The Best Chairs For The Elderly
As we get older we become less flexible, less mobile and may develop some health problems.
Some elderly people could find sitting and standing harder, bending down painful or have problems with their back and joints. Because of these difficulties, chairs and beds need to be suitable for their comfort and safety.
When choosing furniture for older people there may be other factors to consider. These may include:
If your eyesight begins to fail it will affect your judgment when it comes to finding your chair.
There are many forms of dementia, some of which affect sight. Dark colors look like holes or gaps and it can be confusing to try to sit in a dark colored chair. White looks invisible, especially against a white floor. Chairs and toilet seats need to be bright to be seen more clearly.
Loss of mobility
If an older person is unable to move and stays in one position for a length of time it can cause discomfort, slouching, marks on the skin or sores.
Very tall people may find getting up and down even harder.
Chairs for the Living Room
In order to provide comfort and safety for an elderly person, a chair should have plenty of room, have arms to pull up on and a high back to rest against. It should be upholstered with fabric (in accordance to fire safety standards) and cushioned. Extra cushions for the back and arms provide extra comfort and support.
Chairs can be purchased custom made, which means having a chair suitable for your height.
If an existing chair is comfortable but too low to get in and out of, it can be made higher by placing it in a chair raiser. These are sturdy and grip to the floor for health and safety reasons.
Pressure cushions are specially designed to prevent elderly people getting bedsores from sitting on a hard surface. They can be the same shape and size as the cushion on the armchair and simply swapped. They are also recommended for wheelchair users, and put on the wheelchair even if the individual is only in it for a short period of time.
It is important to have the right height chair and table to be able to dine with ease. Having a cushioned seat, high back and cushioned back will again help with those needing the support.
loose cushions on wooded seats are slippery and dangerous and can cause a risk of a fall.
Carver dining chairs are ideal for those needing arms on the chair to pull up.
Shower and Bath Chairs
For safety reasons it is an ideal solution to have a special chair designed for showering and bathing.
For step in showers there are many different designs of seat. Some are four legged stools and some have arms and backs. If the elderly person needs assistance with their shower, a chair can be wheeled into the shower. The breaks must stay on at all time whilst they are in the shower.
If the elderly person is able to step into a bath, they can have a bath chair placed in the bath, either secured with suckers to the bottom or with grips which hang over the side. Some bath chairs swivel round to make life easier.
Walk in baths are great for those unable to climb in. The door simply opens and the seat is built in.
For the less mobile, bath lifts are a better choice. They simply lift the individual up when they are seated then turn and lower into the bath. This means the older person doesn't have to struggle at all.
Going to the toilet can be a difficult task for someone who finds sitting down low a problem. But by placing a seat over the top can make all the difference.
Some look like frames with a seat and they simply go over the top of the toilet. They have wheels for movability, but need to be locked when in place.
Other seats are like 'top hats' and they screw onto the toilet. They make a big difference to the height of the toilet, so that sitting and standing is easier.
Reclining chairs and beds are incredibly helpful for those with mobility problems or those suffering from aches and pains. Most recliners have remote controls so they can lie back as far as the individual wishes, or sit far forward to make getting out easier.
Recliners come in different materials from leather to fabric and come in a selection of styles and heights. They are wonderful to raise tired or swollen legs, and good for those in the later stages of dementia who can no longer sit up straight.
These chairs are good to ease muscle pain. They have a remote control to switch on the level required to vibrate and massage the back and legs.
Ideal for an elderly person still living in their own home. If they can no longer use the stairs, then a stair lift can be fitted.
It will have a controller on it, and simply takes the user up the stairs at a steady pace. They fold up neatly to make the stairs safe to use for other people in the home.
Although specialized chairs are expensive, some elderly people may be entitled to free or discounted equipment by their local authority.
© 2012 Emma Kisby