Sometimes, due to an accident, medical condition, or just normal aging it become difficult for some individuals to get around. Simple things like getting in and out of a seated position suddenly become a painful, often near impossible task. This can be due to any number of conditions such as neuropathy, muscular atrophy, or arthritis. In extreme cases, it can render a person immobile. In these situations, it is necessary to try and reduce stress on the body due to movement by any means possible. One tool that can help is a lift chair. A lift chair looks like a regular chair or recliner but has a mechanism that raises up the occupant to a standing position. This reduces stress on the joints and muscles and helps return some normalcy of daily activities to a person who has limited or lost mobility.
There are many features and specifications to consider when buying a lift chair. Some even have additional features that can help ease muscle aches and joint pain.
Lift Chair Mechanics
Lift chairs combine a traditional chair or recliner and place it on a mechanical frame that raises the chair up, tilting it slightly forward to assist an individual to a standing position. The chairs usually have a corded or cordless remote that controls the movement of the chair and any additional features such as heat or massage.
Range Of Motion
Lift chairs come in several ranges of motion typically referred to as two position, three position, infinite position, and zero-gravity types. Each type serves persons with different needs and mobility conditions, but the most commonly sold is three position due to its ability to recline to a flat position.
Two-Position Lift Chair
This type of chair reclines to approximately 45 degrees, maintaining a mostly upright position even when fully extended. The name is a misnomer as the chair can actually recline to any angle between upright and 45 degrees, however.
Three-Position Lift Chair
One of the most sought after types of chair, the three position lift chair offers a balance of affordability and comfort. The reclining angle is much further than that of a two position and enables one to sleep comfortably. This is helpful from those who suffer sleep apnea in addition to immobility. Although it can accommodate a sleeping position, it does not recline completely flat.
Infinite-Position Lift Chair
An Infinite Position chair requires more space due to its ability to recline to a flat position, essentially making it a bed of sorts. As with the previously mentioned types, it can also recline to any position between upright, and fully reclined.
Zero-Gravity Lift Chair
This last type is a misnomer many don’t understand. Anti-Gravity simply means the chair not only reclines to a fully flat position but also angles back, bringing the legs to an elevated position higher than the back. This is especially useful for people with back problems, edema of the legs and circulation issues.
Seat Size and Height
Because the chair shifts the user from a seated position to a standing position, the size and height of the chair is an important specification to consider. Consider a person’s height, weight, and girth when looking for a comfortable fit. Ultimately, the comfort will come down to personal preference and should really be tested in person as each chair differs slightly. If a chair is too high, it could actually lift the user off their feet, creating a fall hazard. Too short and it may not have the length to bring the user to an upright position.
While a lift chair is primarily used for the lift feature, many chairs offer additional features to increase comfort and convenience. Some offer heat and massage while others also include storage compartments or drink holders. For users with extreme immobility, there are also chairs with retractable arms to allow for the use of a transfer hoist. Most often, users seek out the heat and massage features to assist with aches and pains.
If you need a quality lift chair, contact Next Step Mobility. One of our consultants will go over your needs and advise you on which chair is best for you.