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An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.

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Pros and Cons of Recliner Chairs for Elderly People

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms

Changes and improvements to the home can actually make a big difference when it comes to the comfort and peace of mind of an older person. Modifications like a walk-in shower or grab bars in the bathroom can make daily bathing much easier and safer. Alarms, ranging from burglar alarms to talking pendant alarms, can offer extra security. Even small changes like improving lighting and removing loose rugs can make an elderly person’s daily tasks less difficult.

Recliner chairs for elderly people are another addition to the home that can provide extra comfort and convenience. In fact, several types of chairs are available, each suitable for different purposes.

What kinds of reclining chairs for the elderly are available, and what should you know before you buy armchairs for elderly people? Read on to find out.

Recliner chairs for elderly people: the basics

What are recliner chairs? Generally, they’re armchairs that have movable parts for extra comfort. The back of the chair usually lowers to allow an older person to lean back easily. Often, but not always, a lower part of the chair rises as well to become a footrest. These moving parts are sometimes operated by a motor, and sometimes they’re manually operated by a lever.

Types of reclining chairs for the elderly

So how are different types of reclining chairs different? We’ve broken them down into three main types …

Recliner chairs for elderly people

This is the simplest type of reclining chair. The back of the chair reclines, and sometimes the footrest rises up to allow a person to lie back in a comfortable position.

Different recliner chairs may recline more or less. For example, some reclining chairs for the elderly recline just partway. Others allow a person to lean back so far that it’s almost like they are lying down.

Why do elderly people use recliner chairs? Some older people who find it difficult to sleep in a bed may choose a recliner chair because they find them easier to sleep in – although there are some risks associated with sleeping in a chair, which we’ll outline later in this post. Other seniors just like to lie back a bit in their recliner while relaxing or watching TV.

Riser recliner chairs for elderly people

A riser recliner for the elderly, also just known as a riser chair for the elderly, includes all the features of the reclining chairs we’ve just described – plus one more.

Riser chairs help older people with standing up from their chair. The base of the chair actually moves upward and tilts forward to help slowly raise an older person out of a seated position. The chair works in reverse, as well, for older people who find it difficult or painful to lower themselves into a chair.

Bed chairs for the elderly

Here’s the last type of reclining chair we’ll discuss. What sets a bed chair apart from a normal reclining chair is that this chair reclines fully flat, and the footrest rises to meet the level of the seat. Basically, this chair transforms into a bed.

If an elderly person finds it very hard to get in and out of bed but wants to avoid some risks of sleeping in a recliner chair, they may opt for a bed chair instead. This could help an elderly person to live more independently rather than relying on a carer for held getting in and out of bed. However, these chairs are typically very expensive.

Pros and cons of different types of chairs for the elderly

If you’re considering buying a riser or reclining chair for the elderly, what should you keep in mind? We list some pros and cons to think about.

Pro: Help with swollen legs or ankles

Many older people suffer from oedema or swelling in their lower body. This can have many causes, including medication or a variety of medical conditions.

Since the NHS advice on oedema suggests that raising swollen feet and legs can help ease oedema symptoms, older people with oedema may turn to a recliner chair that has an automatically lifting footrest. This can be easier than lifting swollen feet onto a footstool.

Pro: Comfort while sitting

Older people can feel pain from sitting for many reasons. They may find it easier or more comfortable to sit in a chair that reclines slightly and has an elevated footrest. For example, older people with knee arthritis might prefer to sit with their knees straight and supported.

Pro: Easier sleep – but with some warnings attached

There are many reasons why older people may find it easier to sleep in a chair than in a flat bed. Sometimes arthritic hips and shoulders or other pain-related conditions can make sleeping in a flat bed uncomfortable. Older people with sleep apnoea may sometimes like to sleep sitting with their head raised, as in a reclining chair. And seniors who find it difficult to get in and out of bed may like a bed chair that lowers into a flat position.

There are some reasons why sleeping in a chair could cause problems, though.

Con: Deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots

You may have heard of deep vein thrombosis, or a blood clot in the leg or arm, as a dangerous condition that can affect people who have to sit for a long time on airplanes. This happens partly because the person isn’t moving around and is sitting with their legs bent.

It’s been suggested that sleeping in a chair can raise the risk of deep vein thrombosis if your legs aren’t straight. Obviously, a senior with a bed chair wouldn’t face this problem because they’re sleeping on a flat surface.

Con: Potential pain

Although sleeping in a recliner chair for the elderly might feel more comfortable in the short term, it might actually cause problems like back pain in the long term. For older people who don’t move around a lot, there can also be a risk of pressure sores.

Pro: Lower risk of falls – perhaps?

A riser chair for elderly people can help reduce their worries about falls when they’re struggling to get up from a chair. A chair that lifts them out of a seating position may help them to feel more at ease.

However, for some elderly people, a riser chair might actually not make movement safer.

Con: Muscle tone

Experts in elderly health sometimes advise seniors to practise getting in and out of a chair so that they don’t lose the ability to do so. If an elderly person begins relying on a riser chair, there’s a risk that they will lose muscle and the ability to stand from an ordinary chair. In short, the chair might make standing up feel safer in the short term, but it might make mobility riskier in the long term.

Takeaways on riser and recliner chairs for elderly people

Ultimately, specialised armchairs for elderly people can be very helpful for some, but they might cause problems for others. If you’re considering buying a rising or reclining chair to help you deal with pain or medical conditions, it might be worth checking with a doctor or physical therapist to see if it’s the best solution for you.

If you do decide to invest in a rising or recliner chair, it’s best to make sure you’re choosing a chair that fits your body dimensions correctly. A chair that could provide great back support to a tall person might cause discomfort for a shorter person.

Other ways of addressing fear of falling when standing from a chair

It’s not always possible to prevent falls when an older person is standing up from a seat, even with the help of a riser chair for elderly people. But you can help prevent something that makes a fall much worse. This is a “long lie,” or a time of over one hour lying on the floor. This often happens because an older person has fallen and is unable to call for help.

A “long lie” can be very unpleasant and dangerous for seniors, raising the risk of hospitalisation. An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection is designed to ensure help will always be on the way to a senior who has fallen. That’s because it senses when the fall and calls for help independently, even if the wearer is unconscious.

This type of alarm could be an alternative to a riser chair if an elderly person decides against purchasing one. Alternatively, a fall detection alarm could provide extra protection to an older person who does have a riser chair.

At SureSafe, we’re a UK market leader in personal alarms for the elderly, and helping older people who are at risk of falls is one of our specialties. We have many more alarms, too, including one-touch alarms that call for help at the touch of a single button. If you’d like to know what these alarms or our other alarms could do to help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team on 0800 112 3201 or through our live chat. You can also request a call back.

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