People with mobility issues due to ageing, injury, or disability often find that having a chair with more support or assistive technology built in makes it more comfortable to sit and easier to get in and out of without help. There are several types of chairs available and many features to consider when purchasing a chair.
High back chairs provide excellent support for the upper body and can often be fitted with wings for additional shoulder, neck, and head support. Typically, high back chairs have high armrests for added security and promote an ergonomic, comfortable sitting position.
Manual riser chairs and motorized rise and recline chairs are ideal for people with limited strength or stiff joints. Manual riser chairs have lever which operates a tilting mechanism built into the chair that makes it easier to get up and sit down. Motorized chairs perform a similar function, but require minimal effort as the motor is engaged using a simple handset.
High dependency chairs usually have many adjustments and lots of extra padding to support people whose movements may not be coordinated well. Typically, they’re mounted on a mobile base and have comfortable footrests and cushioned side wings. The cushioning should be designed for effective weight distribution to prevent bed sores since people generally spend extensive periods of time in these chairs.
Other Features to Think About
Depending on your needs and lifestyle these addition features can change a good chair into the perfect chair.
· Removable arms make side transfers easier for everyone.
· Angled seats are tilted slightly forward and make it easier to stand up
· Wheels or a mobile base make it easier to move without having to do a transfer
· Chair raisers boost the seat height which can make it easier to get up and sit down without the expense of purchasing a whole new chair. Essentially, they’re simple risers that fit under the legs of the chair.
· Seat raisers are also an alternative to buying a new chair. Using a simple cushion to raise the seat can make it easier to get in and out of, however, it also tends to make the seat close to the top of the chairs arms so be sure it doesn’t create and unstable or unsafe situation. Raising the seat can also mean that once seated your feet no longer reach the ground, which is also a safety concern to be taken into account before changing the seat height.
Often, finding the right fabric is simply a matter of finding one that you like and that works with your décor. However, in addition to color and texture, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind.
· Durability. This chair is going to be use a lot. It’s going to need to withstand many years of regular use so it’s critical that the fabric you select can stand up to the wear and tear of daily use.
· Hygiene. Let’s face it, spills happen. Selecting a material that’s easy to clean, or even waterproof like polyurethane or vinyl can be best if this chair is going to be used frequently in the dining area. In addition, certain microfiber fabrics are easy to clean and feel warmer, which can be helpful in cooler climates.
· Breathability. In hot weather, a vapor permeable fabric prevents perspiration from building up and creating a damp, uncomfortable feeling.