Perhaps you’ve already seen or heard about a lift chair and are now wondering if you really need one. In case you don’t know much about it, a lift chair is a separate seat with back, and perhaps arm support designed to serve one person. Some people refer it to as a power lift recliner, infinite position recliners, pop-up chairs or even 3-position recliners. All these names refer to the same thing. Basically, a lift chair looks almost like a standard reclining chair, only that it has additional features for extra benefits as you are going to see here later on.
Unlike a reclining chair which requires you to engage its lever for siting posture adjustment, adjusting a lift chair is just a matter of a remote button push. However, just like a reclining chair, you can use a lift chair in an upright position or a reclined position to extend your feet using its footrest. Another plus for a lift chair over a regular recliner is that you can get out of it faster and easier because of its ability to lift from the seating position to vertical position within a button push.
Types of Lift Chairs
Lift chairs come in three major different types, namely two-position, three-position and infinite. A two-position lift chair has a 45-degree reclining range while a three-position can recline nearly flat although it can stop at any angle between a straight sitting position and nearly flat position. On the other hand, an infinite (Zero Gravity) lift chair can recline totally flat and anywhere between an upright sitting position and the completely flat position.
Benefits of a lift chair
A lift chair is normally very comfortable. Don’t be surprised to buy one and find that everyone in your house wants to sit on it when the designated occupants is not using it. The chair’s seat features soft but supportive padding, making the chair very comfortable to sit on.
- Improves mobility for people with compromised motor capacity
As earlier mentioned, a lift chair features a mechanism which makes it adjust from a sitting position to a vertical position. As such, a person sitting on the chair is able to get out of it easily and quickly. This feature is of great help for people who are unable to get up from a sitting position due to issues like old age, leg injuries and diseases/ disorders that affect a person’s mobility such as back disorders, leg disorders/disability, stroke, bone density loss muscular sclerosis and musculoskeletal disorders. The chair is also helpful for a person who is recuperating from surgeries, enabling them to rise up from sitting position without much hassle.
If you have a person with any of the aforementioned problems, a lift chair might be one of the best gifts you can give them. The chair will provide them with the independence they need to feel to stop seeing themselves as a burden to the people who are taking care of them and retain their dignity. With the chair, they don’t have to request for assistance whenever they want to stand or sit.
If you are the one with the problem, the specialized chair can improve mobility in a safe way too as long as it is used properly. Therefore, if you or your family member has a mobility issue and you have the money funds and the space for a lift chair, you should get it like yesterday. However, the usage of the chair has some limitations as you are going to see here later on. So, keep on reading to the instances in which the chair is not suitable.
- Remote control
For a reclining chair, you need to use its lever to adjust it from one position to another. This functionality isn’t convenient for some patients as they may struggle to reach the lever. On the contrary, you don’t have even to touch a lift chair for it to change to a different position. The specialized chair comes with a remote control which you can use to adjust it from a distance to help your unwell loved one to seat in a comfortable position or stand. Even the patient can change the positions of the chair effortlessly.
- Not fit for healthy people without full control of their motor skills
Unless you are in full control of your motor skills, it’s not advisable to use a lift chair. This is because the chair will reduce the activity of your leg muscles, making them weaker. Besides, infinite lift chairs aren’t recommended for seniors and mentally challenged people because the chances of them falling off the chairs are high. Therefore, even if you feel that you need one due to an immobilizing condition, it is important to talk to your physician to establish its suitability for you. The health expert will consider various medical assessments before arriving at the appropriate verdict.
Due to its additional functionalities, a lift chair is normally more expensive than many ordinary chairs, including reclining chairs. Some people can’t afford it, thanks to their extremely constrained budgets. However, considering the value that the chair offers, it deserves every coin in its price which on average ranges from $100 to $500, depending on quality. Fortunately, if you have enrolled for Medicare, the insurance cover may reimburse you the full or partial amount of the money you spend on the chair as long as it meets the cover’s requirements. Medicare reimbursement for a lift chair mostly ranges between $280 and $300.
- Not any human weight
Although most lift chairs are sturdy, their motors can’t handle human weight exceeding 375 pounds. Therefore, if you or your patient weighs more than this, a lift chair won’t be helpful.
If you or your loved one constantly needs help to get up from a chair, a lift chair could help them big time to regain independence. However, you need to consult your doctor to confirm if the chair is indeed suitable for the particular condition you or the other person is suffering from.