As people get older, it becomes more difficult for them to do simple actions that they may have taken for granted in the past, such as getting up from a chair. A motorized lift chair, on the other hand, can be a wonderful purchase for elderly people who place a high value on their independence and wish to accomplish as much as they can on their own.
It is possible to feel overwhelmed when selecting the appropriate lift chair; therefore, this article will take a look at exactly what these chairs can give and what to look for when purchasing one.
– What Exactly Is a Lift Chair, Anyway?
A lift chair is a type of seat similar to a recliner that is equipped with a motor that allows a person to move easily and safely rise from a seated position after using the chair. The weightlifting mechanism that is housed within the chair is responsible for raising the user out of the chair by propelling the entire chair upward from its base. Although it may appear to be a luxury, it is, in fact, a requirement for the majority of individuals.
The ability to sit down safely and comfortably from a standing posture is another benefit of lift chairs for elders. According to Josie Rhoades, vice president of clinical operations at BrightStar Care, a national private-duty home care and medical staff franchise, “for seniors who struggle to stand up or sit down, this assistance can help decrease pain and potentially ease anxiety.” Seniors who have difficulty sitting or standing on their own may wind up leaning too heavily on their arms, which increases the risk that they will fall or injure themselves.
The reclining options that are available on lift chairs are another beneficial feature. According to Rhoades, “Seniors frequently require the usage of a lift chair because of the chair’s lifting and reclining settings, which help elevate their legs to prevent the excess buildup of fluid and promote circulation in their legs.”
Different kinds of lift chairs
- Two-position. This lift chair reclines to an angle of 45 degrees, making it the most fundamental option available. It enables the person sitting in it to lean back somewhat. It is equipped with a single motor that operates the footrest, the chair’s ability to rise and recline, and the reclining capabilities. Rhoades specifies that the footrest needs to expand whenever the backrest is able to be reclined. It is impossible for them to function independently of one another. Because they don’t take up a lot of room, people typically sit in these chairs to read or watch television because they’re comfortable and convenient.
- Three-position. This lift chair reclines all the way to a position that is almost completely flat. Due to the fact that it is driven by a single motor, the footrest and backrest cannot be adjusted independently of one another. According to Rhoades, “the person sitting position will be positioned in a little ‘V’ formation at the hips with the backrest reclined and their knees and feet higher than their hips.” This is the position that will be taken by the individual while they are seated. This chair is great for seniors who are unable to sleep sitting down flat on a bed because it reclines to such a high degree, making it an excellent option for napping.
- Infinite position. A lift chair with an endless number of positions is the most flexible seating solution, but it also tends to be the most expensive. This type of chair allows the user to fully recline, bringing both the backrest and the footrest level with the floor. According to Rhoades, most lift chairs with an infinite number of positions have two motors. “The first motor normally controls the backrest, and the other motor controls the footrest,” the author writes. “This allows seniors to be appropriately positioned in a seated position with their legs stretched in front of them.” It is important to discuss the purchase of an infinite position lift chair (also known as a zero-gravity chair) with your physician before making the investment, as being in this position may be hazardous for some elderly people.
Considerations to Make Before Purchasing the Ideal Lift Chair for Your Needs
When looking for the ideal lift chair, there are a lot of different aspects to take into consideration. And there are some circumstances in which you might wish to discuss with your medical professional which options are the most suitable for you. Consider:
- Positional alternatives: Rhoades emphasizes how vital it is to determine how many different positions a chair has, as well as which positions are the most relevant to the individual using the chair. For instance, if you want to be able to take a nap while seated in your lift chair, you may want to select a model that offers three or even infinite positions rather than one that only offers two.
- Material: Do some research on the material that the chair is made of, and if at all possible, try sitting in it at a store. According to Rhoades, “some elders require a firmer chair, depending on their comfort level or if they have a unique requirement.” This statement is based on the fact that some seniors have specific needs.
- Size: Because lift chairs can be rather large, you should measure the space that you intend to put it in as well as the chair itself to ensure that the chair you want will fit adequately. Rhoades advises, “Avoid cluttering the space where the chair is situated to lessen the risk of a senior collapsing when walking towards their lift chair.”
- Weight bearing ability: Check to see what the maximum weight your chair can support; given that it has a motor, you don’t want to routinely put more weight on it than it can support. The majority of lift chairs have a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, but there is also a selection of chairs available with larger weight limitations.
- A bottom that won’t slip: You don’t want to be concerned about the chair sliding when you’re sitting in it or getting out of it, so make sure that the bottom of the chair has a non-slip grip and that the chair itself is stable.
- Fun features: Some lift chairs come with a number of extra functions that aren’t required for medical use but can enhance the user’s overall comfort and satisfaction with the chair. Massage capabilities, cup holders, USB charging outlets, and wireless remote controllers are some of the amenities that may be included.
Pros of owning a lift a chair
Different models of lift chairs would offer different benefits. There are lift chairs that only function as power recliners that help people in getting up. Also, there are more luxurious lift chairs that offer more features. Top of the line lift chairs could have massagers that would be helpful specially if the user is undergoing physical therapy. Some lift chairs also offer heaters that would be helpful against muscle cramps. There are also models of lift chairs that enable the user to lay down or change position just by pressing the controls. This said that this feature is helpful to maintain good blood flow throughout the body.
Another advantage of the lift chair is on the aesthetic side. Though some lift chairs look bulky and would not fit on the user’s living space, companies do offer customization. Also, a lot of models are available and they come in a variety of colors. Lastly, lift chairs are also available for rentals if a user is not planning to own it permanently.
Cons of owning a lift chair
As people say a perfect product never existed. Lift chairs have disadvantages too. One of these is its size. Lift chairs tend to be bulky and would often stand out in a living space. However, companies often offer customization in size, design, and coloration to solve this problem.
Another common problem is that patients don’t want to use lift chairs. This is because they feel that they would be weaker as they depend more on a machine, especially in simple movements like standing up. However, this fear is without basis. If a loved one is to use a lift chair it is important to support them emotionally and make them understand. It should be explained to the user how using this chair could speed up their recovery period. They are not losing their strength when using a lift chair, instead it is a step in gaining their strength back.
When deciding whether acquiring a lift chair for a loved one is worth it, we must keep in mind how the pros simply outweigh the cons.
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