You, your aging parent, relative, or spouse is suddenly struggling – or maybe the struggle isn't exactly sudden. Over the past few years, you’ve noticed the mobility issues getting worse. No one expects a senior to run a marathon, jump over hurdles, or catapult themselves from the sofa, but that doesn't mean you or your loved one needs to give up their freedom. No one wants to feel forced to rely on other people.
Lift chairs can give the elderly some of their freedom back and help increase their mobility. These chairs may also reduce the risk of injury, and even give the user the chance to stay at home or in an independent living environment for longer. Here are some things you should look for when choosing a lift chair.
The Chair’s Size
You wouldn't buy a one-size-fits-all pair of shoes, so why get a one-size-fits-all chair? People come in all shapes and sizes. Choosing a chair that is just right means that you need to pick one that's an appropriate and acceptable size.
Finding the right fit may mean trying out the chair. Think of it like trying on a new suit or dress.
The Reclining Features
Not every lift chair reclines in the same way. Some have two positions, and others have three or more. Obviously, a two-position lift chair provides the fewest options. While these may be less expensive, they may only allow the person sitting in the chair to stay straight up or gently (and slightly) recline.
A multiposition chair allows the user to sit up straight, lean back, or possibly even lie down, depending on the kind of chair. This makes it easy to get comfortable and maybe even take a nap while staying in the chair.
Ergonomics typically refers to workplace comfort, but residential furniture design also should help, and not negatively impact, the user. A poorly made, or poorly fitted, lift chair can cause the user to slump or strain. The result of an improper fit can range from slight aches to major neck or back pains.
If you or your aging family member/loved one is already having muscle and joint problems, the wrong chair can add to these issues. Look for a lift chair that offers plenty of support, feels comfortable, and doesn't cause the user to strain or move in awkward ways.
The size and recline factor aren't the only comfort issues at play here. The lift chair’s material is equally as important. You or your loved one may have extra-sensitive skin that doesn't respond well to some types of fabrics or materials.
For example, leather or faux leather may cause sweating. Damp, sweaty skin can break down easily and lead to sores or other skin irritations. A breathable fabric that is durable, yet comfortable, is often the best choice.
Keep in mind, some people have preferences or aversions to specific materials. If you or your loved one absolutely loves leather, consider trying it – even though a microsuede blend might be a better choice.
The Home Space
Measure the space you have for the chair before buying it. The lift chair's mechanism may take up extra room that don't you have. Along with measuring for the chair itself, make sure that there's room for the fully extended seat. When the chair lifts up, you'll likely need extra room in the front or in both the front and back.
Are you in the market for a new lift chair? Contact Able Durable Medical Equipment at 214-350-2760 for more information.