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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 purchase.

Below are five points to consider when selecting your lift chair.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 info@walkersandwheelchairs.com.


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