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How do wheelchair lifts work?

If the entry to your home is particularly high, and a long ramp impractical, a vertical lift might be the solution. The cost of lifts, including a concrete slab, electrical power, and related remodeling expenses can range between $5,000 and $15,000. Social service agencies (Catholic, Jewish, or Lutheran Social Services, United Way, and others in your community) may be able to help you apply for grants and low-interest loans. Your faith community might also help you defray the cost. Remember, if you need the lift to get out of your house to go to work, your state vocational rehabilitation agency may also help cover the cost.

Vertical platform lifts work like an elevator to raise a wheelchair or scooter, along with a companion, smoothly and effortlessly straight up and down from driveway or entry path to entryway, patio, or porch. Most will rise about 4.5 feet but some will go as high as 14 feet, enough to reach the second floor. Taking up less than 30 square feet of space, a vertical platform wheelchair lift can avoid the space problems of long ramps. A lift, powered by battery or household current, is durable indoors or outdoors for even the harshest winter weather.

The Simplicity Wheelchair Lift Ramp combines features of a ramp with an electric lift for economy of space and pocketbook. If you do not have room for a ramp (or it would take up half your yard) and a vertical platform lift is too permanent or two expensive, a Simplicity Wheelchair Lift Ramp may be just right. Roll onto this 8-foot-long ramp, press a button and it raises you to 34 Home Accessibility the height of your door. When it is time to leave, you reverse the process. This durable lift ramp installs indoors or outdoors in about an hour and can be easily uninstalled and taken with you if you move.

An outdoor stairlift eliminates the need to climb stairs. If you can walk but need assistance getting up the stairs from driveway to porch, deck, or raised entryway, an outdoor stairlift may be the answer. Just sit on the seat and use hand controls to raise you to the next level.

Before deciding between a ramp or a lift, do your research. Surf the Internet (if you don’t have a connection ask family or your local librarian to help you) or contact senior centers, ILCs, or home improvement contractors and building centers that specialize in accessible-housing options for suggestions.

Home Accessibility (300 Tips for Making Life Easier)

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Home Accessibility (300 Tips for Making Life Easier)

Written by the best-selling author of Multiple Sclerosis: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier and Parkinson's Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier, Home Accessibility: 300 Tips for Making Life...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.