Specialist seating for people with arthritis

Supplying specialist seating for people with arthritis is critical to making sure that they are comfortable at all times. Arthritis affects millions of people worldwide in a variety of different ways. Whether it’s in their hands, knees, or even their spine, arthritis can be particularly painful in any position.

Here are some things to think about when you’re choosing the right chair for your client with arthritis.

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Independent Backrests

One of the main things needed in a chair for someone with arthritis is independent back angle options. Independent backrests and back angles give you a lot of flexibility in your positioning.

This is key with arthritis as different people will find different positions comfortable for a longer duration of time.

It’s also good to include independent legrest elevation in the chair as well. Again, this gives your client flexibility in their positioning.

They can then adjust the chair with ease and find the perfect position that causes them minimal pain. A dual motor tilt-in-space Brecon rise and recline chair is great for people who require flexible positioning.

Brecon riser recliners

The Brecon has independent back angle and legrest elevation to achieve the most comfortable positioning.

Riser Function

Something else to bear in mind is a riser function — particularly vertical rise. Some arthritic clients may struggle to get to a standing position because of the pain it can cause — particularly if they have arthritis in their knees.

Including a riser function in the chair will help your clients to stand up from a seated position with more support and less pain than usual.

If a chair rises, then it’s always worth considering having a knuckle at the end of the arm with a suitable ergonomic design. This gives you something extra to grip on to when the chair does rise, giving you extra peace of mind during the sit to stand phase.

Fabric Choice

This is something that regularly comes up when we’re specifying chairs for people who have arthritis. The choice of fabric or material covering the chair can have a massive effect on how comfortable you are when sat down.

Arthritic joints can feel hot or warm, so having a specialist chair covered in Dartex or another similar material can feel more cooling or cold to touch. This is particularly soothing for your clients who spent a lot of time sat down and find their joints feeling uncomfortably hot.

The Lento is covered in Dartex fabric which is cool to touch.

Easy Handsets

Whenever you’re assessing someone for a specialist chair and they have arthritis, always consider the handset they will be using. For clients with arthritis in their hands, it can be very difficult to push small buttons or hold them down — particularly with care chairs and riser recliners.

Always try and make sure that if there is a handset, then it has bigger buttons that are easy to press. The Lento care chair is equipped with an easy-to-use handset that is ideal for this.

Guide to seat sizing & specification

Here are four useful questions you can ask a client with arthritis when specifying seating. This will help you to identify problems they might be having with their existing chair.

  1. Do you find it hard to manoeuvre in and out of your chair?
  2. Do you slouch due to the position/structure of your chair?
  3. Do you ache when sitting still for a long period of time?
  4. Does your chair feel too big or too small and you have to use cushions to become comfortable?

However, our best piece of advice if you’re struggling to find the right chair for someone with arthritis is to seek professional help!

You can get more information on what to look for in specialist seating for people with Arthritis, or any other condition or illness, in our free specialist seating eBook. Our team can also carry out free no-obligation seating assessments at home; get in touch to find out more.

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Brian Chege

Brian is a university graduate with a particular interest in researching and writing about healthcare topics, including medical conditions, and current NHS issues and solutions. To ensure his articles are relevant and accurate, Brian uses UK government and private sector reports, and draws on a vast network of independent occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and healthcare professionals to both inform and verify his work.

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