environment. The key is choosing the right stair lift to suit your distinct needs and preferences. There are also outdoor stair lifts that can be the ideal solution when space is too limited for a ramp, or the incline is simply too steep to be viable. A stairlift takes up less room and a smaller portion of the area blueprint so it could make more sense for a long-term solution.
Naturally, a stairlift costs more than a conventional modular ramp but not by a lot. Carefully consider your options and don’t let price be the determining factor when making such an important decision. After all, it is your accessibility and autonomy that is at stake so make sure to weigh all your choices.
Ramps or Stair Lifts?
Why choose at all? You can have both. A ramp may be perfect for easy access into the home, while the stair lift may help you access outdoor living space or an interior level of the home. Consider, too, your future mobility aids; it may be prudent now to install these devices and equipment before the need is pressing. If you have concerns regarding cost or your buying budget, speak with a qualified mobility retailer to learn about cost-efficient options including rentals, used equipment, payment plans, and financing.
So, a ramp or a stair lift? Here are a few more things to keep in mind when making your decision:
- Lifts are not invasive and can be circumvented easily by others that want to use the stairs.
- Portable ramps can be stowed in the back of a vehicle for use on the road; vehicle lifts assist drivers in stowing their mobility equipment.
- Ramps can go a long way toward reducing the risk of a fall by smoothing out thresholds.
- Both ramps and stair lifts can be implemented indoors or out.
The two aids, ramps and stair lifts, can be used in tandem to create a safer and more accessible environment. Talk to your provider or mobility professional to find out more about your options, based on your own challenges and preferences. Work with a mobility retailer that offers consultations, installation, and customer support. Read reviews online to find a reputable retailer in your region.
If you would benefit from a ramp or stairlift installed in your living environment, talk to the team at Pacific Mobility to find out more regarding your options today!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)