Going up and down the stairs is something that so many of us take for granted; however, as we age, this seemingly routine task can become increasingly difficult and even perilous! According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall and every 19 minutes an older adult passes away as the result of a fall.
If you or a loved one has mobility issues and struggles when attempting to navigate various stairs and thresholds around the house, there are a number of options available to help reduce the risk of a potentially life-changing (perhaps even fatal) fall.
This blog will focus on the two most commonly utilized and (on average) most economical stair solutions available, traditional access ramps and vertical platform lifts.
The installation of an ADA-compliant access ramp can vastly improve quality of life for anyone with mobility issues. An access ramp is, essentially, just an inclined plane that provides easy access to your home without the need to climb stairs. Inclined planes have been utilized by humans since prehistoric times for countless applications, including the construction of the Great Pyramids at Giza.
This timeless technology can be used with a wheelchair or rollator and are a great solution for anyone who struggles with mobility issues and/or becomes fatigued when attempting to climb stairs. One of the biggest advantages of an access ramp is that they are available in both collapsible, portable versions, as well as permanent installations that can easily be customized to fit your space and unique needs.
Vertical Platform Lifts
A vertical platform lift (also commonly referred to as porch lifts or wheelchair lifts) provides a smooth, quiet and gentle ride that allows for quick access to raised entryways or different levels in your home. Vertical lifts feature simple, easy-access push button or paddle controls, come equipped with an emergency stop switch and, because the bottom of the platform is spring sensitive, the unit will automatically shut down if an obstruction is encountered.
Although vertical lifts don’t allow for quite the degree of customization that access ramps do, there are a wide variety of options available; some vertical platform lifts are even capable of accommodating heights as high as 14 feet and weight capacities of up to 750 pounds.
At Bell House Medical, our goal is to help you remain in your own home, functioning as safely and independently as possible. We have been proudly serving the Delmarva community since 1986 and would like to encourage you to stop by our medical supply store in Lewes, Delaware or contact us if you have questions about any of the information discussed above.
Bell House Medical
16719 Coastal Highway
Lewes, DE 19958