Best lounge chairs for the elderly
Choosing seating for a lounge, or other living space, is an important decision for anyone. New furniture is an investment and there are lots of factors to consider. You want chairs that fit in with the rest of the room to tie the design together. Beyond appearance, it has to be comfortable – something that won’t give you aches and pains if you sit for a long time! Plus, you want something long-wearing that will be easy to clean and handle years of wear and tear so that you get value for money.
As people get older, what they want from a chair doesn’t really change beyond these key requirements that everyone looks for. However, a lot of elderly people spend most of their time sitting down as their mobility declines. So, they will often need a lounge chair that offers more support than the standard armchairs and sofas you see in furniture showrooms.
The best lounge chairs for the elderly will offer three key things – support, comfort, and accessibility. High back chairs and rise recliner chairs are two of the most popular choices for older people both in their own homes and in care home settings. Here we will look at the benefits of each option to help you choose the best lounge chair for your needs.
High Back Chairs for the Elderly
A high back chair has a high seat back which extends up beyond the shoulders to provide support from the lower back all the way up to the head and neck.
These sturdy chairs are popular in care home days rooms because they are fairly affordable and don’t look like a ‘specialist chair’ which can help elderly residents to feel more at home.
Despite its simple design, this Falkland High Seat Chair is highly adjustable. It is available with a range of different seat height, seat width, seat depth, and back height options. Plus, you can opt for removable seat cushions so the chair can be quickly restyled or upgraded to enhance pressure relief by adding a dynamic air cushion.
Key Benefits of High Back Chairs
The three key benefits of high back lounge chairs for the elderly are as follows:
Prices start from just over £150. Older people often have a lot of healthcare costs to manage, so having a budget option available is ideal in these cases.
2) Excellent postural support
The design of a high back chair provides greater back and shoulder support than low back chairs, whilst still providing good lumbar support. Taking the weight off the shoulders and back not only makes the user more comfortable it encourages them to maintain the neutral back position needed for proper posture.
If you have an elderly relative or client who complains of neck ache or that doesn’t sit fully upright, then a high back chair might be the solution for them.
3) Helps to maintain independence and strength
Choosing a chair that keeps the user is seated upright also makes it easier for them to get in and out of their chair.
For elderly people, this is very important for helping them to maintain their independence and strength. If they can get up and sit down unaided, they have more opportunities to move around to socialise and keep themselves active. Both of which are linked to improved health and quality of life in old age.
High back chairs also typically have sturdy armrests designed to further aid the user in standing independently. Having armrests that can support some of their body weight as they transition from sitting to standing means older people don’t have to rely on someone else to assist them.
The Westbury Fireside Chair resembles a traditional armchair. The classic design paired with a split back cushion for comfort and postural support makes this the ideal fireside chair for the elderly.
Rise Recliner Chairs for the Elderly
A rise recliner chair does what the name suggests – it rises and it reclines! The rising action helps people to go from seated to standing, or standing to seated, in a safe and supported way. The reclining action then allows the user to go from seated upright to lying back.
Rise and recline chairs are ideal for older people who still have some mobility but are at risk of a fall or injury when sitting down or standing up.
They are very popular with individuals who still live at home. The additional sitting to standing support gives their relatives and carers peace of mind that they can safely get up when nobody is there to help them. Plus, the armchair design and recline function mean many older people see rise recliners as a luxury they want rather than just specialist seating they need.
The Copgrove Range is one of our most popular rise recliner models for the elderly. It can support a maximum user weight of 25 stone and is totally customisable. The fabric, sizing, and cushions can all be chosen to suit individual user needs.
Key Benefits of Rise & Recline Chairs
Four main benefits that rise and recliners offer elderly people are:
1) They help you sit down and stand up
The standout feature of a rise and recliner chair is that it allows the user to sit and stand more easily without putting pressure on their back and joints.
At the press of a button, the chair tilts forwards and upwards to help someone raise to their feet smoothly and steadily. The chair continues to support some of the user’s body weight until they are fully standing, giving them time to stabilise themselves and reducing their risk of falling.
Sitting down can actually be even more difficult than standing for older people. It requires considerable lower body strength to steadily bring yourself down into a seated position! The rise recliner guides the user down slowly, so they don’t collapse down into the chair too early and risk injuring their lower back.
2) Good for circulation and pressure redistribution
The recline action isn’t just designed for comfort, it also has health benefits. Elevating the legs improves circulation for people that sit down most of the time. This can prevent and reduce swelling and discomfort in the lower legs – a common problem in elderly people.
Many rise recliners go beyond a simple leg elevation recline and offer a tilt-in-space action which helps with pressure redistribution. The ability to recline their chair to different angles throughout the day makes it easier for older people to readjust their positioning. This helps to avoid pressure build-up in the posterior, back, elbows and other areas where pressure sores commonly occur.
The Le Chair offers a unique tilt-in-space action that allows the user to keep their feet on the ground whilst tilted.
3) Excellent postural support
Like high back chairs, rise and recline chairs are designed to offer good spinal support. As people age, muscle tone deteriorates which can make it harder to sit up straight.
Having a lounge chair with support built-in helps older people to maintain their posture and don’t experience deterioration, or even deformity, from sitting for long periods. Rise recliners can be custom designed so that the seat size is perfect for the user. Seat depth, height, and width can all be adapted to provide support in the areas it is needed.
4) More comfortable for sleeping
For older people who tire easily and require sleep during the day, a rise and recline chair is a great option. At full recline, these chairs can lie back far enough to allow the user to sleep comfortably. This means the user can get the rest they need without having to go back to bed.
Rise Recliner Settees
If you are looking for a settee rather than an armchair-style chair, look no further than a rise and recline sofa!
Get all the benefits listed above in a modern settee design. For older people living with relatives, you can opt for rise and recline action in just one side of the couch. This means the sofa will fit in the lounge as easily as any standard sofa. So, your relative can get the support and comfort they need without adding extra chairs to the room.
For older couples, you can add rise and recline action to both sides of the sofa!
Book a seating assessment with a specialist
There are benefits to both high back chairs and rise recliners when choosing a lounge chair for an elderly person. However, they will only see these benefits if the chair is properly suited to their needs.
A high back chair will not provide full postural support if the back height isn’t tall enough for the individual user. Just as a rise and recline chair can cause pressure sores rather than prevent them if the seat width is too narrow and causes friction.
It is important that whichever lounge chair you choose is properly sized for the user. Our team of trained seating specialists have over 30 years’ experience in helping people find the right chair for them. Book a no-obligation seating assessment today to try a range of lounge chairs for yourself.
Lounge chairs for the elderly are an important investment because many older people spend most of their day sitting down. Comfort, support and accessibility (how easy it is to get in and out) are the key things to look for when choosing a chair for an elderly person. High back chairs and rise recliner chairs are two of the most popular options. The best lounge chair for the elderly will vary for each individual, depending on their levels of mobility and independence. So, ensuring the chair fits the user is the most important thing. We recommend booking an assessment with a trained seating specialist. They can ensure the chair is sized properly and provides the right level of support.