If getting up and down from a sofa or chair is
not as simple as it used to be for your loved one,
buying a power lift chair may be the right move as
they are relatively inexpensive for the benefits
they provide. There are so many options, both
in stores and online, when it comes to buying
mobility equipment that it can become overwhelming.
As a licensed physical therapist and home health
care specialist, I assess people with physical
disabilities on a daily basis and can provide
insight to avoid mistakes in your purchase.
Below are five points to consider when selecting
your lift chair.
- Number of Positions The most important
feature to consider. When looking at chairs,
you'll see some are '2 Position', some '3
Position' and some 'Infinite Positions'.
Infinite position models have two motors to let
the footrest move independent of the back
portion. Those who want to sit upright, but also
have the footrest up, will need this type of
chair. Both '2 Position' and '3 Position' chairs
require the backrest to recline to have the
footrest slide out because they only have a
single motor. '3 Position' chairs differ from '2
Position' types in that they allow full recline;
2 positions only recline to 45 degrees.
- Fit Just like any recliner, you want the
chair to fit your body size. This is very
important because the larger the chair, the
deeper the seat cushion. Choose a chair that's
too big and your legs may not touch the floor
when sitting straight up. Choose a model that's
too small and your lower back area might not
- Type of Covering Do you sweat a lot? Leather
may not be the best choice. Is incontinence a
problem? Perhaps material made of cloth does not
make sense in this case. In most cases, leather
will cost more, but do not discount its
- Living Area Do you have a fairly tight area
in your living room to place the chair? Does it
need to be against a wall? Models are available
that can start against a wall and slide open
forward without banging into the wall behind it.
Standard models both slide out and backwards,
which may be a problem in tight areas.
- Advanced Features Higher end models provide
features such as heated seats, lift speed
variations, vibrating seats and cup holders.
While these may seem unnecessary, people with
aches and pains could find them very soothing
and worth the higher price tag.
Best of luck in your lift chair purchase.
Therapist Jeff Roth, MPT, is owner of Roth Therapy
Services, LLC, a home health care specialty practice
in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to his practice, Mr.
Roth offers product reviews and expertise on aspects
of home health at his Web site
www.WalkersandWheelchairs.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter