What are Home Modifications?
Older adults and individuals with disabilities can benefit from home modifications to make their home safer and assist them in maintaining a greater level of independence. Changes in current home design to improve accessibility and convenience allows individuals to access areas of their homes safely with features that are sturdy, reliable and adapted for special needs.
Home modification can include simple adaptability changes such as replacing door knobs to pull handles or installing grab bars in bathrooms. Installing wheelchair or handicap ramps, vertical platform lifts, or stairlifts are major structural changes and require experts in the area of home redesign modifications. It is important to understand the modifications that will be the most helpful for you in order to make sure your specific needs are met.
Knowing the differences between platform lifts, handicap ramps, and stairlifts can help determine which option is best for your needs and help you get the right assistance:
Vertical Platform Lifts
Vertical Platform Lifts (VPLs) are an elevator-like mobility solution that offers individuals a way to transport their wheelchairs, power chairs, or power scooters vertically from between levels to easily enter/exit their home.
VPLs are available for indoor or outdoor use in a range of lifting heights from a few inches up to 14 feet.
Cost of VPLs varies depending on lift model, configuration, and chosen options. Additional costs such as site work application and permits may factor into the overall final cost. A UDS specialist is available to help determine which VPL is right for your home and needs. Click here to contact one of our specialists for assistance with no obligation.
Handicap Ramps are a great solution for individuals requiring the use of wheelchairs or scooters for mobility to access lower to upper level areas around their home. They are available in modular or metal ramps depending on preference and cost. Modular ramps have a variety of options and include pre-assembled ramps, handrails, and platforms to be assembled where you need them to be configured for a certain space. Metal ramps have certain advantages such as being lower maintenance, more cost-effective, and having a built-in anti-slip surface.
Stairlifts are a great option for individuals struggling with mobility or who are in wheelchairs/scooters and need to navigate from one level to another of their living space. The range of easy-access stairlift options including safety features, fold-away models, and wireless remotes providing ease and convenience. Cost of stairlifts can vary depending on style, installation considerations, and configurations. UDS home modification experts are available with years of experience to help you find the best solution for your unique needs and requirements.
If you are considering a stairlift for your home, we also invite you to download our free whitepaper, “7 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Stairlift.” You will also receive a special coupon to use when purchasing from UDS Accessible Home Modifications.
Wheelchair Ramps vs. Platform Lifts vs. Stairlifts
Whether you desire to age in place, have greater independence, or want peace of mind that you can navigate your home environment safely, it is important to determine: which one system is best for you? Consider these options:
- Ramps require some physical work to navigate, which may limit manual wheelchairs, but are suitable for scooters and power wheelchairs; platform lifts are effective for all users because the lift machinery does all of the work; stairlifts are appropriate for indoor and outdoor living spaces and are available in a variety of model options.
- Ramps have a lower rise capability (6 feet or less) to accommodate enough runway to elevate the user; whereas lifts can accommodate heights up to 14 feet; stairlifts have a straight and curved option to adjust to the style of your existing stair rise and navigate from one floor rise to the next.
- Cost considerations vary no matter which home modification you choose. However, at UDS, while services aren’t free, there are some avenues which may be able to help support individuals with lower incomes and disabilities to help offset some cost.
We Can Help
Need recommendations deciding which modification best suits your particular budget and needs? UDS experts will do a home evaluation to assess your unique situation, provide home modifications that are tailored to meet your requirements (not a one-size-fits-all solution) and provide cost estimates. UDS is based in Lancaster, PA and services counties surrounding the Lancaster, PA area. Contact us today.