If you, or someone you care for, find it difficult to sit comfortably when at home, or if getting in and out of a chair is difficult, there are seating aids available that may help.
Getting the right seating aid can help with relaxation and independence, and there are different types to choose from such as:
Seating aids include a variety of chairs with special features, such as high backs for support and posture, reclining functions for resting, and rising functions which enable the chair to lift you back up onto your feet. Sometimes, settees and standard living room chairs can be difficult to sit down onto if you have mobility problems or a health condition that makes bending difficult. Rise and recline chairs can really help you stay independent, as they may make it easier for you to sit down onto, and then get back up from, your chair (without assistance).
Leg rests and foot rests lift up your lower limbs – ideal if you are unable to bend your leg in a normal seated position. They also help improve blood flow, reduce pressure in the legs and lower back and can help decrease swelling.
Specialist, pressure care seating can help people who spend a lot of time in a chair and have complex seating needs due to a disability or health condition.
Getting the right seating aids can help:
Things to consider
It’s important to check if the chair you are buying is the right size to accommodate the person who will use it – not too big or too small. As a guide, we suggest measuring the widest part of the bottom/hips then adding on around 5cm (2in) on each side to calculate the right internal seat width. Remember to check the maximum user weight – this states the highest amount of weight that the chair can safely accommodate. It’s also important to check that the chair will fit into the room it is to be used in.
A person’s feet should be firmly planted on the floor, with the hips and knees at right angles, for a safe and comfortable seated position. Work out the best seat height by measuring the distance from the floor to the back of knees when seated. Some chairs will have adjustable legs, such as high back chairs, but you should still check the dimensions before purchasing, to ensure the seat can be adjusted to a suitable height.
There are lots of options if your existing seat is just too low to use comfortably, and you may not need to replace your current furniture. There are a number of chair raisers available that fix to the bottom of chairs, which increase the overall height and may make the chair easier to lower into and rise from safely. There are also spring loaded, portable lifting seats that can be positioned on top of existing chairs, and simple raiser cushions that raise the seat height.
People who spend a lot of time sitting down may be at increased risk of developing pressure ulcers – these are areas of skin that become damaged, sore and at risk of infection due to prolonged pressure being placed on them, which may occur due to having poor posture or sitting in the same position for a long period of time. It is important to consider using pressure relief cushioning, if this is not an included feature of the chair being purchased. You may need to consider if the addition of a pressure cushion will change the height of the seat. For rise and recline chairs, a Repose® Contour Overlay that fits the whole chair is a possible solution.