A new chair for mom — an excuse to go recliner shopping

If you have a parent who is adamant about staying in their own home, you can help them build a tool set now that will enable this dream to be their reality. Many aging parents are reluctant to make changes in their homes as they age, so starting now with simple substitutions for furniture they already have is a good way to ease this transition. One of the best investments for seniors who want to stay in their own home is a power lift recliner chair.

What is a Power Lift Recliner?reclinershopping_01 (1)

This recliner has a lifting device under the chair so that it assists people getting in and out of the chair. The lift is operated by a hand held control that moves the seat up and forward at a very slow pace. The idea is to be able to get the person to an upright position without having to be behind them or by pulling on their arms which could lead to pulling one’s shoulders out of joint.


Why is a Power Lift Recliner so helpful for older adults?

There are multiple purposes for this tool. First of all your parent needs a good soft supportive seat. All too often older adults will frequently sit on a hard kitchen chair, or worse yet, the hard chairs built into walkers. These can cause pressure sores and restrict circulation. Second, we want the person to be able to have their feet in the air so that fluids don’t pool in their legs.  Third, most aging adults have an issue hydrating which is compounded if they find it difficult to getting out of their chair.

How Do I Get Mom to buy a Power Lift Recliner?

The key in purchasing a good lift recliner is to do it when mom is ready for a new recliner anyway. This may mean purchasing the chair before mom “really needs it.” That’s okay. Remember, we are building a tool chest… one tool at a time. If your mom is ready for a lift recliner and doesn’t want to give up her current favorite chair, I have seen families creatively propose furniture “swaps” or just pool resources and buy mom a gift.

What does a Power Lift Recliner Cost?

Prices on lift recliners run from several hundred dollars if you shop the used market up to $1000 for the top of the line new chair.  Medicare will pay a portion of the cost (around $250 plus) if your doctor writes a Rx for the chair. Many main stream furniture makers now make power lift recliners, including La-Z-Boy, Serta, and Lane Furniture. And many retailers and box stores carry a lift chair collection, including Sears, Sam’s Club, and Costco. Overstock.com also commonly carries lift chairs.  Local medical supply stores keep an inventory of recliners including  Norco Medical Supply and McCann Medical.

Once You Get it Home…

Getting a lift chair in the front door is really step one of two. Initially, my mom thought the lift was designed as a catapult and it would propel her across the room… so once you’ve got the recliner in place, take some time to walk through the remote and operation with your mom. It may take some time for a parent to get used to using the lift portion of the chair, but once they do they may wonder how they ever lived without one!

Dave Nelson

Care of our aging parents is the focus of Dave Nelson. Dave is the owner and director of Griswold Home Care Registry in Portland, Oregon, an in-home care company. He faces questions every day from family members about their aging parents and how they can help them age gracefully.

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