Getting up from a chair often becomes difficult due to creaky joints, accidents and back problems. Knee and hip joints stiffen with age and the elderly often cannot get up quickly from a seating position without causing considerable pain to the joints.
Spinal conditions like Spondylosis and arthritis result in limited mobility while moving about or shifting from one position to another. Also the size of the chair, its height, width and depth make it distinctly uncomfortable to rise without causing discomfort.
Lift chairs to the rescue
Lift chairs provide an effective solution to the problem making it easy to not only get up but also recline and relax. Using a lift chair one can change the angle of inclination merely by pushing a button. A lift mechanism powered by electricity is fitted at the base of the chair. The mechanism elevates the chair at a comfortable slope making it extremely easy to get off.
The forward motion of the chair changes the person's position from a sitting posture to a half standing one. The lift chair is a versatile mechanism and can be used as an easy chair as well as a bed for a nap in the afternoon.
The variety of lift chairs available
Lift chairs are available in a variety of models as suited to the user's specific needs. The most commonly used types are
- 2-position lift chair: The 2-position lift chair is quite affordable and aids the user to get up or recline to a limited degree (about 45 degrees back). This chair is ideal for reading or watching the T.V with the backrest in a slightly tilted position.
- 3-position lift chair: The 3-position left chair offers more flexibility and the user can recline to a fuller extent.
- Infinite position lift chair: This chair can be modified to virtually any position even for sleeping in theTrendelenburg Position with the feet above the heart level.
- Zero gravity lift chair: This is on of the newer version of lift chairs which enables the user to relax in a position that minimizes stress on all joints while providing a restful experience. The zero gravity lift chair helps in reducing stress on the lower back and provides relief to patients with back problems like slipped disc.
A person sitting in the zero gravity position has the upper body at a slight incline with the back at a raised position and the feet at a lower angle. The position is extremely comfortable helping to eliminate disc compression problems and enabling the user to sit at one place for a long period of time.
Adds to the home decor
Lift chairs are quite attractive and easily blend in with the rest of your furnishings. The chairs are available in a wide range of color and fabrics to go with your home decor. What's more you can select from variety of styles like button backs, pillow backs or split back according to the trend.
How to choose a lift chair
Choosing a lift chair is best done by the user, just sit in one and check if you find the experience comfortable. Check out the lift mechanism if you can adjust the different positions easily and then make your selection.
- The seat width needs to be spacious with at least a palm's space on either side between the user and the arm rest.
- The seat edge should not extend beyond the knee joint. The depth of the chair should be such that the seat edge comes up to the knee joint.
- The head should be well supported by the headrest with at least a space of 2 inches left above the head
- The height should let your feet rest on the floor without having to shorten or extend the knee joint excessively.
What features are offered?
Lift chairs come with a variety of features some of which are as follows.
- Battery backup lets the user to operate the lift mechanism in case of a power outage
- The chairs are quite sturdy and have a weight capacity of about 350-450 lbs
- Heavy duty lift chairs that run on a dual motor
- An extendable footrest improves blood circulation so one does not feel stiff in the legs
- Additional features include heat and massage facilities, removable arm rests and attachable tray tables.
People who are eligible can avail of Medicare to claim a cost reduction while buying a lift chair. According to current policy Medicare provides cover only for the cost associated with lift mechanism and if the user has not filed a similar claim for a mobility aid like a power wheelchair before.