Both ramps and chair lifts can eliminate the barrier stairs present to people with limited mobility. When adapting your home or business, the choice between a wheelchair ramp or a chair lift will depend on various factors, including your budget, the layout of your home or building, and your specific mobility needs.
A wheelchair ramp is a sloped surface that allows a person in a wheelchair to access a higher or lower level. Ramps are typically less expensive than chair lifts and can be used by any individuals who have difficulty climbing stairs in addition to wheelchair users.
On the other hand, a chair lift, also known as a vertical platform lift or wheelchair lift, is a motorized device that lifts a person, typically in a wheelchair, between levels. Chair lifts are typically more expensive than ramps but may be a better option for individuals who would have difficulty pushing themselves up a ramp.
Consider the following factors when deciding between a ramp or a wheelchair lift:
- Budget: Ramps are generally less expensive than chair lifts, but the cost will depend on the length and materials used.
- Space: Ramps require more space than chair lifts, so you will need to consider the available space in your home or building. A wheelchair lift may be overkill if the user only needs to ascend a few feet. The more distance between levels, the steeper the ramp, and the more difficult for users to negotiate.
- Mobility needs: Consider your mobility needs and the type of assistance you require. If you can easily negotiate a ramp, that should be sufficient, but if your mobility needs are more extensive, a wheelchair lift is a more reliable option.
- Safety: Both ramps and chair lifts should be installed with safety in mind. Consider the safety features of each option and ensure that the installation meets all necessary safety standards. That said, wheelchair lifts have mechanical safeguards that ramps can’t offer.
Ultimately, the decision between a wheelchair ramp or a chair lift will depend on your specific circumstances. It may be helpful to consult with a professional to evaluate your home or building and provide recommendations based on your needs and budget. With Symmetry and Bruno being our main trusted wheelchair lift providers, we have several models for you to choose from. All models come with a 750 lb. lifting capacity and several customization options. Call today for a free, in-home estimate with one of our wheelchair lift specialists to help you decide which lift will best suit your needs.