Selecting a Lift Chair

Published by Steve Hedberg on October 21, 2011 Under lift chairs

For those who are mobility challenged, using a lift chair or other device is one means of improving safety and independence in the home. There are quite a few different types of home medical equipment that offer a similar service, however the lift chairs provide one of the easiest to use services, allowing seniors to quickly and easily stand on their own.

In the home, getting into or out of a sitting chair can often be very difficult for the elderly, especially among seniors who have mobility hindering diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. In these cases, it can often become quite difficult for the elderly to stand up after having been seated for awhile. This can lead to falls and increase the risk of injury, which is often much more difficult to recover from for a senior. It also can often mean that the senior must rely on a caregiver to help them get out of their chair, which can not only be expensive if you must hire someone, but can also mean giving up a good deal of freedom.

Understanding How Lift Chairs Operate

The lift chair helps to bridge the gap between standing and sitting, by safely and automatically depositing the senior in a standing, upright, position. Lift chairs operate using a powerful electric lift system, located in the base of the lift recliner, which helps to raise and lower the chair. The lift system is controlled by the person in the chair using a small hand control, similar to the remote found on a television.

However, the hand control is much simpler than a television remote, typically with only a few buttons. The control can also activate the footrest and backrest, allowing the senior to position the chair easily by only pushing a button. In many chairs, there is only an up and a down button, which control the entire lift chair. On lift recliners that have a built in heat or massage system, however, as well as a few other types of lift chairs, there are sometimes a few extra buttons though.

Selecting the Right Lift Chair

Selecting the best lift chair can sometimes be a little overwhelming, as there are so many different choices, models, and styles of lift recliners, especially if you visit a medical supply company’s website. However, most of these are really the same lift chair, with the main difference being different sizes.

For example, if you were to check out Pride’s Heritage Collection, which is a mid-range priced group of lift chairs, it would be easy to think there are a lot of choices. However, it is really just two main models of lift chairs, the GL-58 and GL-358, with the GL-358 coming in a variety of sizes. As a result, a big part of selecting the right lift chair will come down to finding one that fits the user’s body size.

One of the most important measurements is the width of the seat, which will determine how easy and comfortable the senior’s body can fit in the lift chair. It can be a good idea to measure the senior’s current recliner, even if it does not fit properly, to help put the lift chair measurements in perspective. In addition to paying attention to the seat dimensions, which also include things like the depth of the seat and the distance from the ground, it is also important to take into account the height and weight capacity of the lift chair. Most lift chairs will support over 300 pounds, while some lift chairs, called heavy duty lift chairs, support much more. The height ratings are important as well, as this determines the distance the lift chair will raise from the ground and selecting one that is built for a taller individual can be very dangerous.

Selecting the lift chair so that it fits the size and shape of the senior is best, however there are other concerns as well. For example, many of the lower-end lift chairs, like the Golden Value Series, have less padding and are not quite as comfortable as higher-end lift chairs. So, you do not only want to focus on seat dimensions or weight capacity, but also take into account the comfort of the lift chair, as well as design. However, these should come second stage to making sure the lift recliner fits the senior’s body type.

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