If you or your loved one is suffering from severe arthritis in the knees and hips, and standing up from a seated position has become virtually impossible, it may be time to consider a lift chair.
A lift chair is a basic recliner that uses machine power to raise the seat to an upright position, assisting in the painful, unsteady dance of upright mobility. For those who tend to sleep in a chair or spend a lot of time reclining while watching television, a lift chair can provide both comfort and assistance.
Lift chairs are positioned by using a hand-held controller and offer a host of bells and whistles — including heat and massage — and price points. Expect to pay around $1,000 for a quality lift chair, but prices range from $200-$2,200. For medical necessities, lift chairs are sometimes covered by Medicare, so check with your physician to see if you or your loved one qualify. Lift chairs are also available for rental if the condition is temporary. Locally, chairs can be rented at Gould’s Discount Medical.
TYPES OF CHAIRS
There are three basic types of lift chairs to consider: two-position, three-position, and infinite-position. Read below to weigh your options.
The most rare of the lift chair options, this chair moves from sitting to a 15 degree recline position and then through the upright, standing position.
Cost: The average price is around $750.
Best for: Since the price is equivalent to the three-position chair, it is best to purchase a chair with more mobility options.
The 3-position chair moves from the sitting position to a 15 degree recline, a 45 degree recline, and then to the upright position. The ottoman footrest moves with the back of the chair.
Cost: Average price is around $1,000, but many are available in the $500-$600 range.
Best for: Those who have limited space and budget.
The top-of-the-line infinite position lift chair can move through a full range of positions as the footrest moves independent from the back of the chair. Therefore, this chair can not only lie flat, but can be programmed to lay in the zero-gravity and the Trendelenburg positions. The zero-gravity position is where the feet and head are level, but the hips dip below. Invented by NASA, this position aids in reducing stress and assuaging joint problems. The Trendelenburg position is where the feet are above the head.
Cost: $1,700-$2,200 with an average of $1,300.
Best for: Persons who often sleep in their chairs, have ample space, and the money to invest.
BY MEGAN SECKMAN