Our client is a gentleman using a rollator and very unsteady on his feet. The main access to the bungalow is a side door with step opening directly onto the driveway, so a normal permanent access ramp was unsuitable/undesirable. The only other access outside is from the conservatory, but the threshold, steps and outward opening doors made that difficult to use without a ramp too – and the ramp would need to be put in place each time it was required. The solution had to be easy for his wife to put in place, with the option to leave it in place. Finally, the patio area isn’t large so it would be useful if any ramp could be removed – for example for young relatives to play.
Harrogate and Ripon Group engineer Ian Brocket devised a platform from marine plywood, which would just fit under the opening patio doors and would remain in place. This allowed our client to get his rollator over the threshold, and offer him a stable area to rest, before making his way down a commercial “suitcase” ramp provided by his OT. The ramp is generally left in position, but is light enough to be taken up and moved out of the way when not required, or even taken away in a car to resolve access problems elsewhere. The ramp locates on two pins on the platform so won’t move. The platform has adjustable feet to take account of the uneven patio, and non-slip strips on the surface.
Even though the platform is low (the height of a single step), it was considered that side safety rails would give a little bit of extra confidence and Interclamp railing system was used for this. However, as the rails were being secured to paving slabs rather than (say) a large raft of concrete, it was decided to make the frame self-supporting by securing it to the platform, and having a bracing rail under the ramp – meaning that the frame could then be secured down with eight screw-in Ankerbolt type fixings installed by another member of our team. Our client requested a short gap in the railing on the right hand side to allow the other half of the patio door to be opened as and when required.
Our client was delighted he was able to go out into his garden largely unaided, and relatively safely, for the first time in many months.