Best Portable Wheelchair Ramps for Spring Travel

best portable wheelchair ramps

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you are all chomping at the bit to get out and enjoy spring.  But those of you in wheelchairs may be nervous about accessibility issues you may encounter on your spring outings.  The team at EZ-ACCESS understands and wants you to be comfortable leaving the house to enjoy the spring weather, so we’ve come up with several portable ramp solutions that will make most local outdoor destinations safe and accessible.

  1. Suitcase Singlefold AS Ramp

The Suitcase Singlefold Ramp is our lightest and most compact portable ramp option.  Most mobility users can easily carry the ramp sections, which weigh 6 to 15 pounds each, depending on the size of the ramp.  The ramp is available in 2’, 3’, 4’, 5’ and 6’ lengths, with the 5’ and 6’ being suitable for some minivans, crossovers or SUVs.

  • Length 2’ to 6’
  • Weight of each section 6 to 15 pounds
  • Usage – 1 step to some minivans & SUVs
  1. Suitcase Singlefold Ramp

Our Suitcase Singlefold Ramp differs from the Suitcase Singlefold AS Ramp because of its extruded slip-resistant tread and also because it comes in all the same sizes available above as well as a 7’ and 8’ version.  Sizes ranging from 5’ to 8’ are suitable for some minivans with the 8’ design being suitable for 2-3 steps.

  • Length 2’ to 8’
  • Weight 11 to 47 pounds
  • 1 step and some minivans & SUVs
  1. Suitcase Trifold AS Ramp

For the largest portable ramp available, look to the Suitcase Trifold AS Ramp.  This portable ramp goes up to 10’ in length, which can safely provide accessibility for minivans, SUVs and 2-4 steps.

  • Length 5’ to 10’
  • Weight of each section 16 to 30 pounds
  • 2-4 steps and some minivans & SUVs

These portable ramps can all be easily transported in your vehicle and set up with a few easy steps to make most businesses and local outdoor destinations accessible.  To discuss these portable ramp solutions or to find a portable ramp dealer in your area, reach out to the EZ-ACCESS customer service team today!

 

Saving for a Rainy Day: Mobility Ramp Financing Options

ramp financing options

They say April showers bring May flowers so in April we are focusing on the issue of saving for a rainy day.   We know that many of you need better home accessibility, but don’t have the budget to cover it.  In fact, Disabled World reported that about half of all American wheelchair users must navigate steps just to get in and out of their home each day.  This is why our team at EZ-ACCESS has come up with a large variety of ramp funding options.

Visit our Funding Sources page and read on to get an overview of funding options that may work for you:

Private Organizations

Private organizations are a great place to start when you’re looking for home accessibility funding.  Depending on your diagnoses, you could look into the National United Cerebral Palsy Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Muscular Dystrophy Association and more.

Local Programs

Local communities also offer great funding for home accessibility.  Check with your local government, church or community organization to see if they offer a special home program or volunteer project for local low income families.

Bank Funding

If you have a great relationship with your local bank, you may want to explore options in a second mortgage, home equity loan or reverse mortgage.  Simply, contact your bank and weigh your options.

Insurance

We realize Medicare doesn’t typically cover mobility ramps.  However, some private insurance plans do cover home accessibility products and home modification.  Contact your insurance agent to check into this.

Tax Deductible

One final area to look into is tax deductions.  As a homeowner, you can take advantage of tax deductions for certain home modifications as capital expenses with the main purpose of medical care for you, your spouse or your dependent.  Read more about tax-deductible accessible home modifications.

Do you have any suggestions for ramp funding programs that you’d like us to add to our Funding Sources page?  We’d love to hear your suggestions!  Share funding ideas on the EZ-ACCESS Facebook page or submit your ideas through our contact us page today.

 

Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 2

home safety evaluation

In honor of April Fool’s Day, we started this two-part series on home safety evaluations.  In the previous blog post, we covered home safety evaluations for the entryway, floor and electrical.  If you’re visiting this page from the previous post, read on to continue your home evaluation with kitchens, bathrooms and basic maintenance!

Kitchen

When evaluating the kitchen, keep in mind that most kitchen injuries are caused by reaching for something.  Look at how your loved one will access and operate common appliances like the fridge, microwave and stove.  Controls placed at the front of the stove prevent your loved one from reaching over burners.  Also, take a look at the ventilation in the kitchen.  Poor ventilation can lead to kitchen fires.

The next step in the kitchen is to review countertops.  Are countertops at the right height to allow your loved one to complete their tasks?  Do you have the most commonly used items on the countertop to avoid lifting and carrying?  Are utensils easy to grab without moving around the kitchen?  Check for all of these items when examining the kitchen.

Bathroom

According to the National Institute on Aging, 80 percent of falls each year in seniors over age 65 occur in the bathroom, making this one of the most important rooms you will evaluate today.  Just like rugs, you’ll need to make sure bathroom mats are secure to the floor, and just like the kitchen countertops, make sure all commonly used items are easily reachable.  You’ll also want to examine the tub and toilet areas to be sure there are enough grab bars and proper footing.

Basic Maintenance

Basic maintenance is another commonly missed issue.  Many falls in the home occur because the individual is trying to change a light bulb or complete other standard home maintenance.  The easy fix for this is to make sure your loved one has a sturdy stepladder.

For more on home accessible solutions and proper home evaluations, reach out to our EZ-ACCESS customer service team.  Our customer service representatives are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to home accessibility and would be happy to offer advice or connect you with a home accessibility expert in your area!

Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 1

home accessibility evaluation

Happy April Fool’s Day!  We, at EZ-ACCESS, are taking this opportunity to remind you that accessible home safety is no joking matter.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released statistics stating “one in three adults aged 65 and older fall each year and 20-30% of these falls lead to moderate or severe injuries” so take action now.  Evaluate your home or the home of your aging loved ones for safety concerns and get these issues address immediately.

Here are a few tips for evaluating a home today:

Home Entryways

For entryways, you are focused completely on what it takes to get into the home safely.  Take a close look at how well lit the entrance is, how easy it is to get to the front door, how easily can the individual unlock and use the door handle and what the welcome mat situation is.  A common hazard we come across is welcome mats that easily shift around, making them easy to trip on.

Inside the entryway, predict what your loved one will be doing.  If they take off their shoes and hang up their coat, evaluate how they can safely do this.  You may consider adding a sturdy bench.

Concerned with your home entry?  Check out EZ-ACCESS’ line of door threshold ramps for smaller transitions, semi-permanent ramps or wheelchair lifts for higher entry solutions.

Floors

Just the floor alone can be highly dangerous.  If your home has wood or tiled flooring, the surface can often be slick, and if you’ve placed throw rugs or mats down, go ahead and call the ambulance.   When it comes to rugs or mats, either use adhesive strips to stick them to the floor or remove them entirely.  For carpeting, make sure the carpet is in good shape and not balling up or rolling in areas.

Electrical

While you are down evaluating the floor, make sure to check the outlets, cords and extension cords.  We typically discourage the use of extension cords or cords running under walkways as these can be dangerous tripping hazards.  If you’re willing do a little electrical work on the home, consider installing outlets at mid-room level for easy access, less bending and less cord hazards.

Also, use this time to evaluate the indoor lighting.  Check that hallways and doors are well lit, and that light switches are accessible and easy for your loved one to use.

Continue walking through your accessible home evaluation by reading our next blog post “Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 2,” covering kitchens, bathrooms and basic maintenance!

10 Reasons to love the Passport Vertical Platform Lift

love the passport vertical platform lift

Even though everyone claims they don’t have a favorite, you know they do.  We aren’t afraid to admit that we love all our products, but we are a little more in love with the Passport® Vertical Platform Lift.  With its sleek design, easy operation, lightweight frame and enchanting safety features, who wouldn’t love the Passport!

  1. Lightweight Lift – Coming in at a slim 380 pounds, the Passport® Vertical Platform Lift is the lightest residential platform lift on the market. That’s 300 pounds lighter than most comparable vertical platform lifts!
  2. Prewired for your Convenience – Both the lift tower and gate come prewired so that the Passport Vertical Platform Lift is extremely easy to set up. Just plug in and start it up!
  3. Tested and Approved – This Vertical Platform Lift has passed its tests and carries the ETL Listed Mark for safety.
  4. DC-Powered – The Passport is DC powered and can complete about 30 cycles!
  5. Amazing Strength – This VPL can lift up to 750 pounds, almost two times the weight of the entire lift!
  6. Comes when you call – Using the Call-Send control with a mushroom-head design for your convenience, you can easily make the Passport come to you from top or bottom of the landing!
  7. Go wireless – It even offers a wireless remote to operate the Passport Vertical Platform Lift from inside your house or in the car!
  8. Super safe – The Passport comes with a variety of safety options such as the platform safety rail, interlock system, top landing gate and safety pan weather guard.
  9. Weather Strong – With waterproof controls and arctic-rated greased screws, the Passport Platform Lift controls will not erode and can handle wide temperature ranges.
  10. Ready for anything – The Passport Vertical Platform Lift has several power options including DC power and manual lowering capability through a hand crank.

Do you own a Passport Vertical Platform Lift or carry them through your home accessibility store?  Let us know what you love about the Passport by leaving a review at on the Passport Vertical Platform Lift product page today!

TRANSITIONS Threshold Ramps for a Home in Transition

transitions threshold ramps

Do you fear change?  Many of us do, which is why we created a line of products that makes the transition to an accessible home extra smooth.  For a home in transition, what could be more perfect than the TRANSITIONS® product line from EZ-ACCESS?  Let us tell you what’s so special about this line of home threshold ramps and how they can benefit you!

5 Unique Threshold Ramps

TRANSITIONS® Angled Entry Ramp – Supporting doorways up to 5 7/8 inches high, this angled entry ramp offers swivel feet that allow for varying heights and doorway angles.  Uneven surfaces are not a problem with the Angled Entry Ramp!

TRANSITIONS® Modular Entry Ramp – Extending up to 6 ¼ inches high, this modular entry ramp features a smooth path from door to ramp.  Use the Modular Entry Ramp with a sliding glass door to make every entry easy for the mobility user in your home.

TRANSITIONS® Angled Entry Mat – One of two completely rubber mats in the TRANSITIONS family, this angled entry mat can reach 2 ½ inches high and is unique because of its beveled edges which make it ideal for areas with cross traffic.

TRANSITIONS® Modular Entry Mat – The other rubber mat in the TRANSITIONS family, this modular entry mat does not feature beveled edges, but rather can reach a height of 4 ¾ inches using rubber risers.

NEW TRANSITIONS® Angled Entry Plate – The TRANSITIONS Angled Entry Plate is our latest addition to the TRANSITIONS line.  It offers a simple design requiring no adjustments and extremely easy setup.

5 Family Traits of the TRANSITIONS

Seam-free Surface – Every TRANSITIONS threshold ramp is completely seam-free, making them extremely safe for mobility users.

Attractive Design – Many of us want every element of our home entry to look natural and attractive.  The TRANSITIONS products are all designed with this in mind, available in several materials to match the décor of your home.

Slip-resistant and Durable – The surface for all TRANSITIONS threshold ramps offer an extruded design for exceptional traction.

Easy Setup – Keeping the end user in mind, we have designed all TRANSITIONS threshold ramps to include only a handful of steps for setup.

Portable – Each TRANSITIONS threshold ramp is also lightweight and easy to transport from one entry way to another.

EZ-ACCESS knows that safety starts at your front door and we want to offer every opportunity for you or your loved one to enter and exit their home easily.  Let EZ-ACCESS help you find a home accessibility dealer in your area to evaluate your home for safety and comfort today!

 

Vertical Platform Lift or Mobility Ramp: How to Choose

modular ramp or vertical platform lift

At EZ-ACCESS, mobility users or caregivers often ask us which home accessible solution is best: a vertical platform lift such as the Passport Vertical Platform Lift or a modular ramp such as the PATHWAY Modular Access System.  The answer depends on many factors like space, upkeep and budget.  Before you make any quick decisions, go through these questions:

  1. How high up is your porch, deck or front entry?

What is the distance between the upper landing of your entry and the ground?  The rise will affect how high the vertical platform lift will need to go or how long your modular ramp will need to be to stay within the ADA Standard Ratio of 1:12.  Once you determine how high your rise is, you’ll have a better idea of the space needed for a modular ramp.

  1. Where would your modular ramp or vertical platform lift lead out to?

You’ll need to consider the terrain and make sure you have enough room to park a car and safely navigate to the ramp or lift entry.  You will also need your ramp or lift to entry to be on level, sturdy ground, preferably not in the middle of your lawn.

  1. Who would keep the ramp or lift clear from the elements?

In certain parts of the country, you may need someone to come clear your modular ramp of snow, ice or leaves.  If you choose a vertical platform lift, will it be in an area that snow, ice or rain will not cause a problem?

  1. What is your budget?

How much will budget affect your decision?  Typically, a modular ramp system costs less than a vertical platform lift, but a modular ramp may not be the best solution for your home.  If funding is a concern of yours, visit our Funding Sources page to learn about financing available by state or category.

Deciding on the best home accessible solution can be complicated.  This is why EZ-ACCESS has a customer service team available at 800-451-1903.  You can also use our Dealer Locator tool to find an expert in your area that can evaluate your home accessible needs.

So, the Passport Vertical Platform Lift has the ETL Listed Mark – What does that mean?

ETL Listed Mark Vertical Platform Lift

If you’ve explored the EZ-ACCESS webpage for the Passport Vertical Platform Lift, you may have noticed verbiage and a logo declaring the Passport as ETL Listed.  Unless you are a retailer, distributor or local inspector, you most likely have no idea what ETL means.  Here are 4 things you need to know about the ETL Listed Mark and what it means for our Passport Vertical Platform Lift:

  1. What does the ETL Listed Mark mean? – The ETL Listed Mark means that the Passport Vertical Platform Lift has been test by the NRTL and found to be in compliance with all national recognized safety standards for platform lifts and stairway chairlifts as well as elevator and escalator electrical equipment.  It also means that this product will continue to receive periodic follow-up inspections to guarantee that EZ-ACCESS is maintaining the highest level of safety for the product.
  2. Who is NRTL? – National Recognized Testing Laboratory is operated by OSHA and tests products such as the Passport Vertical Platform Lift against 200 safety and performance standards.
  3. How can I verify when a product is ETL Listed Mark? In addition to the ETL Listed Mark logo displayed on the product, there is a seven-digit number which you can use to look up the official Authorization to Mark from Intertek.  Here is the Passport’s Authorization to Mark.
  4. Why did EZ-ACCESS pursue the ETL Listed Mark? Your safety is our absolute top priority and we want your total confidence that our Passport Vertical Platform Lift is tested and proven to be one of the safest wheelchair lifts on the market, and will continue to remain a safe option for mobility users.

We stand behind our Passport Vertical Platform Lift and recommend it as the best solution for mobility users in need of access to a raised deck or porch.  Watch for next week’s blog article when we cover how to decide between a mobility ramp or a vertical platform lift for entry into your home or business.

 

Adding Independence & Accessibility In Your Home

There are several modifications you can make to help add accessibility to your home.

There are several modifications you can make to help add accessibility to your home.

 

EZ-ACCESS offers a variety of products to help those with limited mobility to maneuver in, out and around the home. Adding a wheelchair ramp to the entrance of your home is one of the best ways you can make your home safer and easier for those in a wheelchair or scooter to enter and exit.

In observance of Senior Independence Month, we want to share some solutions to help ensure that the inside of your home is easily accessible for seniors and those with limited mobility. Some are inexpensive, do-it-yourself projects while others will require professional work. Evaluate your home to see where improvements can be made to make your home easier for everyone to move through. You may only need to make modifications in one room or the entire house!

Bathroom Accessibility Improvements

The bathroom can be a challenging room for those in a wheelchair to maneuver through. Bathrooms are typically small and often have many obstructions that make it difficult to get around. Something simple like raising the toilet seats will make it easier for someone to get in and out of their wheelchair if they need to reach the toilet. Bath tubs and showers can also be dangerous because of the wet surfaces and lack of stable places to use for support. Adding grab bars to the tub and shower will make it easier for someone using a wheelchair or scooter to make the transfer from their chair to the tub. You can also check out our accessibility accessories to find items that make bathing easier and safer.

Home Modifications for Accessibility

More changes can be made throughout the home to make it easier for those with limited mobility. These modifications, however, will require more work. The typical width of a wheelchair is 32” or 36”. Widening the doorways to accommodate this size opens up more of the home to those in a wheelchair. Kitchen countertops and cupboards can also be lowered to allow someone sitting to easily access or reach something.

If you are looking for more ideas on how you can improve the layout of your home to accommodate to those with limited mobility, contact EZ-ACCESS. If you have the ideas but are searching for the right products, you can find them in our online catalog.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Inspiration in a Wheelchair

Franklin D. Roosevelt saw America through some trying times while dealing with limited mobility.

Franklin D. Roosevelt saw America through some trying times while dealing with limited mobility.

 

Although he lived with numerous health issues, including being paralyzed from the waist down, Franklin D. Roosevelt is regarded as one of the greatest Presidents in United States history. EZ-ACCESS wants to share his story as inspiration for the millions of Americans with limited mobility.

Despite his medical issues, Roosevelt changed social policies in America and helped conceive the idea for world’s largest peace keeping organization – the United Nations. Roosevelt is most commonly remembered for the New Deal, a set of social programs created to aid the American public during the time of the Great Depression.

But in 1921, long before his presidency, Roosevelt contracted what was then believed to be polio. This paralyzed him from the waist down.  His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, believed that Roosevelt’s polio was “a turning point” that “proved a blessing in disguise; for it gave him strength and courage he had not had before.” His polio diagnosis has been heavily debated. Many believe that he actually had Guillain Barre Syndrome, a disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

Roosevelt did not want to accept paralysis and live his life in a wheelchair so he underwent treatment with many different therapies. He even taught himself to walk for short distances. Analysts believe he also may have had hypertension, anemia and melanoma.

Roosevelt hid many of his health ailments from the American public, believing that his issues would make him appear weak. He rarely allowed himself to be photographed in his wheelchair and went to great lengths to hide his health problems in order to keep the American people from worrying about their nation’s leader. The nation was shocked when Roosevelt died unexpectedly on April 12, 1945, less than six months after being elected to a fourth term in office.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a leader who overcame adversities and struggles to become someone who analysts and historians consider to be one of the most influential presidents in American history. He is an inspiration to all of us! The technology and capabilities of wheelchairs and wheelchair ramps have changed a lot since Roosevelt was in office. If you need assistance finding the right equipment to lead an active life, contact EZ-ACCESS. We have ramps that will keep you on the go!