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What to Look for When Choosing a Chair for an Elderly Person 

News 31st July 2018
Chair for an Elderly Person

Sometimes looking for the right chair for your loved one or your patient it can be difficult to decide on what is best for them and their care needs. We have put together a list of what to consider when choosing the chair for an elderly person:

How does the person transfer into and out of the chair and bed? 

Are they still standing or is some assistance needed via a carer, standard frame of a full body hoist? 

This is important to consider when choosing a chair for an elderly person, the way in which the person transfers from their chosen aid (hoist, still standing and stand frame) is important to the chair you will choose. A chair like the Hydrotilt has a porter mobility base allowing efficient hoist access which assists both user and caregiver alike, thus reducing the demands on manual handling procedures. Reducing manual handling can help reduce damage to the elderly person such as friction and shearing and direct pressure. Transfer methods may vary for each individual, depending on the mobility constraints that they have. We provide multiple seating solutions that can be tailored to specific needs of the elderly person in need of postural support.

What is the sitting balance of the person? 

Can they sit upright for a length of time or do they tend to lean to one side of the chair?

The sitting balance of the person will impact the choice of a chair as it will need to be suited to the persons own sitting balance.  Some seating systems have integral supports to maintain alignment when sitting for longer periods of time.

What is the person’s skin integrity?

The person’s skin integrity should be a vital part of your decision when choosing a chair. The skin is the largest organ of the body and can be damaged quite easily, this is why care and management of this shouldn’t be overlooked.

If there is a history of pressure damage it is advised to take the precautionary measures to treat this and aim towards purchasing a chair that will help benefit this medical issue.

What is the size of the person/weight?

The size and weight of the person will need to be considered. It would be advisable to look for a chair that has adjustable sections so that the elderly person is able to fit comfortably in the chair. Also, the person’s weight will impact on the chair they are able to look at, so make sure you consider minimum and maximum weight requirements.

What is the environment like?

Is there enough space for moving and handling and the seating system along with ensuring effective use of the chair such as the tilt in space?

Does the chair need to go into a lift, to get to the next floor?

The ability to move the chair would be an important factor if there is not enough space or the chair needs to be moved a lot or be put into lifts. This would be a requirement for care homes where the chairs need to be versatile. The FormAL chairs are equipped with wheels for maximum manoeuvrability. If a lift is a concern then this can be addressed by FormAL and find a seating solution to fit in the lift for the patients.

Is the person incontinent?

If incontinence is an issue then it is suggested to look for a chair that is easy to clean for hygiene and infection control. Also, look for a chair that is easy to manoeuvre the person out of, ensuring that it is easy to clean any accidents.

Is the chair to be used indoors only or outdoors too?

Knowing where the chair is to be used is a great point to know before choosing a chair for an elderly person. The requirements for a chair that needs to be used outdoors as well as indoors will vary to a chair that is for solely indoor usage. Perhaps looking for a chair with durable wheels and the ability to be used on differing terrain would benefit usage outdoors.

You can book an assessment or contact us for an informal chat with one of our experts to help significantly improve the long-term health and quality of life for a family member, friend or patient in need.