mobility ramps

Wheelchair Ramps are Not Only for Wheelchairs

Wheelchair and scooter ramps

When you think of Wheelchair Ramps, you automatically think of them for wheelchair use. However, ramps are a critical safety apparatus for multiple users in your home, church, school or business. A ramp is much safer and easier to use than stairs for anyone with any type of mobility issue. Think of the various people and equipment which may need to access your steps or change in elevation. A safe even slope is much better to navigate than steps are. A ramp greatly reduces fall risks when compared to steps. Ramps are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of materials, depending on your application and the amount of traffic it needs to carry. There are appealing Ramps designed for interior or exterior use. Consider how welcome and helpful a Ramp (instead of steps) would be for these users:


  • Anyone using a Rollator or Walker of any type.
  • A young family pushing an infant stroller and trying to help a toddler at the same time.
  • Someone using crutches due to a foot or leg injury.
  • An elderly person (even without the assistance of a walker) who is already a high fall risk.
  • A person recovering from hip, foot or knee surgery using a knee scooter.
  • A shopper going in or out the door while bags obscure their vision and offset their balance.
  • Someone who is weak from illness or chemo treatments.
  • One who suffers from vertigo or poor balance.
  • A busy toddler who runs ahead of parents.
  • When weather conditions make stairs unsafe.
  • An expectant mother whose balance is not in peak performance.
  • Any type of delivery that requires carrying boxes by hand or a handtruck.
  • Those who are on oxygen or have breathing issues which leaves them easily winded.
  • Anyone weak from heart problems or other health challenges who cannot safely navigate steps.

Wheelchair Ramp

The useful ways mobility ramps are used is endless. It’s true that there are hundreds of thousands in America who use manual or power wheelchairs, as well as power scooters, who depend on ramps to access homes, churches, businesses, clinics, parks, malls, offices. Yet when you really think about it, millions of other people need ramps for various reasons, as well.

Accessible Solutions for Bathrooms

The Most Dangerous Room for the Mobility Challenged- Bathrooms

Bathrooms are usually the smallest room in the house, but they can be the biggest safety risk for those with any type of mobility challenge. Most likely, there’s a dangerous combination of wet tile floors, slippery tubs, difficulty getting up from a seated position after toileting and cramped space. Add to that mix, the loss of privacy and independence when help is required for those with mobility limitations. The bathroom may be a necessity but it is not a room to be looked forward to by the person who needs help or the caregiver. The bathroom can be an accident waiting to happen (in more ways than one!)

There are some simple changes that can be made in your bathroom to make it easier to access, safer and even offer more independence to use:

Grab Bars

Grab Bars– There is a wide selection of grab bars which can be installed in strategic places near the toilet and tub to aide in getting up and down, as well as having something to hold on to instead of falling.

Shower Chairs

Shower chairs– Multiple models are available to aide in getting safely in the shower or tub—including benches which allow the patient to sit down outside the tub and slide into the tub while seated.

Toilet Accessories

Toilet Accessories– There are portable bedside commodes, raised toilet seats, over commode bars which have stable arm rests to aide in standing up.

Walk-In Bath Tubs

Walk In Tubs– These are great for the safest baths. There is no need to raise legs over the tub. Just walk in, close the door and sit down.

Patient Lifts– When the patient has little to no mobility, a lift can be installed to make transferring to the toilet or bath safer and easier on both patient and caregiver.

Bath Remodels– There are times, the existing bathroom has so many issues for the mobility challenged person, that an Accessibility Professional needs to be involved in making major changes in your bathroom.

Don’t forget to place slip resistant mats or stickers in your bathtub, spray air freshener above toilet instead of on the floor causing a fall risk, and remove throw rugs which can trip someone up. Take a good look at your bathroom to see what small or larger changes need to be made. Get the input from an Occupational Therapist or Accessibility Professional for personalized input on making your bathroom less dangerous.

Homecare patient lift

Patient Lifts- A Vital Accessibility Tool for Homes

Patient Lifts

If you are caring for a loved one with severe mobility issues in your home, no one but you knows how challenging it can be. Even when it is a labor of love, it means a sacrifice of your time, energy and life. It doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your back. One of the most dangerous parts of caregiving is assisting with lifting and transferring. The chronic wear and tear on your musculoskeletal system can be disabling to the caregiver. Sometimes, it can happen with just one wrong move! That’s why it is critical to have the correct patient lift in your home to prevent injury to the caregiver and to the patient.

Studies have proven that the proper use of a patient lift can prevent career-changing injuries to nurses, aides, therapists and professional caregivers. That’s why more and more clinical settings use these vital tools. No one but a caregiver realizes how physically hard it is to safely move a patient. In clinical settings, most pros know to call for help when lifting or transitioning. Even with extra people, it can be an injury–in-the-making. When you are the sole caregiver at home, you cannot always call for extra manpower to move a mobility-challenged patient.

Ask an Accessibility Professional to help you choose the proper Patient Lift for your unique situations- depending on the size, weight, disability and location of the patient you will be lifting. The correct Patient Lift can greatly reduce injury, stress, and amount of time to lift or move your loved one. Perhaps your loved one has a spinal injury, is a stroke or heart patient,  or is limited by a genetic issue. There are Patient Lifts such as:

  • For toileting and hygiene use.
  • Portable Floor lifts which can be moved from room to room
  • Overhead lifts that are permanently anchored in the ceiling to lift patient to change bedding, transition, and lower to a wheelchair.
  • Patient Lifts on tracks that glide from room to room.
  • Bariatric lifts (for heavier patients)
  • Therapeutic Lifts (sit-to-stand, walking, etc.)
  • Power Lift Chairs (home recliners and for access in and out of vehicles)

Finding the proper Patient Lift for your loved one at home can make so much difference in the quality of everyday life—for both the patient and caregiver. A quick safe transfer means more time for other activities. Some lifts offer more independence for both the patient and caregiver. Finding a good Patient Lift can be helpful no matter what the age, illness, or disability is. It can mean the difference in being able to care safely for a loved one in your own home.

home modifications for disabilities

Home Modifications for the Disabled

home modifications for disabilities

There may need to be some changes made in your present home to accommodate the use of a wheelchair. Often a few simple changes can make life so much easier and allows the disabled person using the wheelchair to be as independent as possible. These modifications can be as simple as installing grab bars in the bathroom or as detailed as building an attached apartment for the person in the
wheelchair or possibly for their caregiver. These modifications could be temporary if the patient is expected to regain strength and use of legs, or the changes to your home may need to be more permanent to provide long-term accessibility for someone with more permanent disabilities. Here a few possible Home modifications to consider when planning for a child, adult or aging person who uses a wheelchair to move around:

  • Install lever faucet handles which can be easily reached to flip on/off instead of turning a knob on/off by twisting.
  • Put in grab bars to help with safe movement in the bath and by the toilet. Grab bars can even be installed to assist in getting out of bed.
  • Use automatic door openers so the person in a wheelchair can use controls to open doors. These automatic openers can be used for interior and exterior doors, as well as gates.
  • In some cases, doorways need to be widened for easier passage through with a wheelchair. You can place a threshold ramp over a rough or bumpy threshold to make for smooth passage.
  • Wheelchair ramps are one of the most common modifications where there is a change in elevation. They are available in various materials, for residential and commercial use and allow easy entrance and exit.
  • Increase lighting and remove throw rugs to reduce falls.
  • Consider putting in a security system to protect and to be able to call for help if needed.
  • Where existing stairs make certain areas inaccessible to the person in a wheelchair, you can install a stairlift, an inclined platform lift or a Vertical Platform Lift which is also referred to as a Wheelchair elevator.
  • Kitchen counters can be lowered for easier access for the person in a wheelchair or a Jazzy Air Chair can be used that raises and lowers the person in the actual wheelchair.
  • Walk-in tubs, and transfer benches and lifts can all be considered to make bath time easier and safer.

When considering home modifications to make life more accessible for a disabled person in a wheelchair, remember aging and some diseases are progressive. So plan modifications remembering that what they can do today might not be a capability 5-10 years from now. It is helpful to have an Occupational Therapist or an accessibility professional evaluate your home for your particular needs. There are a lot of changes that will make life so much easier in your own home.


making your business accessible for those with disabilities

Four Ways to Make Your Business Accessible

Whatever your business involves, you can open it up to welcome the ever-growing population who use wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes and other devices to move through life. NSM can help your large or small businesses find the latest solutions to welcome and make it easier for everyone to move around inside and outside your location. That’s true customer service to make your place of business mobility friendly. We can help you install just a few modifications that will make a world of difference. Did you realize that over 7 million Americans depend on mobility devices to get around? We have locations all across the United States staffed with experienced local accessibility professionals to help you find ways to make it easier for all your customers to do business with you.

Aluminum Wheelchair Ramp

  1. Wheelchair Ramps
    The first thing people who use wheelchairs or power scooters look for in a business is whether or not they can easily make it to the front door. They look for Wheelchair Ramps that are easy to navigate from the handicap parking space to the front door. Will it be a simple uncomplicated trip to your front entrance? Wheelchair ramps come in a variety of materials and colors to provide function and style. They are available in wood, steel and aluminum. Ramps should be designed and installed professionally to meet all ADA standards and codes while providing great safety, service, durability and drainage.Door Opener Switch
  2. Door Openers
    The next challenge for those who use mobility devices is your front door. Imagine trying to pull the door open and somehow get through in a wheelchair, walker or power scooter. That is an accident waiting to happen. That’s why an automatic Door Opener is essential for your business. It is like a welcoming friend opening the door to invite you in. Most automatic Door Openers can be installed on your existing door. The touch of a nearby button smoothly opens the door and holds it open with plenty of time for a person in a wheelchair to roll through, then slowly closes behind.Vertical Platform Lift
  3. Wheelchair Elevators
    If your business has any stairs or even an upper or lower level, a Vertical Platform Lift or a Wheelchair Elevator could be a viable solution to grant complete access for those who cannot navigate stairs or changes of elevation. Most models require very little floor space and need little change to your existing structure.Grab bars for businesses
  4. Bathroom Accessibility
    Ask your local accessibility professional to help you find new and innovative ways to make the bathroom in your business more disability friendly by installing proper grab bars.

Making your business more accessible is one of the highest forms of customer service. It’s the right thing to do.

Vehicle Lift for Minivans

Choosing the Correct Vehicle Lift for Your Wheelchair or Scooter

A vehicle lift for wheelchairs or scooters sure makes it easier to load and transport your mobility device with your personal vehicle. It can be one of your greatest accessibility tools since it opens up your world wherever you drive. When you begin looking for which type vehicle lift to get to transport your wheelchair or power scooter, there are some important points to take into consideration before making your final decision.

Vehicle Lift for MinivansWhat Type of Vehicle do You Have?

The make and model of your new or existing vehicle is important when it comes to selecting the proper fit in a Wheelchair or Scooter Lift. There are quite a few models to choose from that can be correctly installed on vans, cars, SUV’s, Crossovers or pickup trucks. Some vehicle lifts for wheelchairs are for carrying your device inside and others are transported outside the vehicle. It is vital to know what type vehicle you have to determine the proper lift. In the case of new vehicle purchases, there are some grants available for certain disability modifications, depending on the manufacturer. So that is another consideration.Vehicle Lifts for Wheelchairs

Do You Want to Transport Inside or Outside Your Vehicle?

There are benefits to both interior and exterior vehicle wheelchair lifts. A lift that carries your mobility device inside your vehicle is great for protecting from the weather. The indoor lifts are simple to operate. The person in the wheelchair or power scooter simply rolls onto the platform, then the lift is operated by a remote control to lift and store the wheelchair or scooter inside your van, SUV or Crossover. A lot of models leave second row seating open for passengers so you can take your wheelchair or scooter along with family and friends. There are even some models which leave room for third row seating but require folding up your wheelchair to take up less room. Exterior Vehicle Lifts for wheelchairs are usually platforms that allow the user to roll the device on, then it is lifted up and pulled by a hitch and trailer behind your vehicle. This is the best option for carrying more passengers and ease of loading and going.Big Lifter by Bruno

Weight Capacity Considerations

It is vital to know the weight your wheelchair or power scooter to select a Vehicle lift model which can handle the weight of your device. Your accessibility professional can help you choose a vehicle lift that can handle the weight of your device. If you have more than one device (one for lightweight shopping and quick trips and another for heavier durability for rough terrain) choose a lift that can handle your heaviest wheelchair or scooter. It is also critical to choose a hitch for the exterior models that can the correct weight capacity.

Work With a Trained Professional to Select and Install the Appropriate Lift

There are so many products available on the market to help transport your mobility device. Working with a trained professional will ensure that you are provided the most appropriate lift for your car, truck, van or SUV. NSM has dozens of branches across the country staffed with accessibility consultants, trained by the manufacturers of these lifts, and can assist you in accessing your situation for the most appropriate solution. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation, vehicle assessment.

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 NSM’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. NSM 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 NSM’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. NSM 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.

NSM 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. People with this condition often require spinal stenosis surgery.

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 NSM 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.