As caregivers, we want our loved ones to have access to the outside world. People require wheelchairs for various reasons, including health problems, results of accidents, or aging issues. The right wheelchair vehicle makes transportation easier.
We never want loved ones in our care to languish in the house all day. But it can sometimes be challenging to find ways to get them out and about. Just getting them in and out of the car can prove problematic, especially if your loved one is in a wheelchair or has other mobility issues.
If you've ever found yourself in this position, don't despair. These days, there are many vehicle options available to make travel easier. And knowing the different types of wheelchair vans to choose from will help you pick one that will get your loved one out again.
Ramps Help People Get In and Out of the Vehicle
The most common types of wheelchair vehicles use ramps to get their passengers into the car. These are the least labor-intensive for everyone involved. There are two types of wheelchair vans to choose from with ramps: rear-loading and side-loading vans.
As the name suggests, rear-loading vehicles have ramps that extend from the back of the vehicle in the space usually occupied by the trunk. This is especially convenient if you find yourself needing to park in tight spaces. It's also the choice with the most legroom, making it perfect if your loved one needs more space or has a larger wheelchair.
Side-loading vehicle ramps extend from the passenger door. Because they're closer to the front than rear-loading vehicles, they allow the person in the wheelchair to drive or ride in the front seat. They're also lower to the ground, offering more headroom for taller passengers.
If the passenger is in a scooter or heavier wheelchair, ramps aren't always ideal. If this is the case, looking for a scooter with an electric lift is the best option for you and your family. Depending on your comfort level and strength, you can choose a semi-automatic lift that requires a small amount of additional assistance or a fully automatic lift, which can lift a passenger and scooter without help.
There are two kinds of ramps available, fold-out ramps and in-floor ramps. An in-floor ramp gets stowed under a van floor to create extra interior room and improved maneuverability. Fold-out ramps will fold out when extended and raises back up to rest along the side of the closed sliding door when not in use.
A significant distinction between these ramps are the side rails. The rail on a fold-out ramp will help guide the wheelchair users as they go up or down. The rail on an in-floor ramp is very small, which allows the ramp to slide in the floor.
Benefits of Mobility
For a wheelchair user, having the ability of easier transportation enhances their quality of life. Vehicles with easy wheelchair access offer greater mobility for both wheelchair users and their caregivers. Daily life means going to the store, doctor's appointments, the park, or a ballgame. The right vehicle, with the right equipment, provides freedom.
Whether someone has mobility issues due to an accident, illness, or aging, mobility is essential to the quality of life. Ease of mobility makes it also easier for the caregivers and family members.
Think ahead for the coming changes in your health, body, and mind is something to consider as you head for a future successful retirement. How would your family deal with your long-term care needs?
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A complete retirement plan should include a strategy for longevity and the impact that long-term health care will have on you, your family, income, savings, lifestyle, and legacy.
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