In today’s care sector, you’re presented with a wide range of specialist chairs for elderly patients, with an equally wide range of applications. But what technological developments have led to this plethora of choice? And what benefits are these specialist chairs for the elderly delivering to users? Premiere Healthcare gives you the full rundown…
LaingBuisson research, carried out in 2014, suggested that there were almost 500,000 older people living in residential and nursing homes – and that figure has undoubtedly grown since then. Of that number, approximately half are either wheelchair or seating users. However, ‘traditional’ chairs for the elderly were never designed for this level of continuous sitting, which led to the inevitable problems of poor posture and positioning.
In turn, poor posture and positioning, caused by poorly designed or inappropriate seating, lead to a number of possible medical complaints, including:
- Pressure ulcers
- Skin breakdown
- Breathing difficulties
- Biomechanical problems
- Poor vision and swallowing
In response to these very real and potentially very limiting or harmful consequences, seating technology has been developed for elderly patients, with specific principles in mind.
Multiple solutions for multiple issues
To reduce pressure on the user (and therefore reduce the likelihood of ulcers), seating is now available that maximises the surface area contact between elderly user and chair, reducing pressure and supporting key parts of the body. For the same reason, chairs for the elderly now often feature lateral and head supports, making sure that equal weight is distributed throughout the body.
Posture has been another key driver in the evolution of chairs for the elderly, particularly in terms of pressure relief. As we’ve covered in earlier blog posts, specialist chair providers such as Premiere Healthcare offer Tilt in Space (TiS) technology to enhance care for elderly chair users.
From Tilt in Space (TiS) to Back Angle Recline (BAR)
A TiS chair means you can always maintain the same deep angle between seat and backrest – alleviating pressure on the user and increasing their comfort. It also makes the work of the caregiver far easier, with far less effort required in lifting and positioning. At the same time, because the seat and backrest can be moved forward at the same angle, getting out of the seat puts significantly less stress on the user.
Often used in conjunction with TiS technology, another type of seating available to users is the Back Angle Recline (BAR) chair. The forerunners to the modern BAR chairs we see today were actually introduced in the 1920s, and now they’re regularly found in hospitals and care homes. Typically able to be operated at the touch of a button, they offer comfort and flexibility to users, greatly reducing pressure on the spine. Sitting in a reclined position offers support to the full body, rather than channelling the greatest stress through the spine, relaxing the surrounding muscles and promoting good blood circulation.
The right advice from TiS specialists
With such a vast range of options available to you when choosing chairs for the elderly, it makes sense to speak to a specialist. As experts in the provision, installation and ongoing servicing of specialist chairs for elderly and disabled users, Premiere Healthcare can guide you through your caregiving and financial options simultaneously.
So if you’d like more in-depth guidance on chairs for the elderly, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have assessors all over the country who can come out and do home visits free of charge, and bring some chairs along for your user(s) to try on the day.
To book an assessment or find out more, please contact us online or call us on 0345 521 1819.