Chairs for elderly people are essential for more than just comfort. With age and for individuals with impaired mobility, otherwise simple actions such as sitting down and standing up can become complex and challenging. Although comfort is important, chairs for older people need to facilitate mobility and enhance safety.
This guide will explore the important considerations for purchasing the best chairs for the elderly and what to look for in comfort chairs and recliners for seniors.
Understanding the Needs of the Elderly
Elderly individuals can often have mobility issues and/or physical impairments that can pose various risks when sitting down or standing up. Whether due to an injury or from reduced muscle strength, balance issues, or joint pain, the risks of injury from moving to/from a sitting position can be reduced with quality chairs for elderly people.
Whilst safety and mobility are important, a comfortable chair for elderly individuals must also be able to alleviate discomfort and make sitting easy and pain-free. Moreover, a relaxing chair for an old person can also increase independence by improving quality of life and reducing the need for a caregiver to be present to assist the individual.
Types of Chairs for the Elderly
It is always important to take into consideration the specific needs and preferences of the individual that will be using the chair. Some of the different types of chairs for elderly people include:
- Recliners: much like an ordinary recliner, recliners for the elderly prioritise comfort but often come with additional support to alleviate back or joint pain.
- Orthopaedic Chairs: for individuals with particular medical conditions, orthopaedic chairs provide superior posture and support to reduce discomfort and joint pain.
- Mobility Chairs: when mobility is a priority, mobility chairs offer numerous advantages over the other types of chairs for elderly people. These chairs often come with wheels or castors that facilitate their movement across the floor.
Key Features to Consider
The main criteria to consider when purchasing a chair for the elderly include: safety, comfort, and mobility. Consider the following features:
- Height & Dimensions: height is crucial to better facilitate the movement of sitting/standing. The chair should also be adequately large to accommodate the individual whilst also being suitably comfortable. The ideal seat height for the chair should be between 43cm – 56cm.m. When you buy comfort chairs for the elderly from O’Flynn Medical, you also get the opportunity to specify seat width and length at the time of manufacture based on your needs.
- Ergonomics & Support: padded upholstery, cushions, and ergonomic features such as neck rests can all promote comfort and improve posture.
- Lumbar Support: to alleviate back pain, make sure that the seat has adequate lumbar support.
- Armrests & Legrests: durable armrests can add comfort but also make it easier to sit/stand, while legrests can improve comfort and ease joint pain.
- Materials: a good chair for old people should be made of high-quality materials that offer durability and can last for many years to come.
- Weight Capacity: the chair should be suitably capable of accommodating individuals up to a specified weight limit. At O’Flynn Medical, our high back chair and bariatric high back chair have a maximum weight capacity of 140kg and 254kg respectively.
- Cleaning & Maintenance: chairs that are easier to clean and maintain can improve hygiene whilst reducing the need for repairs and servicing.
Important Safety Considerations
It again bears repeating just how important safety is when choosing a chair for the elderly. When caregivers are not present, the individual could slip or fall when moving to/from the chair. The chair should always be as safe as necessary given the individual’s mobility constraints and/or risk of injury.
Features to look for include anti-slip materials (e.g. armrests), stability support, and fall prevention support. Although comfort and mobility are ‘nice to have,’ safety should never be compromised.
Mobility Aids and Accessibility Features
In certain circumstances, mobility may be highly desirable from a chair. Chairs with wheels or lift features can facilitate movement to and from the chair as well as around the living space. This can be effective for individuals who need to move to/from the restroom or kitchen, for example, without needing to stand up. The Encora chair has the capability to raise, lower and adjust the tilt-in-space that helps to maintain even weight distribution for the user. The Omega chair is a robust comfort chair that can withstand demanding and intense movements.
Budgeting Tips for Chairs for Elderly People
Taking into consideration the safety and mobility requirements of the individual and their preferences, setting a budget for a chair is wise. Another tip to make comfort chairs for the elderly more affordable is to consider a chair rental from O’Flynn Medical in Ireland.
Where to Buy the Best Chairs for the Elderly?
The best place to buy chairs for the elderly in Ireland as well as a wide range of other medical and bariatric equipment is from O’Flynn Medical. Our comfort chairs, orthopaedic chairs, lift chairs, and mobility chairs offer superior safety whilst also being comfortable and available with a wide range of features and functionality. Most of our equipment are also available for rental, making them an affordable solution for elderly individuals on a budget. Learn more about us or contact our friendly team of experts for assistance with our products and services.