Wheelchair ramps for homes

Differences in Wood, Steel and Aluminum Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchair ramps, often referred to as Handicap Ramps, are one of the most universal ways to provide easy access to homes, schools, public places and businesses. People who use a mobility device such as a power or manual wheelchair or power scooter or even walkers will tell you what a welcome sight ramps are any time there are changes in elevation. In 2016, it was estimated over 2.2 million Americans depending on wheelchairs for mobility. Another 6.5 used canes, walkers or crutches to get around. There is a great need for wheelchair ramps in every arena of life. There are models for every situation.

Since each location is unique, the design and measurements will be individualized. Let one of AccessNSM’s professionals measure and design the layout so it meets all ADA standards. They are knowledgeable in knowing how much space is needed for turns and the safe degree of angels. We carry National Ramp Wheelchair Ramps. Next you can decide which material to craft your ramp from.

Wooden Wheelchair Ramp Installation

Wooden Wheelchair Ramps

  • The most economical investment up front
  • Great choice for private residences or small apartments or businesses
  • Pressure treated to endure weather
  • Warm natural look which can be painted or stained to match any style
  • Wood deck spacing to allow proper drainage

Steel Wheelchair Ramp

Steel Wheelchair Ramps

  • Attractive, heavy duty powder coated steel has a three year warranty
  • Textured flooring protects from slip and falls and allows for immediate drainage
  • Due to its modular design, it can be quickly put into any configuration for your property
  • The unique cone mounted rail guards offer extra strength and durability
  • Since it holds up to 800lbs, it is a good choice for residential, public or commercial use

Aluminum Wheelchair Ramp Installation Garden City NY

Aluminum Wheelchair Ramps

  • Lifetime warranty and 100% maintenance free
  • The only aluminum open mesh on the market. Offers amazing drainage
  • Maximum traction for best safety feature
  • Powder coated color options to complement style
  • 800lb capacity makes it an excellent choice for commercial use

All of our Wheelchair Ramps are American made in modular sections making them the strongest safest and most durable ramps. The modular design makes them quick to install. AccessNSM has a team of professionals to measure, design and install a ramp in your home or business to provide welcome access for wheelchair or scooter users. The local branch near you has an accessibility professional close by to consult with you at no obligation to help you choose whether you want a wood, steel or aluminum wheelchair ramp.

Church accessibility stairlifts ramps and more

Make Your Church Handicap Accessible

Church accessibility stairlifts ramps and more

Make your church open and easily accessible to those who use wheelchairs, power scooters, walkers, and to all those who simply face challenges moving through life. In fact, over 7 million Americans use some type of mobility device. About 2 million use wheelchairs or power scooters. The rest report using canes, crutches or walkers. With our older generation growing at such a rapid rate, this group of mobility-challenged people is growing daily. The reasons for these disabilities range from osteoarthritis, brain injuries, progressive diseases, war wounds, accidents, strokes and genetic birth issues. No matter the cause, each of these individuals is valuable and unique. Each one of these children and adults need easy access to your church.

No matter how old or new your church structure is, there are many viable ways to make some modifications to your church facility to make it easy for these individuals and their caregivers to come worship. They need the fellowship of other believers and they have much to offer the church, as well. Here are a few modifications you can easily make to welcome those with mobility challenges to your

Wheelchair Ramp

This should be one of the first modifications. The entry into your church tells whether or not your church is accessible. If there is any type of change in elevation or stairs, a Wheelchair ramp (or Handicap ramp) offers a way past those impassable obstacles. Wheelchair or Scooter ramps can be used inside or outside wherever there is a change in levels such as entrances, exits, steps, or even to the stage or altar. There are even portable ramps available which can be moved from one location to another.

Automatic Door Openers

Doors are another huge challenge for those using any type of mobility device. Think of trying to open a door and hold it open when you are using a wheelchair, power scooter, any type of walker or cane, or even simply growing older. An automatic door opener opens at the touch of a button mounted close by and stays open long enough for the person using the device to go through, and then shuts slowly behind them. They can be used on both interior and exterior doors.

Stairlifts and Wheelchair Elevators

Most churches have stairs somewhere in their building. Any type of stairs (even a small set of steps) is an automatic roadblock to anyone with a mobility device or those who can no longer safely navigate stairs. Your church can solve the stair problem in several ways- ramps have already been mentioned;

Stairlifts provide a seat which rides a rail system installed along the edge of the stairs; Inclined Platform Lifts are a platform which can carry a wheelchair in use up and down stairs; and then there are a lot of models of Vertical Platform Lifts or Wheelchair Elevators which are open or enclosed little elevators that take a small amount of floor space, can easily be installed since they are self-standing elevator platforms which lift the person in a wheelchair up and down levels. All of these are also available for indoor or outdoor use.

Bathroom Accessibility

Another vital part of making your church accessible is to provide a bathroom large enough to accommodate a wheelchair. The proper grab bars in bathrooms are important for safety and maneuverability. It is helpful to have an Occupational Therapist or one of AccessNSM’s accessibility professionals evaluate your church to offer suggestions to improve access to all those who use mobility devices of any kind, as well as the generation that is aging.

Don’t forget to leave some open areas in your sanctuary for those in wheelchairs, scooters and using walkers to sit so they can easily join in worship. AccessNSM is honored to offer no obligation consultation to get your church started towards opening up your church to all those with mobility issues. Call us. Fill out our contact form or give us a call to request a free evaluation of your church.

Aging in place planning

Preparing to Age in Your Own Home

Aging in place planning

Over one-third of households in America are occupied by one or more residents who are 60 years or older. That population is growing each year as the Baby Boomers grow older. It is wise to begin planning for the aging process before your retirement. The majority of seniors wish to reside in the home they have invested in financially and emotionally. It might be the home where they raised their family, where they know their neighbors, where they are familiar with the community and surrounding services. Many times their mortgage is either paid off or close to it. There are many things you can do to prepare your home so you can stay at home as you age in place instead of ending up in a nursing home.

Financial Plans

  • There is a lot of wisdom in making financial plans to prepare for the years ahead.
  • Lower your debt as you grow older so you can live comfortably on less income.
  • Get the help of a financial advisor to get the most from the money you have
  • Once you have a plan in place, discuss your plan with family members so if the time comes you cannot make decisions, they can carry out your desires.

Social Activity Plans

  • Keep building healthy relationships with your family and friends through regular interactions. Those social connections increase the joy and overall well-being in your life.
  • Stay connected through social media so you can keep involved in the lives of those you love even when you don’t get to see them face to face as often.
  • Church and other groups can provide regular friendships which keep you involved with others socially.
  • Keep helping others through friendship, encouragement, and service. It gives you purpose.

Home Modification Plans

  • Remove safety issues such as area rugs and clutter which can easily cause falls.
    Install grab bars, walk-in tubs, shower chairs and other bath safety products in the bathroom.
  • Increase lighting to avoid falls and install light switches on either end of the hall.
  • If you have stairs, have a stairlift or wheelchair elevator installed so you can still access all levels of your home safely. Perhaps a ramp is needed for wheelchairs or scooters.
  • Invest in a power lift recliner so you can enjoy the comfort, support and flexibility of a great recliner now and as you age. It can lift you from sitting to standing as well as change in multiple positions.

Brainstorm of some other preparations you can begin making now to age in your own home. Feel free to contact one of our local branches across the United States if you would like assistance with making sure your home has adequate home accessibility solutions to allow you to be safe and independent in your living environment.

AccessNSM was excited to be part of the Surprise Squad to help woman gain mobility in her home

Our very own Matthew Butterfield was excited to be part of the Surprise Squad on the Western Mass news channel. He worked with the team to provide Sandra Dudek a stairlift, so she could access her entire home.


A medical condition threatened to force a Chicopee woman out of the home she’s lived in for the past 30 years.

After learning about her situation, the Western Mass News and Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad decided to step in.

Sandra Dudek has spinal stenosis which is narrowing her spine.

After seeing her sister go through her fair share of emotional struggles, Cynthia Sayre wants nothing more than for Sandra to be happy in the place she’s always called home.

“Sandra Dudek is my only sibling. In her 76 years, she’s run into many difficulties like losing her dear husband, her only child, and now she has spinal stenosis,” said Sayre.

As Sandra becomes less mobile she may need to move out of her two-story house which holds her final memories of her husband and son.

“I lost my husband 18 years ago and I lost my son two years ago, and it was beautiful here. I mean this is home,” said Dudek.

Dudek’s home that has become difficult to get around since she’s had some serious surgeries.

“I had one in the front where they replaced some of the discs and they had to go in through the back and do it again,” Dudek noted.

It’s also been hard on her sister Cynthia, who lives 45 minutes away, along with her next door neighbors.

The Western Mass News and Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad, along with Matthew Butterfield with AccessNSM in Chicopee was able to gift Sandra with a brand new stair lift.

What would usually take Sandra five to ten minutes, will now only take seconds.

See full story here.



straight vs curved stairlifts

Stay in Your Home with a Straight vs Curved Stairlift

If your present home has stairs, there is a way to stay in your multi-level house when, and if, the time comes when you can no longer navigate those stairs. A curved or straight stairlift might make the difference in whether you can stay in the home you love. Sixty-six percent of Americans over the age of 55 years old plan to stay in their present home indefinitely. You’ve invested in your present home. Most people hope to stay in their own home as they grow older. It’s conveniently located. You are surrounded by neighbors you know and trust. You feel safe in your own home. It may be close to family, stores, doctors and your church. There are some age-related home upgrades that can prepare for that long stay. A very viable option is to consider installing a stairlift to give you easy access to upper levels.

The vast majority of falls occur in one’s own home. According to National Council on Aging statistics, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall. Every 19 minutes, one dies from a fall. Some simple improvements made to your existing home can make it safe enough to stay in for years to come. If you have a staircase in your home, putting in a stairlift could make a lifetime of difference. Stairlifts are low-profile and are fitted along the upper edge of your existing stairs. A rail system is professionally installed inconspicuously against either the wall side or rail side of your stairs. The carriage unit rides smoothly along those rails carrying the user in a stylish comfortable chair safely up and downstairs at the touch of a button. Colors and fabric option offer styles for any décor. There is also a vertical incline platform option which can carry a wheelchair to ride on a platform up and downstairs.

Straight Stairlift

An example of a straight stairlift.

The straight stairlifts are the least expensive and easiest to install. They fit one single flight of stairs where the carriage just rides the rail, carrying the user up and down along one single line. Curved staircases are required where there are multiple landings where the rail has to bend to go up the next flight, or when the staircase itself is curved or winding as in a spiral staircase. Curved stairlifts must be custom-fit for each particular staircase. Straight staircases can often be rented since they are interchangeable with all single straight flights of stairs. However, curved stairlifts have to be designed and installed for each specific curve. There are straight and curved stairlifts available for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Curved Stairlift

An example of a curved stairlift.

It is always best to have a consultation with someone who has been factory-trained to measure and design your stairlift system whether it’s straight or curved. Their installers are also factory-trained to quickly and professionally install your stairlift. You also have the added peace of mind of factory service available. Whether you need a straight or curved stairlift, it is an investment in being able to stay in your own home.

Wheelchair solutions for multistory homes

Living in a Multi-level Home in a Wheelchair

If you live in a multi-level home with stairs and someone in your home is in a wheelchair, it might not mean you have to move from the house you love. There are some viable solutions to make all levels accessible to those in a wheelchair. Whether you just have a few steps or several flights of stairs, today’s accessibility market has options for you. Here are some possible ways to stay in the multi-level home you are comfortable in:

Wheelchair Ramp

Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchair ramps, sometimes referred to as handicap ramps, can be designed to have a safe incline up and down. Most of the time wheelchair ramps are used for raised front entries or back doors to allow easy access for those using scooters, wheelchairs or walkers. National Ramps craft their wheelchair ramps in modular units so they can be fit together onsite to meet customized computer measurements which meet all ADA standards. They are available in three price ranges and materials from warm natural wood, heavy-duty powder coated steel to maintenance-free aluminum.

Vertical Incline Lift

Stairlifts and Vertical Incline Lifts

A stairlift is a rail that is installed along the top edge of a flight of stairs. A carriage system carries a stylish comfortable chair safely up and down along the staircase. Curved stairlifts are required with multiple landings or for a curved staircase. A platform can also travel that rail system to carry an occupied wheelchair up and downstairs. The wheelchair model is often called a Vertical Incline Lift. The stairlifts are available in models for both indoor and outdoor use, giving the person in a wheelchair access both inside and out. Leaders in the field, Bruno, Harmar and Handicare, offer the latest designs with some great options Most of the time, there are even options to rent straight stairlifts.

Wheelchair Elevator

Wheelchair Elevators or Vertical Platform Lifts

Vertical Platform Lifts are like a mini elevator, specially designed to carry wheelchair and scooter users straight up and down from level to level. There are multiple styles to choose from to meet either indoor or outdoor use wherever there is a change in levels. Open platform and enclosed units allow the user to simply roll onto the platform and at the push of a button go from level to level. There are options to fit the wheelchair with controls depending on the disability. Most of these wheelchair elevators by Bruno and Harmar take up a small amount of floor space but grant great independent access even in multi-level homes.

Don’t automatically conclude that you need to move from your multi-level home that you have invested in, built memories in and feel comfortable in because you or someone in your family is in a wheelchair. Get advice from your accessibility expert professionals at AccessNSM to see if one of these products will allow you to stay in your multi-level home.

handicap ramps

3 Things to Consider When Determining the Best Wheelchair Ramp for You

With so many different options available for residential wheelchair ramps, it can be hard trying to find the product that’s truly best for your needs.

Besides materials such as aluminum and wood, you should also consider the type and style of ramp and weigh them against your needs. You wouldn’t purchase and install a permanent, multi-stage ramp if you only need a small ramp, right?

Below you will find a process to help you identify which type of ramp is best for you.

Identify Why You Need a Ramp
This may sound redundant, but in order for you to figure out which ramp is right for you, you’ll need to know why you need the ramp in the first place. Do you have a hard time lifting your feet above a certain height? Are you permanently in a wheelchair? These will determine the size and style of ramp that you choose, and if you need more than one.

Ramp Type
For those that are able to move around well enough, but have a hard time getting over the small lip at the base of the door, an entry ramp would be a suitable choice. They provide an easy slope over the bottom of the door frame, thus completely eliminating the hazard. Entry ramps can be used for more than doors as well, such as landings, a short stair, and anything generally under six inches in height. If more than six inches, a suitcase ramp may be needed. A suitcase ramp is much like an entry ramp, although it is able to extend farther and rise higher to provide a gentle slope for taller obstacles, such as two to four stairs.

The other aspect of ramp-type that you should consider is whether you need permanent or portable. If you thought the multi-stage ramp from before was perfect for your needs, then that would be considered a permanent ramp and would need a contractor or professional installation. If you want to remove your ramp and bring it with you to other places, such as a second home, then a portable ramp would suit you well.

Ramp Size
The last thing you should think about is the ramp size. Dependable handicap ramps can come in any size, but depending on your height, and ADA requirements and accessibility standards, you might need a larger or smaller ramp. You will also need to consider weight capacity to ensure that your ramp is able to handle the weight of your needs, which for those with electric wheelchairs, will be higher than just their own body weight.

Even though there are many handicap ramps available, it’s important that you find the best one for you. An older adult is treated for a fall in the ER every 11 seconds, so it’s important for your safety and well-being that you get the perfect ramp.

Looking at wheelchair ramps? Give us a call today to hear what we can do for you.

Aluminum Wheelchair Ramp Installation

Helpful Accessibility Product Solutions for Caregivers

Caregivers are the everyday heroes behind the scenes. Most people prefer to stay in their own home even if they cannot meet all their ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) such as bathing, dressing and eating. It is much more cost effective for people to stay in their private home as opposed to a medical institution when possible. It cannot be done without dedicated caregivers. If you are taking care of someone who cannot get around on their own or has very limited mobility, there are some accessibility tools which can definitely make your life easier. Some may even radically improve fall risks and your own back injuries. Many of today’s accessibility products make the difference in continuing care in your own home as opposed to living in a medical facility. Whether the mobility issue is due to an illness, progressive disease, accident, stroke, war wound, or simply growing older, there are some helpful tools to consider as you care for someone at home.

Lift ChairPower Lift Recliners are a life saver for the patient who spends much of their waking time in their favorite chair. They are able to operate their own remote control to go from sitting to standing, or change to multiple reclining and sitting positions depending on their activity such as watching TV, eating, working on a project or napping. They offer great support, comfort, and style. You may want one for yourself, too!

Patient lift

Patient Lifts are available in many models and are a critical safety tool when lifting or transitioning. Many injuries occur both to the patient and caregiver at this time without the proper lift to safely and effortlessly lift the patient from the bed to a wheelchair, toilet, standing or even assist in walking.

Shower and Tub Grab Bars

Bath Safety Accessibility Tools include everything to improve safety and accessibility in the bathroom, which is a high risk area for falls and injuries. Most residential bathrooms were not designed with mobility challenges in mind. However, there are grab bars, shower chairs, walk in tubs and transfer slings designed to cut down on stress and injuries to both caregiver and patient.

Vertical Platform Lift

Stairlifts or Vertical Platform Lifts (Wheelchair Elevators) can solve problems with indoor and outdoor stairs in the home. A Stairlift is a rail system which in installed at the upper edge of the stairs. A chair transports the patient smoothly up and down stairs. There is also a vertical inclined lift that carries a wheelchair up and down stairs. The wheelchair elevators can be installed in small areas and raise the wheelchair up and down levels in a mini elevator. This could help with entry with a raised porch as well.

Wheelchair Ramp

Wheelchair Ramps make entry into the home so much easier. Wheelchair ramps are available in wood, steel and aluminum depending on your need and price range. Some are available for rental. Ramps can also be fitted for thresholds and vehicles.

There is an ever growing list of amazing accessibility tools to help people stay in their own home. These tools make life in the home safer and easier for both the patient and the caregiver. Contact AccessNSM for a free, no-obligation, home assessment.

fitted stairlift

Keeping Your Stairlift Clean: What You Need to Know

Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability, and according to a recent study, the most common disability is associated with limited mobility. There are countless products available that were designed to improve mobility and elderly independence, but a fitted stairlift is the main product intended to move the user between the various levels of their home quickly and easily. If you’ve recently purchased a fitted stairlift, it’s important to know how to maintain it properly, which includes keeping it clean. Here are just a few quick and easy steps for cleaning your stairlift.

If your stairlift is indoors, it needs to be dusted at least once per week using a dry cloth or a feather duster. Preventing dust buildup is important to keep your stairlift running smoothly on the track and up to accessibility standards. Every year, over two million senior citizens visit the emergency room for injuries caused by a fall, so don’t forget to only clean your stairlift when it’s at the bottom of the stairs in order to prevent falls.

Track Lubrication
This is a job that’s often better left to a professional, but it’s another important step that contributes to a safe and smooth stairlift ride. Make sure the stairlift is powered off, then make sure it’s lubricated at least once every few months, depending on how often you use it. Start with a damp cloth and use a very small amount of lubricant so that the rollers don’t start sliding instead of rolling.

Read the Manual
Finally, remember that each stairlift is different, and different manufacturers have varying recommendations for cleaning and servicing. Your stairlift’s manual may contain important information about other cleaning processes or maintenance processes as well as how often they need to be performed for maximum stairlift lifespan, safety and durability. The manufacturer knows best, so always use the manual as a primary resource.

Approximately 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices to aid their mobility. Understanding how to clean your easy to use stairlift is the key to maximizing its safety and usability. For more information about stairlift rentals for seniors, contact Access NSM.

Patient Lifts– a Critical Safety Tool for Professional and Home Caregivers

Home care patient lifts

The highest rate of injury is found in the healthcare industry by those who lift and transition patients on a regular basis like CNAs, transport techs and nurses. In fact, OSHA reports seven times more musculoskeletal disorders in healthcare than any other industry. Part of that is due to the average age of nurses now being over 44 years old, heavier patients, and the call for speedier work. The high risk of permanent injuries affects not only professional caregivers, but also the paid or volunteer caregiver in private residential settings. Many family members and friends care for someone at home without the training and equipment that might be available for professional caregivers.

Eleven states now require lifting and transitioning in hospitals to be aided by proper patient lifts to protect the caregiver’s health. There are a lot of different models of patient lifts available that not only safeguard the caregiver and patient from potential injuries, but will make for smoother, less stressful lifting and transitioning. Many models are affordable for home use. Careful research and consultation with accessibility experts will ensure the correct patient lift choices for institutional use and residential use.

Professional Patient Lift

Professional Patient Lifts

There is a wide array of patient lifts available to the healthcare industry whether it is in a hospital, nursing home, clinic, or school setting. These invaluable tools will greatly reduce employee injuries, many of which are career-ending. Days off due to injuries will be reduced. Production is increased as the lifting and transitioning takes less time and people to assist. Patient lifts also safeguard the patient from unnecessary falls. Adding the proper patient lifts and making them readily available to each floor is a cost effective, wise and compassionate investment. Today’s technology includes everything from simple slings designed to pull migrating patients back up in bed to sit-to-stand lifts, floor models, overhead lifts, portable and installed lifts, hygiene lifts which aide in toileting, as well as a wide array of therapeutic lifts to aide in standing and walking. There are also bariatric patient lifts for large patients. The wide selection of patient lifts and price range should mean every single medical setting has some sort of lift available. Accessibility professionals can assist with the best choices for safety in your

Home Patient Lift

Private Home Patient Lifts

Patient Lifts can be just as critical in caring for someone in a private home. Many caregivers are older and are at even greater risk for musculoskeletal disorders from attempting to lift or transition the one they are caring for. With such a great variety of Patient Lifts available, there are many options to aide in lifting patients in the home safely. It could even mean the difference in being able to stay in their private home as opposed to going to a medical facility. Lifts are available to lift from the bed to wheelchair or from sitting to standing, to assist with hygiene, or to transition so the linens can be changed without injury.

When caring for those with mobility challenges, having a patient lift is critical for both patient and caregiver both in private homes or medical institutions. Patient Lifts are a critical tool. Contact us for a no obligation assessment. AccessNSM has branches located across the country.