Avoiding Mistakes when Buying a Power Lift Chair Recliner: Five Tips From A Licensed Physical Therapist
By Jeff Roth MPT
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
Below are five points to consider when selecting your lift
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 respond well.
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 benefits.
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.
Licensed Physical 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