Ramps – Occupational Therapy Service

Ramps can be used in many different parts of the home. They’re typically used at the front or the rear access of the house, however, they can be used internally too.

Total Health Physio provides comprehensive home modification services to help people using mobility aids live safer at home.

Our caring Occupational Therapists are mobile throughout Melbourne and visit people’s homes with a big smile.

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ramp way to support wheelchair disabled people infront of the office building

Who is Appropriate to Receive a Ramp Modification to their Home?

Some individuals who require a home modification to include ramps are those who have an increased risk of falls or require wheelchair access. This individual may have a few steps to negotiate in their front or rear access or within their home and require a mobility aid such as a walker or wheelchair which would allow them safer mobility within their home and with the aid of a safe ramp they can continue to use their walker or wheelchair without having to negotiate steps.

Typically, these individuals will have a degree of weakness in their legs, instability or have a history of falls. Other individuals with increased wheelchair dependency maybe those who have difficulty walking due to a foot drop or those with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, MS, Stroke or spinal injury.

When a person is having difficulty lifting their foot to clear steps and obstacles, this is another indicator that a ramp is required as a safety measure and for ease of access.

In most cases, the individual would be reliant on a 4 wheel walker and/or a wheelchair as supportive equipment and a ramp would allow them to continue living in their home safely.

How are Ramps Considered in a Shared Home?

In most cases, the installation of ramps is not a concern for others within their home or their partners.

This is because when someone is living with an individual who requires a ramp, they are often the primary caregiver who wants the best for their loved one. Therefore, they understand that in order to keep their loved one safe in their home and living as independently as possible they will need to install a ramp/

Total Health Physio understands the environments we work in are shared spaces with other family members or carers and we take into consideration these factors when recommending a ramp installation.

Mother helping her son on wheelchair up the ramp in the park with sunset in background, warm filter

What Materials is the Ramp Made out of?

The ramp can be made out of different types of materials, as well as have a different surface, depending on the size.

Importantly, ramps can be either pre-made (off the shelf) or can be custom built by a builder.

Ramps are often made out of:

  • Steel – often used in the community because of their sturdiness and are sometimes portable and foldable – they are also rust-resistant
  • Wood – often used for permanent ramps outdoors – wooden posts are used to provide structural support to the ramp
  • Surface material – This can be a rubber grippy texture, steel mesh with a coarse texture or wooden boards

There may also be a concrete feature to connect the street footpath to the beginning of the ramp.

ramp way to support wheelchair disabled people infront of the office building

Ramp Specifications

Portable ramps will have a safe working load (for example, 300kg).

In other cases, the ramp can be custom made. The ramp may also be used by multiple people simultaneously and wide enough to fit two wheelchairs. Total Health Physio will work with the builder to create the correct weight rating.

In terms of the gradient, the NDIS suggests guidelines of an appropriate gradient (between 1:10 and 1:14).

If a step is 100mm high, and the gradient is 1:10, then the length of the ramp would be 1m.

Our caring OTs will help ensure clients receive the correct ramp specifications.

Preferences in Design and Building Contractor

It’s important that the participant has choice and control about what they want the ramp to be like and to look like in terms of aesthetics.

Moreover, it is important to deliver a result that is safe and clinically appropriate for that individual, which is the role of our experienced and highly trained OTs.

The individual can put forward preferences such as colour, railing material, etc. This is discussed between all parties involved to see what is possible and to ensure the best outcome. We may also review photos from builders together.

Funding from the NDIS is also a factor. For example, if a ramp can be built for $10,000 and this ramp is most appropriate, it is likely this will be approved preferentially over a more expensive ramp with improved cosmetics.

Managing Ramp Home Modification Projects

Total Health Physio is contacted to perform full home assessments, this will include all areas of the home including ramps and access to a property.

Our OTs will visit the property with a builder to take measurements and to discuss with the participant what types of ramps are available.

We will consider how the individual has the ability to maneuver around their area, navigate steps and obstacles and turn..

Once we’ve all come to an agreement of what is indicated, we will create cost estimates and relevant reports and work with the participant, the NDIS and builders to manage and implement the ramp installation.

The timeframe can vary, however, most ramp projects are completed within 3-12 months. We certainly aim for a shorter timeframe but the process with NDIS takes time.

We offer a high level of communication, as trust is a core value of ours, you will be kept informed.

Contact Total Health Physio for your Home Modification Needs

At Total Health Physio, we’re a great team that works together. We have in depth knowledge of the NDIS and the process to achieve best outcomes for home modification approval and installation

  • We’ve had many successful approvals of high-cost, high-risk items
  • We are capable of peripheral modifications such as lifts, stair climbers, etc
  • We understand the processes surrounding home mods and take pride in our work

Our OTs say they’re really proud to work for Total Health Physio. Our purpose is to make a difference to the lives of our vulnerable community on a daily basis. We really CARE about our patients and what we can achieve for them!

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