A lift a chair can be a lifesaver if old age is taking a toll on your loved ones or if you have some injuries that make standing up and sitting down a problem. If you can master how to use it in the right way as recommended by the professionals, then you can reap its full benefits. Talk of sitting and standing effortlessly without even the help of a caregiver. Moreover, you can harness its additional features such as heat and massage to serve your therapeutic needs. This article is an outright guide on how best you can use your lift chair.
Who benefits from a lift chair?
Before you even know how to use a lift chair, it is imperative to know whether it will be beneficial to you if you get one. Will it serve your needs or alleviate your condition? While lift chairs are an ideal way to make sitting and standing easy, they come with many other benefits.
If you have unwarranted conditions such as back pain, arthritis, stiff and sore joints, or any other back or leg-related condition, a lift chair with additional features can work magic. With heat and massage features, your lift chair can provide therapeutic benefits. This way, you do not have to install expensive bathtub modifications or pay a lot of money for therapy.
A lift chair is not limited to standing and sitting down; it can serve you in other multiple ways. For instance, its various positions allow you to relax, watch TV, read, or even nap. This way, it contributes to your comfort at home.
If you have recently had a shoulder, arm, or any other body surgery, a lift chair can serve you well. It will enable you to heal well since it prevents you from engaging the healing part. Even better, after surgery, sleeping can be a painful endeavor, but with a lift chair, you can assume your most comfortable position to sleep well.
What are the uses of a lift chair?
Most people assume that a lift chair is limited to standing and sitting down, but this amazing invention has many other uses. These include:
- Recovery from lower-body injuries
If you have any lower-body injuries, such as broken bones or torn muscles, then a lift chair would be a worthy investment. This chair will not only help you get up and sit down but will also help you recover from these injuries. If you get an infinite position lift chair that can assume any position, it promotes circulation by positioning your legs above your heart. Moreover, if you can sleep in your chair, you will definitely avoid taking the straining stairs to your bedroom.
- Recovery from upper-body injuries
You are probably wondering how a lift chair can really help a hurting arm or shoulder. Ideally, the upper body muscles and limbs offer additional support when you want to stand up. In fact, when standing from a chair, you will, in most cases, find yourself supporting yourself with the chair’s arms using your hands. As such, if you have shoulder injuries, broken arms, cheat muscle tears, or any back problem, a lift chair is a good option. It can allow you to get up without engaging your injured upper body.
- Recovery from cardiovascular or open-heart surgeries
After any heart-related surgery, having some rest is very important. In such a condition, it is always advisable to avoid engaging your body as much as possible and having a lift chair can really help. You don’t have to engage your body too much when standing up, and even better, take the draining stairs to get to your bedroom. You can just sleep in your chair at your own convenience.
Furthermore, a lift chair comes in handy to improve circulation. You might be required to elevate your legs above your feet for a few hours after such a surgery, and a lift chair will help you accordingly.
Apart from the above uses, a lift chair can be helpful in the following cases:
- Alleviating chronic muscle aches
- Accommodating elderly individuals
- Healing swollen legs
- Can be a temporary bed when you are sick
- Any condition that keeps you from standing with ease
How Does a Lift Chair Work?
A lift chair works just like a regular recliner. However, it comes with a powerful lifting mechanism that enables the chair to tilt the back and the chair’s base forward to allow the user to stand and sit without a hassle. Moreover, unlike a regular recliner that is operated manually using a lever or switch, a lift chair is operated with remote control.
With the touch of a button, the chair reclines to a user’s most appropriate position. Whether you want to stand, sit, sleep or relax, you press the button until you get to your preferred position.
Parts of a lift chair
To successfully serve its purpose, a lift chair comes with the following features:
- Power lift
The power lift is the critical part of your lift chair that allows it to recline up and down so you can assume any position. With the push of a button on your remote control, the power lift makes the back and the base of your chair move into position when you want to sit or stand up. It allows your chair to move easily and smoothly, so you do not have to engage your body.
This is arguably the most crucial part of your lift chair. It comes in handy to provide support for your back and upper body when you want to stand up. Moreover, you can adjust it to assume several positions when you want to relax, sleep, or watch TV. Your chair can have any of the following backrests according to your preference; button back, split back, or a pillow back.
The footrest not only provides support for your legs but also slides out when the headrest moves up and down to allow you to sit comfortably. As you prepare to stand up, the footrest offers your legs the support they need.
- Power Recline
This part allows you to relax with just a push of a button on the remote control. It offers the benefits and positions you enjoy from your lift chairs and in the safest way possible.
- Remote Control
The remote control enables you to execute commands. You just press any button, and the chair adjusts or initiates different functions accordingly. You can raise or lower the backrest, adjust the footrest, increase/ decrease lumbar support, or even the seat’s reclining angle.
- Power Lumbar Support
This is a built-in cushion that can be adjusted with a push of a button on your chair’s remote control. It works to reduce lower back pain while offering added support to your back. It can adjust to suit your preferred position for maximum comfort.
To further enhance your comfort, your lift chair comes with a headrest. Headrests are of different sizes, shapes, materials, and designs, so you can choose what suits you best.
Types of lift chairs
There are different types of lift chairs available in the market today. This way, you get to choose what works best for your condition. Of course, if you need therapeutic features, your choice might be different from a healthy individual looking for a relaxation chair. Ideally, lift chairs are categorized based on the following:
- Recline degree
- Reclined mechanism
- Position of the footrest
Two-Position Lift Chairs
This is the most basic lift chair with an incline degree of about 45 degrees. Also popularly known as a wall-saver, this chair comes with a single motor, meaning that the backrest and the footrest recline uniformly as a single unit. When you want to adjust the backrest to any of your preferred position along the 45-degree range, the footrest also flips into position.
Ideally, this type of chair is not designed to accommodate a user for a long period; you can use it for a maximum of three to four hours. Moreover, it is smaller than other types of lift chairs and is ideal for the following uses:
- Recline degree
- Reclined mechanism
- Position of the footrest
3- Position Lift Chairs
A 3- Position Lift Chair is widely used due to its multi-purpose use capabilities. It can recline to an almost flat position angle of 180 degrees. However, when it maximally reclines, your knees and feet assume a higher position than your hips, and your entire body takes a V shape at the hips.
This chair also comes with a single motor, meaning the backrest and the footrest are adjusted as a single unit. When you want to recline the backrest, the footrest also moves along. While it might have the exact mechanism as a 2-position lift chair, it is more expensive as it can be fitted with extra features such as heat and massage to suit your therapeutic needs.
This chair is ideal for the following uses:
- Watching TV
Infinite Position Lift Chairs
If you want the most enhanced lift chair available, the infinite position lift chair is your ideal choice. This is not only the most expensive lift chair but also the most comfortable option available. It features two motors allowing you to operate the backrest and footrest independently. This means when you want to adjust the backrest; the footrest remains unhinged in its place.
This chair reclines fully so that the backrest and the footrest are totally flat parallel to the floor. If you spend most of your day sitting, this chair is specially designed for you. Even better, it has heat and massage features to serve your therapeutic needs.
You can use this chair for the following:
- Watching TV
Other Categories of Lift Chairs
Advanced lift chairs can also be classified into the following categories:
- Trendelenburg Position – This lift chair is specially designed to help individuals with medical conditions. It helps improve circulation and alleviate back pains. It can recline like an infinite position lift chair, but the feet of the user are elevated higher than their head.
- Zero-gravity position – This lift chair inclines fully and allows the user’s head to be elevated higher than their hips while the lower body is positioned higher than the heart. The knees also stay slightly bent. It is the ideal lift chair for individuals with spinal and muscle injuries.
How to Use a Lift Chair Safely
While your lift chair comes in handy to make life easier for you by allowing you to sit and stand with ease, it can cause unwarranted issues if you are not careful. No matter your type of chair, there are some safety considerations you should have in mind. These could feature the following:
- Get a lift that suits your height
It is imperative to get a lift chair that matches your height. If you are short, using a lift chair designed for a tall person will not do you justice. You not only risk your safety, but you will also not enjoy its benefits. You can easily fall off the chair when it reclines and incur unwarranted injuries. On the other hand, a tall person will not be comfortable in a short person’s lift chair.
- Consider you weight
Of course, different lift chairs can accommodate specific weights according to their specifications. A standard lift chair is designed to accommodate a weight capacity of up to 375 pounds, and if you weigh more than this, it is no longer safe for you. Moreover, the chair‘s motors are likely to wear out. If you weigh more than 375 pounds, it is always advisable to get a heavy-duty lift chair that can hold up to 700 pounds.
- Buy from a reputable dealer
It is important to buy your lift chair from a reputable lift chair dealer in your locality. Professionals will always seek to understand your needs so they can get you the perfect chair for your needs with respect to your height and weight requirements.
Using your lift chair safely
Having acquired the right lift chair, the next important task is to use it as safely as possible. The following drills and tips can come in handy:
- Keep children from using your chair
- Safely tuck away the power cord where people cannot trip over it
- Position your lift chair away from the wall
- Do not put objects under the footrest
- Do not exceed the maximum weight capacity
- Do not sit or stand on the footrest
- Do not pull the lift chair using its footrest
- Do not attempt to retrieve items under the chair when it is plugged in
- Do not sit in the chair when raised
- Do not share your chair
Tips for Getting Used To a Lift Chair
If you are a first-time user, you might find using your new lift chair somehow challenging. This is not a big deal; you fully get accustomed to your chair in due time. After all, even after buying your vehicle, it takes some time to understand it and use it comfortably. However, there are some recommended drills and helpful tips to help you get used to your chair. These include the following:
- Read your lift chair’s manual – your lift chair will come with a manual on how to operate it. Be keen to carefully read it so you can know what to do in what cases. This will help you get accustomed to its daily operations.
- Consult a professional – in case you are not sure about something regarding your lift chair, engage the dealer where you bought your chair. Professionals can better explain it to you when the manual is not clear.
- Buy your most comfortable lift chair – buying a lift chair is like buying a pair of shoes; you have to buy the size, the color, the fit, the material, and the features that not only suit you but also appeal to you. You are more likely to get accustomed to what you love!
- Acceptance – if a limiting mobility issue suddenly alters your ability to stand and sit and you have to use a lift chair, acceptance of your current condition can help you adapt to your chair. In spite of your abilities in the past, accept and embrace your condition. This will not only help you adapt to your chair but will also help you move on with life faster.
- Ask for help – you might be a new lift chair owner with little knowledge about how to use it, and while the dealer and the manual might be helpful, you could need a caregiver. Moreover, for the elderly, a caregiver is important. If you have a caregiver, they are probably more knowledgeable about lift chairs than you are. Be keen to ask for their help whenever you are not sure about something regarding your chair.
You might have acquired a quality lift chair but how you use it determines how much benefits you can reap from it. If you are a careful user paying attention to professional advice and using your manual, you will gain the full benefits of your chair.
Furthermore, you are better placed to get accustomed to your lift chair faster if you are a new owner. On the other hand, if you do not careful use your chair as recommended, you will miss out on its benefits and, even worse, incur injuries from avoidable accidents.