10 Tips On How To Choose The Right Recliner For Elder People
I remember discussing with my brother the other day about the elderly.
10:45 26 May 2021
He sounded really scared of growing old, stating several reasons including having to depend on others for basic things. The thought of it can be overwhelming.
One of the biggest challenges we face as we age is mobility difficulties. The days when we would get up almost effortlessly and do all we have to do as quickly as possible are now behind us. Merely getting up from a chair can be a serious task; I have seen many elders sweat just to get out of a chair. Similar difficulties are encountered when moving from one place to the other. Therefore, elderly people typically spend more time seated than moving around.
Sitting for long hours during the day is not easy, even for the most youthful of us. Elders find this particularly more difficult because their body now needs more support. Keeping a proper posture becomes extremely difficult hence they often slouch in their chair. some even fall out of their chair which may cause serious injuries that could further limit their mobility. This is often why many of them want to get back into bed during the day; they feel pain all over them.
One of the best ways to support your elderly is by getting them a chair that is suitable for them. Getting a chair that aids them in seating properly can significantly improve their posture and ultimately enhance their general wellbeing. Recliner chairs are some of the best chairs you can get your elderly. They are designed to give greater support and comfort to users. You will be doing your elderly a huge favor by buying recliners for them. However, there are different kinds of recliner chairs hence it is important to choose the right one based on the peculiarities of your elderly people. The following tips will guide you to choose the right recliner.
Choose the right type of recliner chair
There are several types of recliner chairs, each designed for varying purposes. This makes choosing the right recliner quite a difficult task. The types are:
Traditional recliners: these are the most basic form of recliners. They are two-position recliners – upright position and flat position. They are very common and easy to control. They are suitable for large rooms and the elderly with minimal mobility issues.
Power recliners: they are similar to traditional recliners but have extra features such as a power button that controls the chair. They are more comfortable and easier to control hence are more suitable for elderly people. However, the need for electricity can be a limiting factor.
Lift recliners: lift recliners are designed not just to support good posture and comfortable seating but also to help users in going from a seating position to a standing position. This lifting mechanism makes them one of the best recliners for all elderly people.Lift chairs are suitable for all elders, including those with serious mobility problems such as people recovering from stroke and other issues.
Rocker recliners: this category of recliners is more suitable for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and kids. Its rocking feature gives users a soothing effect.
If our elderly person has serious mobility issues, lift recliners are the best option. It will help them to get up easily as well as sit without hassle, hence reducing the chances of elders falling which is a very common issue. For elders with a minimal mobility problem, traditional and power recliners are suitable options.
Choose the right size
Just like other chairs, the shapes and sizes of recliners differ. When choosing a recliner for your elderly relative, it is very important to ensure the size and shape if perfect for the user. Some of the key size considerations are the seat height, seat depth, seat width, back height, armrests, etc. You can get the perfect dimensions in two ways – one, measure the elder and order a recliner that fits the measurement or, two, ask that different sizes of the type of recliner suitable for the elder be brought to your home by a qualified representative to have the elder try it out.
Note: if the seat of the recliner is too high for the elder, his or her legs will be hanging. This isn’t just uncomfortable for the legs but also causes a buildup of pressure in the back to cause body pain. On the other hand, if the seat isn’t high enough, the thighs may ache due to a lack of adequate support for the legs. Right seat width ensures that elders are not squeezed into the chair.
Another aspect of size is as it relates to your space. Recliners typically require more space hence it is vital to ensure your space can accommodate the full length of the recliner. Measure your room and compare it with the full recline length of the chair.
Ease of Use
As highlighted above, the different types of recliners are controlled differently. Some are manual while others are electronic. Power recliners only require the user to press a button and the chair does the rest. There is no need for the user to apply any force. The easier it is to control a recliner, the better it is for elderly people. Manual controls are not bad but must be located where they can be easily assessed by all users. The lever should be easy to pull or the button easy to push.
Quality of the Build
Recliners involve frequent movements hence many of them develop movement issues after a while. To ensure you get a recliner that will last longer, make sure you buy one with excellent build quality. Steel frames with less welding are generally stronger and more durable. You should also check the stitching of the fabric, the material used for the base, and the reliability of the armrests.
Note: usually, the more excellent the build quality, the higher the price. Hence, be prepared to pay more for higher quality.
Stability and Smooth Recline
The base of the recliner has to be very strong and stable to ensure elders don’t tip off when getting into or off the chair. Also, the recline mechanism should be as smooth, as well as silent, as possible such that moving from an upright position to a flat position is seamless. A quiet recline allows you to use the chair any time, including at night, without disturbing other people. The smoother the recline mechanism, the better the durability.
Note: you may need to oil the moving parts from time to time to ensure the recline mechanism remain smooth and quiet.
Recliners have a wide range of features that it is easy to miss the right one. To get this right, list the features you consider essential as well as the additional features you will like to have. For example, recliners with a massage feature are good for people with serious body pain. Recliners with wheels are suitable when the chair needs to be moved from one place to the other often or users have to move around often. Wooden knuckles, built-in USB chargers, and cup holders are other common extra features.
Note: the more the features, the higher the price.
Different kinds of materials are used for the upholstery of recliners e.g. leather and microfiber. When choosing the right recliner, you have to consider the breathability and the ease of maintenance. Microfiber is usually more breathable than leather hence it is more suitable if the elderly person lives in a warmer climate. On the other hand, leather upholstery is easier to clean or maintain, making it more suitable in most chronic cases where elderly people make more mess.
Recliners are generally more expensive hence there is always the temptation of choosing something cheaper even if the quality isn’t good enough for the needs at hand. Make sure you always prioritize quality above price because a lower quality recliner can significantly compromise the health of your elderly one and are not very durable.
Note: one of the best ways of reducing how much you spend on a recliner is by sticking to the essential features with only one or two needed extra features.
When choosing a recliner for an elderly person, style hardly comes as a key consideration. However, it is worth considering to ensure it fits well into your space. There are diverse kinds of styles to pick from, choose one that does not compromise quality and comfort. This includes choosing the color that blends with other pieces of furniture or contracts them to create a more attractive room.
Finally, choose a highly adjustable recliner. This does not only allow users to get a perfect fit now but also for the future in the face of changing needs. Some of the parts that need to be adjustable are the seat width, seat height, armrests, etc. Generally, the more adjustable a recliner, the better it is.
Follow the above tips and you will end up choosing the perfect recliner for your elderly person.