Sometimes it feels like there’s a lot of negative press surrounding getting older.
But there’s also plenty of good news – and one important headline concerns the growing amount of products on the market that help us to lead a fuller and more fulfilling life even with the ailments, aches and pains that can often come with older age.
One such product is the riser recliner chair or the folding recliner chair – offering comfort, support and mechanical or electrical assistance to help you to get up and sit down.
Riser recliner chairs for the elderly help to maintain independence, and can minimise the risk of injury that often comes with getting up and down when seated for people with mobility issues.
For this reason they’re incredibly popular for individuals with injuries, illness or limited mobility in later life.
Electric chairs for the elderly and riser recliner chairs tend to take comfort one step further – offering additional benefits such as rise and recline mechanisms, heated massage pads and foot rests to help you to easily get up and sit down when you need to, and relax in complete comfort without exacerbating existing injuries or pressure points.
Riser recliners are essentially very comfy, large-frame armchairs that feature mechanical or electrical equipment that can change their shape and adjust their composition to suit you. All vary in style and capability.
For instance, riser chairs aid sitting down and standing up by gently and slowly lifting you upwards. Mobility furniture can be life changing – as it can make simple everyday tasks such as getting up and down, or getting in and out of bed in the morning and evening much easier and less painful.
These chairs can also reduce the risk of injury caused by falls and jolts.
Here is a useful video that explains the buying process for a recliner chair.
Rise and recline chairs for the elderly are not all created equal – and many have additional features. It’s really important that you understand the different types available and go in prepared with some ideas in mind to avoid getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice available.
Start by setting a budget to keep in mind as you browse the different types of riser chairs and recliners on offer. Some models are fairly basic and are therefore inexpensive – others can cost well over £1,000.
Setting a budget will depend of course on your needs and the type of chair you require – but also on the amount you can afford. It’s best to focus on value for money, rather than the ‘cheapest’ or ‘most expensive’.
Then decide exactly what it is that you’re looking for.
Which benefits in particular are important to you?
Would you just like a chair that enables you to sleep comfortably during the day – or put your feet up and rest your legs whilst you’re watching TV? Or do you require a recliner that enables you to get up and down with ease? Is the aesthetic appeal, such as the colour and fabric of the chair important to you?
Considering this beforehand (and having a look through brochures, catalogues or online stores) will help you to form a clear idea of what you are looking for.
Once you get in-store, it’s important to try each model before you buy. Sit down in each and get to grips with the mechanisms – as ease of use is very important. If the chair is clunky or you can’t reach the handles it’s not going to be the perfect match for you.
Get a feel for different models, fabrics and features as this will ensure that you make the best possible decision. A good salesperson will not pressure you – instead they’ll listen and advise based on your needs.
If you are not keen on or can’t afford a riser recliner chair, there are other options that may be more suited to you. Many companies now specialise in chairs for the elderly – furniture that focuses on maximising comfort and support.
For example, high-backed armchairs providing orthopaedic support could help to ease back pain and joint pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, spondylosis or osteoporosis. Meanwhile, memory-foam pillows and wide, soft arms can prevent sores, aches and pains.
Beds and sofas with similar capabilities are also available, so you may wish to purchase several items at a time or recliners as part of a set.
Additional items can also make existing furniture more mobility-friendly. For instance, swivel pads are a great option for dining chairs, and booster seats can reduce the drop to armchairs and sofas. Footrests are a good interim solution if a recliner chair is too large for a space.
Memory foam or orthopaedic cushions and V-shaped pillows can provide additional support.
Here is a good video with the top 10 riser recliners on the market.
Home modifications are generally covered (at least partially) by means-tested social payments, which can contribute towards the installation of necessary safety equipment such as stair lifts, ramps and walk-in showers. Often furniture such as this isn’t covered by subsidies and welfare payments – and it can be fairly expensive.
For this reason many people look to find cheap riser chairs so that they can enjoy the benefits without spending lots of money. But are cheap recliner chairs as good as expensive ones – and do they offer comparable benefits?
Many cheap recliner chairs are competitive in terms of their comfort levels and the general benefits offered. After all, if all you need is a chair that helps you to put your feet up every now and again, you may not want to spend thousands of pounds.
Often expensive versions feature luxurious fabrics and high-grade leather coverings, which can considerably push up the price tag attached. There may also be additional benefits, such as smoother operation, more durable mechanisms and electric movement. Add-ons such as heat and massage naturally add to the expense.
Many providers offer a huge range of products – from basic right up to top-drawer luxury. These come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of benefits and capabilities. This means you won’t necessarily need to shop around or miss out – and can instead let the retailer know your budget before you browse.
If you are struggling to find funds for a recliner chair or need a more advanced model at a reduced cost, it might be worth trying second hand shops and charity shops to see if they have any in stock.
If you are online, sites such as eBay, Gumtree and Shpock may have some local sellers who are happy to give a folding recliner chair away free or for a nominal fee to a good home. Bear in mind that you may need to organise and pay a fee for a man with a van to pick the chair up and transport it to your home.
Don’t forget that although benefit and welfare payments don’t usually cover reclining chairs, being aware of what you can claim for could help you to save money elsewhere, freeing up the necessary funds.
It’s worth contacting social services, your GP, Citizen’s Advice Bureau or local Age UK branch to ensure that you’re getting all the financial help and support you’re entitled to.
When choosing electric chairs for the elderly, it’s important to be clear about what you want and only look for riser chairs and recliners in selected, trusted retailers who are known for the quality of their products.
Certain brands specialise in mobility furniture, whereas others offer it as an aside.
Ask for word of mouth recommendations, or find testimonials and reviews on impartial, third party sites and directories.
Aftercare and guarantees are also important – in case something isn’t working or needs to be repaired in the future. Ask about the procedure for returns and repairs, and always ensure you have written documentation with phone numbers and guidance post-purchase.
It’s also crucial to fully read any accompanying instructions and properly set up a recliner chair before use. If you don’t you may find that it doesn’t work as it should – and this could even cause injury.
If you are unsure, ask a family member or friend to help. Some retailers do offer an installation service – especially for larger items – either as part of the package or for a small additional fee.
At UK Care Guide we specialise in providing sound, impartial information and guidance for families and individuals needing assistance.
We’re passionate about helping you to understand care options available, financial implications and the many life-enhancing products and services on offer. If you’re looking for additional support or advice when choosing mobility aids and furniture, take a look at our helpful guides and articles here. You can also find quality mobility products here in our online store.
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