Maximizing mobility helps preserve a person in a wheelchair's quality of life. The process begins with an easily operated wheelchair, ramps and appropriate transportation. Wheelchair ramps make a minivan or full-size van an effective handicap van.
You can also have modifications made to a standard van. Generally, the van's floor is lowered by about 1 foot. This provides headroom for a person seated in a wheelchair. After removing some rear seats,, one of several different types of a wheelchair ramp is installed in the van.
Benefits of Outfitting a Handicap Van with a Wheelchair Ramp
You can't always help a loved one in and out of their wheelchair and into and out of a vehicle. The person's weight or condition may make this difficult or dangerous. In these instances, a wheelchair ramp can make all the difference.
A handicap van outfitted with a wheelchair ramp is practical. It speeds up entry and exiting considerably. Everyone involved appreciates the increased ease and efficiency. It's especially appreciated during hot, cold, rainy or otherwise inclement weather.
Types of Wheelchair Ramps for a Handicap Van
There are four basic types of wheelchair ramps for a handicap van, including; rear-entry, side-entry, fold-out side entry and in-floor side entry. All are helpful. But personal preferences and needs dictate which is best for you. When deciding, consider the configuration of your garage or whether you frequently parallel park on the street, among other logistics.
Rear-entry wheelchair ramp vans come out at the rear hatch door. They are great for narrow garages. They facilitate straight entry and exiting without turning and maneuvering. Side-entry ramps extend out from the rear passenger door. They are safer than rear-entry because they don't extend into the traffic lane in parking lots. Fold-out ramps also provide safe side-entry. They are a good option for people in wheelchairs who enter and exit the handicap van on their own. In-floor ramps can provide a safe side entry, too. They operate automatically. They stow in the floor to maximize space. These are ideal when the ramp is not often used or when you preferred it concealed.