- Aging & Longevity
Advantages of Using a Lift Chair
There are quite a few different disorders and health conditions that are more likely to affect the elderly. Often, these conditions end up limiting the mobility of the senior, even if the condition itself does not directly affect movements. For instance, dementia can affect balance, which can increase the risk for a fall.
Reduced vision is another condition that often effects seniors and can also increase the risk that the senior will trip and fall. As a result of limited mobility, a seniors independence is also often negatively effected.
One task that often gives seniors trouble is that of safely getting out of a sitting chair. This is addressed by a number of standing aids, but the lift chair is the most common way to help increase accessibility, which thereby increases independence.
Lift Chairs Described
Lift chairs are important tools that are most often used by seniors, but their benefits can be seen by people of all ages. They fall under the category of home medical equipment and from outward appearances, it might be easy to assume a lift chair was simply an attractive looking recliner, which is why it is not uncommon to hear them referred to as riser recliners.
However, lift chairs are much more useful than a traditional recliner, because the lift chair is designed to improve its user ability to stand on their own, without assistance or risk of a fall. This is achieved by the use of a strong lifting system located in the base of the lift chair, which raises the person that is using the chair to their feet.
The lifting system moves very slowly and fluidly, powered by an electrical motor, so there is not a concern that the device might jolt or jar its user. It is also designed so that the lift chair raises at an angle that does not dump the senior from the chair. This is to say, that even when the lift chair is fully raised, it is possible to remain seated.
Selecting the Right Lift Chair
Lift chairs come in a number of different shapes and sizes, designed to fit the needs of people large and small. Typically, a lift chair will support around 300 pounds of weight, but there are riser recliners available that support well over 600 pounds. These models are usually referred to as bariatric lift chairs and utilize dual electric motors and reinforced frames. The seat of a bariatric lift chair is also usually a good deal wider than a standard lift chair. When considering weight capacity, it is important to never exceed the lift chairs stated weight rating. Instead, it is usually a good idea to allow for at least an extra 20% of your body weight, to take into account any slight changes in weight, as well as the weight of clothes and blankets.
The height of the person using the chair is also incredibly important, as this determines how high the lift chair will need to raise. For instance, a person who is over six feet tall will need a lift chair that can raise higher than someone who is 5 feet tall. If a person who was five feet tall was to use a lift chair designed for someone who was six feet tall, it could be very dangerous. So, it is very important to always adhere to both the lift chairs height limit, as well as the weight capacity.
A lift chair can greatly improve the accessibility of a home, as a senior no longer needs to struggle to stand on their own or rely on others to help them get out of their chair. There are many conditions that can affect a senior to make standing more difficult, including arthritis, which is why lift chairs remain such a common type of home medical equipment.