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’d like your chair to fit in with the rest of the room to tie the design together. Beyond appearance, the ideal go to chair for your lounge must be comfortable — something that won’t give you aches and pains if you sit for a long time!
You also want something durable that will be easy to clean and handle years of wear and tear so that you get value for money.
The main requirements for a chair stay the same, even as people get older.
Elderly people may find themselves spending more and more time seated as 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 a few key things — support & comfort, durability and accessibility. High back orthopaedic chairs and electric rise recliner armchairs are two of the most popular choices for older people both in their own homes and in care home settings.
Let’s take a look at the best types of lounge chair for chair elderly users and explore the options available to find the best lounge chair for your needs.
A high back orthopaedic seat is a chair designed with a high back support area 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, the Chepstow High Seat Orthopaedic 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.
The three key benefits of high back orthopaedic lounge chairs for the elderly are as follows:
A high back seat will offer an elderly individual the highest level of back, neck and shoulder support when compared to other types of chairs. This is one reason high back seats are so popular in care homes.
The design of a high back chair also provides lumbar support and takes weight off the shoulders. These types of chairs not only make the seated person more comfortable, but the design also 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 or slouches, then a high back orthopaedic chair might be the solution for them.
Because a high back seat stimulates good posture, there is less chance of back ache, migraines and even stress. The design on high seats means the back is relaxed, there is less slouching which ensure less pressure on the spine.
Choosing a chair that maintains an upright posture also makes it easier for the seated person to get in and out of their chair. This mobility is very important for older adults as it aids independence and strength.
High back orthopaedic chairs also typically have sturdy armrests designed to further aid the user in standing independently. Having armrests that can support some body weight as they transition from sitting to standing.
An older individual with the mobility to get up and sit down unaided is able to socialise and stay active; both of which are linked to improved health and quality of life in old age.
A rise recliner armchair does what the name suggests — it rises, and it reclines! The rising action helps a low mobility person 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 with a level of mobility and independence, but who are still at risk of a fall or injury when sitting down or standing up. These types of mechanised armchairs are very popular with individuals who still live at home.
The sitting to standing support via rise and recline action provides elderly users, relatives and carers with the peace of mind that they can safely get up unaided.
For couples or multi-user environments, riser recliner sofas boast all the orthopaedic postural support and comfort of a riser recliner armchair in a sofa that can seat multiple people.
Our Brecon rise recliner armchair is built with elderly & low mobility users in mind. This electric recliner supports a maximum user weight of 25 stone and has a wide range of customisable options.
This widely customisable made to measure riser recliner armchair can be designed to meet unique requirements for postural support, pain relief, pressure injury relief cushions, along with upholstery and sizing options.
Four main benefits that rise and recliners offer elderly people are:
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 considerably 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.
The recline action isn’t just designed for comfort, there are also health benefits. Elevating the legs improves circulation of people who may be seated for prolonged periods of time. In these cases, a riser recliner armchair can prevent and reduce swelling & 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 an armchair to different angles throughout the day makes it easier for low mobility 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.
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.
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.
For multiple users and couples, a riser and recliner sofa/settee rather than an armchair-style chair, may be ideal.
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 settee will fit in the lounge as easily as any standard settee. So, your relative can get the support and comfort they need without adding extra chairs to the room.
Add rise and recline action to both sides of the settee!
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.