How to Avoid Getting Stuck in Low Seats at Home

by Medical XPress

Nurse helping elderly man stand from armchairBeing unable to stand from a chair isn’t an issue that many of us think about when we’re young and in full health. But as we age, our joint mobility and muscle strength can decline, and quite suddenly, that deep, comfortable seat you used to love becomes a quick way to get stranded in your own living room. Low or deep seats can be very difficult to get out of unassisted, and if you live alone, you could find yourself genuinely struggling to get back on your feet. Here are a few tips to help you avoid this problem.

Install Safety Bars Nearby

If that deep seat you love is near a wall, you can install a safety bar or grab handle beside the chair. Position it slightly in front of where you would sit naturally in the chair so that you can lean forward, grip it, and use it to pull yourself up and out of the seat. Safety bars are an inexpensive addition to a home that can make many areas more accessible for those with reduced mobility. However, this is really only a solution for those seats that are positioned directly alongside a wall. If this doesn’t work for your favorite chair, keep reading for other suggestions.

Keep a Mobility Aid Close By

If you can’t install a safety bar, you’ll need to have some other kind of aid to get out of your chair safely. Many senior citizens who struggle with rising from a low chair also rely on mobility aids to get around. If this is the case for you, be sure to bring your cane or walker with you when you go to sit in your favorite chair. Place it close by so that when you’re ready to stand up, you can grip it and use it to help yourself to your feet.

Even if you don’t rely on a mobility device to walk around your home, it may be worth investing in a simple one to keep beside your chair for the simple purpose of standing back up when nobody is around to assist you.

Consider a Lift Chair

Another option to consider is to get yourself a new favorite chair. Deep, soft seats are incredibly comfortable, but do have a tendency to trap you—that is, unless they’re designed to help you stand back up. Lift chairs are a somewhat new device available to assist those with limited mobility. They have the look and feel of your standard recliner, making them incredibly comfortable to sit in. They can fully recline and lift your legs as well.

But, more importantly, they can tip forward and lift you upright so that you can stand back up on your own. This is all done with the simple press of a button. The seat will slowly tip forward as the back push you upright, helping you get your feet under you with no struggling or straining. With a lift chair, you can sit in total comfort without being concerned about standing back up on your own.

Considerations for the Restroom

Deep sofas and comfy recliners aren’t the only seats in the home where senior citizens frequently struggle to stand. Standard toilet seats can be low enough for some individuals that getting back up again is very difficult. And asking for assistance to stand from this location can be embarrassing as well. If you’ve found yourself struggling to stand up from the toilet, there are a few options for this part of your home as well.

Again, safety bars are an excellent option here. Toilets are usually beside at least one wall, so you can easily install a bar that you can use to pull yourself up to your feet. You may also consider adding a riser to your toilet seat, which raises the height of the toilet to be more accessible. These risers may also have handles on either side to assist with sitting and standing.

Acknowledge Your Needs

Openly acknowledging that your mobility has declined can be difficult for many—and asking for help can be even harder. But it is vital to your health and safety that you address your mobility needs before they result in accident or injury. Don’t wait until you’ve fallen when trying to stand from your chair, or you’ve been stuck on a low seat for an extended period just waiting for help before you finally address these needs.

Visit a Medical Xpress location today to find mobility devices, safety bars, lift chairs, and other products that can help improve the safety and accessibility of your home.