As we age, even the simplest tasks can become challenging. Getting in and out of a chair, for example, or even sitting for long periods of time. Thanks to technologies such as lift and tilt mechanisms, there are plenty of specialist seating solutions on the market that can help the elderly find the comfort and support they need for everyday activities. In this blog, we’ll explore the key features to look for when choosing a specialist seat for elderly care.
What is a lift and tilt chair?
Otherwise known as rise and recline chairs, lift and tilt chairs have a clever mechanism that lifts the chair up off the floor and tilts it forward to make accessing the seat easier. They also have back and leg rests that can be reclined to different angles for extra relaxation. This makes them a great choice for anyone who finds it difficult to get in and out of a chair, anyone who suffers from joint issues or who spends a great deal of time sitting.
How to choose the right lift and tilt chair for elderly care
Understand the client need
When choosing specialist seating for an elderly client, it is always important to fully understand the specific needs of the individual. Factors such as mobility limitations, existing health conditions, and the level of independence required are all important considerations. You should also consider the setting where the chair will be used. For example, the Primacare range, including the Primacare Brecon Rise and Recline chair, is a fantastic mid-price range that works well in care home settings, while the Camelot range, which features the Camelot Furniture Matrix Traditional, is a stylish option for private homes.
The lift and tilt mechanism
The lift and tilt mechanism on chairs such as the Camelot Furniture Matrix Contemporary chair enables the user to get in and out of the chair more easily. In a rise and recline chair, the whole of the chair lifts off the floor and tilts forward to enable standing. Additional features can aid this. For example, the Primacare Monza Rise and Recline chair has thinner arms to enable easy access for stand aid users and there is a hoist friendly option available, which gives a raised seat height.
Right to recline
The reclining function on a lift and tilt chair provides extra comfort and relaxation for elderly users. It means that the backrest can be reclined and also on some chairs, the leg rest can tilt backwards into what is known as a negative tilt to provide even greater comfort. Some chairs, such as the Camelot Furniture Matrix Contemporary, also have a tilt-in-space function which helps to relieve pressure sores in patients who are chair-bound for long periods of time.
Comfort and design
The choice of fabric and overall aesthetic of the chair is an important consideration. Some might prefer a fabric that is wipeable and easy to maintain, for others extra padding and comfort may be more important. For ultimate comfort and support, the size of seat must be just right. The Primacare Affinity Air Comfort features a backrest made up of three individually controlled air cells to allow personalised comfort levels, and also comes in a Bariatric size for larger users.
Functionality is key with specialist seating, but clients don’t have to compromise on style: a modern chair, such as the Camelot Furniture Infinity, offers a pared back look with plenty of useful features.
A chair that is easy to operate will add to a feeling of comfort and relaxation for the user. On a standard rise and recline chair, a simple push of a button will raise the user forward and upward to a safe standing position or gently recline them back to rest and relax. Chairs such as the Primacare Monza Rise & Recline feature a single or dual motor tilt-in-space function, available as a manual or electric option. In the single version, a motor controls all of the electric functions whereas the dual motor option has a motor operating the backrest whilst the other motor operates the footrest and riser function.
Take a road test
When you are considering renting or buying specialist seating, it is always best to try before you make any decisions. That’s why we offer a free seating assessment. During the assessment, our fully trained seating assessors will advise on which seating might be appropriate for your needs and circumstances. We also have a Specialist Seating Demo Centre in Tewkesbury where you can come and try some of our most popular specialist seating ranges.
Need more help to choose the right lift and tilt chair?
Talk to one of our advisers for instant advice about the right type of lift and tilt chair seating solution for you. We can also arrange for a seating assessor to visit you in your place of residence to give you more detailed guidance about specialist seating options.