If you’re beginning to get on in age, or maybe you’re looking to buy a new chair or couch for someone elderly in your life, then maybe you’ve considered getting a recliner.
Recliners are renowned for being some of the comfiest couches or chairs around, perfect for kicking back and being in full relaxation mode.
However, are recliners good for the elderly?
This article gives you advice about how beneficial recliners are for elderly people, if there are any negatives to them, and if they are recommended, what kind of recliner would be best suited for someone who’s growing older?
Yes, recliners are good for elderly people, however, not all of them are suitable, and most recommended recliners for elderly people are specialized ones to support them and also add extra comfort.
What kinds of recliners are good for elderly people?
The best kind of recliner for elderly people with a rise and reclining chair or sofa and the name is pretty self-explanatory. The rising action of the chair allows users to go from a seating to a standing position or standing to a seating position in a safe and supportive way.
This rising action prevents elderly people from leaning forward or putting too much pressure on their body trying to maneuver in and out of the chair each time.
It also prevents any accidents from happening as users won’t have to fall back into the chair or possibly lose their balance shifting themselves out of the chair, avoiding the risk of possible injuries.
The reclining action takes the user from sitting upright in the chair, to a lying-down position, perfect for an afternoon nap.
These types of recliners are perfect for elderly people who have restricted mobility but still want independence to live on their own. It gives carers or family peace of mind that they’ll be able to safely get in and out of the chair even though there is no one else there to support them.
Why are recliners good for elderly people?
Not only are recliners a luxurious way to relax for elderly people, but they also come with additional health benefits.
The reclining action of a recliner elevates the legs which improves blood circulation through the body, especially important for elderly people who are not very mobile and cannot spend a lot of time walking around.
Recline chairs will also tilt which helps redistribute the pressure of the body making it easier for elderly users to adjust their positioning without putting too much pressure on certain areas of their body like their back or elbows.
Reclining chairs, especially ones that are specifically designed for elderly people offer good postural support making sure that the user is sat upright in the chair when it’s not reclined.
The width, seat size, and armrests can also be specifically designed for the user to provide support and also to morph with their natural posture and body positioning when sat in the chair.
Recliners are also the perfect place for elderly people to take a midday nap without having to go to bed.
For elderly people who are not very mobile anymore, getting up and out of the chair all the time can be time-consuming, even with a rise and recline chair that helps you remove yourself from the chair.
So having a recliner that allows elderly users to lie back and sleep comfortably is ideal if they ever feel the need to catch up on some sleep in the middle of the day.
What about rise and recline couches?
Rise and recline couches are also suitable for elderly people, however, more immobile elders will find a rise and recline chair more beneficial due to the armrests. Users who still feel confident maneuvering themselves in and out of a chair will be fine to use a rise and recline couch.
The rise and recline couch have the same advantages as a chair, but instead, the armrests are further apart, which may make it difficult for less mobile elders to support themselves slightly when the couch is rising so they can get up.
What features to look for in a good recliner chair for an elderly person?
So now we’ve established that recliner chairs are good for elderly people, we can dive deeper into exploring what features would be most beneficial for them.
If you want a recliner chair that will last and will also benefit the user in many ways, then consider getting a dual motor chair that can make the chair move in various directions like rising and reclining to help the user get up.
There will also be an additional motor that will power components of the recliner like a footrest or a backrest so the user can be in the most comfortable and supportive position possible.
Elderly people tend to downsize their houses as time goes on, often living in small one or two bedroom homes.
If the home where you want to put a reclining chair is quite small, then you should consider getting a wall-hugging reclining chair that moves forwards away from the wall as the chair reclines.
Good Control Panel
The control panel for the chair needs to be easy to operate for the elderly person, especially if they live on their own. Single motor chairs will be simpler to use whereas dual-motor ones will have lots of buttons to operate the functions.
Try to find a controller with large buttons that are easy to read and even light up in the dark so the user can see them even when the lights are off in the room.
If you can find a controller that comes with a long extension lead so it can also be kept by the user's side, instead of them having to reach to the side of the chair all the time.
Neck & Back Support
If the elderly person is going to be sat in the chair for long periods of the day, then you’ll want to ensure there is sufficient back and neck support through either cushioning or the design of the chair.
If the elder struggles with back problems, then this will be a major feature that you’ll need to get right when buying a reclining chair.