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To Recline or Decline? That is the Question

Updated on March 7, 2016

My Prescription

THE DOC SAYS..... | Source

My Chair History-Chair #1

I have gone through a lot of recliners. My first chair was a Lazy Boy. It was a manual chair, that reclined with a lever. I felt confident because it had a lifetime warranty. I have come to find out the lifetime is not MY lifetime, but the chair's lifetime. It served me well for several years, but when it began to decline to recline I found out that I had to pay a $ 45 fee for the repair man to come out. The first two times he fixed it, but after that he said that's all he could do.

OOPS! | Source

Chair # 2

I made do with chair #1 until a friend gave me her motorized recliner. She didn't need it any more. It worked beautifully for about one year. Then it suddenly quit doing anything. I called the Lazy Boy repair man, paid the now $65 fee and watched while he "fixed"it. It turns out the lifetime warranty does not cover the motor. Of course it was the motor that was shot. I thought I might be able to afford a new motor, so the repair man wrote down serial numbers, took pictures, and promised to get back to me. Well, it turned out the motor was old they did not make them any more.

Chair # 3

I found a nice looking chair online and bought it. It was a lovely little chair that just fit in my room. The catch this time was that you had to push back with your legs and back to get it to recline. Since the reason I need a recliner is because of back and leg problems I could not work it. We packed it up and sent it back.

Return to Sender
Return to Sender | Source

Chair #4

Chair #4 was my husband's recliner. It was motorized , and he offered to let me have it. So, I used it diligently for 5 months. Then it mysteriously let out a "klunk" and quit. It sits now on the front porch waiting for the junk man to haul it off.

A Sad Chair
A Sad Chair | Source

Chair #5

I once again scoured the internet and found a good deal at a well known store. This chair was a manual recliner. It was cheaper than a motorized chair and, I hoped, more reliable. It included free delivery, so I tried one more time. This chair was big, comfy and attractive. - Except that it had a rip in the side. Also, it reclined but I could not get it to lock when I wanted to get up. It just swayed and bumped the back of my legs. This was not good for a senior with leg problems. Fed Ex picked it up and I am waiting for my refund.

Chair # 6?

I would have quit by now, except that the doctor said it was important for me to keep my feet up. I noticed Big Lots was having a sale on recliners, so I checked it out. They looked nice, but they all had that rocking motion without a good locking mechanism on the foot . I had a hard time getting out of the ones I tried. My legs were pushed from the back and I would lose my balance.

I decided, though, that it was a good idea to try out chairs before buying. No more online purchases

Manual or Motorized?

I decided it would be best to pick a manual chiar because it is cheaper. But, what evaluations could I find on the internet? Here are some results:

"Power Chair..with electrical components and more functions, a power recliner will cost a little bit more than your typical manually operated chair. There is also a little more upkeep since there are more moving parts and somewhat more intricate engineering, although nowadays the upkeep has been minimized with new technologies and better working parts. The biggest advantage is that they are proven to last a whole lot longer than typical manual chairs,

Manual recliners: A manual chair consists of less upkeep, has a lower initial cost, but the mechanical parts go through a ton of wear and tear pretty quickly. Even if taken care of or used in a gentle manner, these parts can break before you know it. The constant pulling of a handle or pushing back on the chair can create stress that’s far more damaging to a manual chair than the press of a button on a power chair. For this reason, if you are shopping for a cheap replacement chair you don’t plan on having forever, go with the manual recliner. But, for those consumers that want a really long lasting chair, power is the way to go."

Conclusion: It appears that a power chair costs more but is more reliable and has a longer life than a manual one. But, it depends on what you want in a chair. If you are really old longevity might not be a factor!

Exploring Different types of Chairs

"A Moving Experience

Which chair, as Goldilocks so aptly put it, is just right? Rocker recliners — think traditional La-Z-Boy — rock when upright and lower fully, usually by means of a hand lever. They start at about $350, but expect to pay $600 and up for a well-built model. A trendier option these days for the space- or style-conscious are push-back models, which recline when you lean back. They can cost as little as $250, but, on the downside, tend not to last as long as those with levers, since the mechanism gets more of a workout. Also new: wall-saver recliners, which require only about six inches of space between chair and wall, compared to a foot or more needed for heftier traditional versions (though the price is about the same).

There are specialty chairs, such as massage and electric recliners. The former can be quite expensive (from $800 to $5,000), and the latter are designed for people with mobility issues. Regardless of what type you choose, check that there's no more than a five-inch gap between the seat and the open leg rest; otherwise, children or pets can get caught and injured. Same goes for the lever — make sure tiny hands (or your own fingers) can't get stuck inside or pinched."

Conclusion: Types of chairs:

  1. manual chairs
  2. push back chairs
  3. wall saver recliners
  4. electric chairs
  5. massage chairs

You Get What You Pay for

Since I come under the heading of a "special needs" person, I would really be better off with a motorized chair. But, can I afford it? Should I settle for a "short term" motorized chair, and hope it will outlast me? ( The claim of a lifetime warranty would then be valid!)

I now see that I must try out these chairs before I buy. This will require some shopping. I have a lot to do before I make a decision.

Looking for the perfect chair...
Looking for the perfect chair... | Source


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