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Choosing the Best Power Lift Recliner Chair for Elderly Aged Care Residents

Elderly man in power recliner

How to choose the best Australian power lift recliner chair for aged care and retirement living

For some elderly aged care residents with limited mobility, traditional manual recliners can be difficult to use. They struggle with the effort to recline the chairs and then strain themselves when transitioning from a seated to a standing position.

For these reasons, Australian aged care facilities may be interested in replacing some of the manual recliners with power lift recliners.

Choosing Fit-For-Purpose Recliners

Buying power lift recliner chairs for elderly residents is a significant investment. You want to be sure that you understand the benefits of power recliner chairs and that you know what to consider when choosing them.

After all, your choice of chair is going to impact the health and wellbeing of aged care residents and the staff who care for them.

You want to make sure that the chairs you are selecting are fit-for-purpose and meet the Australian Aged Care Quality Standards, helping your aged care facility to pass organization service environment audits.

Finally, you want the power lift recliners to be Australian made. This ensures that you can rest easy, knowing you have quality furniture made to Australian standards, custom designed for the needs of the aged care community, and supporting the jobs of Australian families.

But first… what is a power lift recliner?

Power lift recliners are known by various names, such as lift chairs, rise-and-recline chairs, electric lift chairs, or medical recline chairs.

These recliners resemble manual recliners but offer an added functionality: in addition to reclining, they provide support to users by gently lifting and assisting them in standing up.

You can find power lift recliners in two main configurations: single motor chairs and dual motor lift chairs. Single motor chairs feature a singular control panel that manages both the back recline and leg rest. On the other hand, dual motor lift chairs offer independent controls for the backrest and leg rest, allowing for a more extensive range of seating positions.

Meeting Aged Care Quality Standards: Helping aged care facilities meet Aged Care Quality Standards by improving the organization service environment

Since the introduction of the standards in 2019, aged care organizations have been required to ensure that they “provide a safe and comfortable service environment that promotes the consumer’s independence, function and enjoyment”.

One of the key requirements within the standards is for “furniture, fittings and equipment to be safe, clean, well maintained and suitable for the consumer”.

Aged care organizations must be able to answer this question: “How does furniture design and the layout of furniture and fittings help consumers who are frail, less flexible and less mobile to be comfortable and independent?”

For those aged care residents who have limited mobility, rise-and-recline chairs tick a number of these boxes. They help people independently and comfortably go from a seated position to a standing position, reducing fatigue and possible injury.

Without the assistance of an electric lift chair, aged care residents may strain their shoulders, arms, or hips. Electric lift chairs also help protect aged care facility staff from back injuries associated with lifting people.

Benefits of Power Recliners: Ensuring the comfort and independence of aged care residents

Many aged care residents have restricted mobility which may make it difficult to get in and out of poorly designed chairs without asking for assistance first. Lack of independence due to poor chair design can lead to depression, reduced social interaction, an increase in the chance of falls and loss of confidence due to falling.

Mobility and independence of residents can be maintained with suitable aged care seating design and a popular seating choice within aged care lounge rooms are electric lift-and-recline chairs. These chairs have several health and therapeutic benefits including:

  • Reducing strain when transferring in and out of chairs by aiding with sit-to-stand transitions.
  • Preventing falls by allowing the user to be in full control of the seating and standing process. Sturdy arm rests that aged care residents can hold onto also assist in this process.
  • Reducing carer injuries because the user of the chair is more independently able to rise out of the chair.
  • Better oedema management by elevating the aged care resident’s feet. Raised leg positioning assists with lower limb oedema, promoting healthy circulation by keeping blood and oxygen flowing throughout legs, feet and body. This can help reduce swelling caused by excess fluid and reduces the risk of developing varicose veins.
  • Aiding recovery from injuries by reducing pressure on the body and providing full spine support and multiple position options to accommodate personal comfort.

Considerations when buying a power lift recliner: Meeting the seating needs of the aged care population by providing fit-for-purpose chairs

With a view to improving the comfort and independence of elderly aged care residents who are often frail, less flexible, and less mobile, what should you consider when buying lift-and-recliner chairs?

Safety: First and foremost, the user of the electric lift chair must be able to operate the chair safely. They must be able to safely maneuver themselves from a seated position without assistance and they must be able to operate the controls. Single motor chairs have one operating panel that controls both the back recline and leg rest which can be easier to operate due to the single control panel. Dual motor lift chairs have independent controls for the backrest and leg rest, offering a wider range of seating positions.

Suitability: Seek advice on whether power lift recliners are suitable for individual residents. A lift chair takes on much of the work that our muscles normally do when we transition from sitting to standing and this may cause muscles to weaken even further.

Size: Each chair should be fitted to individual aged care residents based on weight and height, with the seat being wide enough to accommodate the person’s hips while still allowing their arms to rest comfortably on armrests. People should be able to sit comfortably with their feet resting on the floor when in a standard seated position.

Space availability: Some recliners, such as the FHG Slimline Recliner, are designed to be placed closer to the wall and take up less space than standard chairs when in full recline mode. These are ideal for aged care facilities where space is at a premium.

Fabric: Upholstery fabric choice not only impacts the look of a chair but also the ability to keep the power recliner chair clean. With increased demands on aged care operators to maintain a hygienic service environment for residents, staff and family, upholstery fabric should look good and be easy to clean.

A few tips for choosing upholstery fabric include:

  • Avoid upholstery fabrics that have a high pile. High pile fabrics can be difficult to clean because contaminates get down into the pile and can’t just be wiped over.
  • Choose upholstery fabrics with a better pilling grade and avoid the formation of fuzzy balls on the surface of the fabric. Ask your furniture manufacturer about the piling grade of the fabric.
  • Look for a waterproof fabric. Upholstery fabrics must be waterproof, shielding against spills, liquids, and stains to keep chairs clean and hygienic.
  • Choose an antimicrobial fabric. Antimicrobial products kill or slow the spread of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Adding antimicrobials to upholstery fabrics offers a layer of protection, prolonging the life of the textile and protecting the fabric surface from microbes.

Australian made recliners: Better outcomes for all Australians

Replacing or buying new aged care furniture is a big investment and getting it right the first time is crucial. You don’t want to be replacing furniture a year after the fit-out because you chose to use lower priced, lower quality, imported furniture that wasn’t fit for purpose.

Australian made furniture is made to Australian standards, warranties and guarantees and Australian manufacturers are held to some of the highest manufacturing quality standards in the world.

Buying Australian made furniture supports local industries and jobs, boosting the Australian economy and keeping profits in Australia. Also, Australian furniture manufacturers and their employees pay tax to the Australian Government. This means there is more money to spend on things like hospitals, sporting facilities, and schools. According to 2020 ABS statistics, manufacturing contributes 6% of Australia’s GDP and supports 862,200 jobs. By choosing to buy Australian made furniture for your aged care facility, you are giving back to the community and supporting the jobs of families across Australia.

Aged Care Seating should be fit-for-purpose: striking a balance between comfort, ease of use and independence

Providing fit-for-purpose seating within aged care is an issue of equity and for aged care residents who have limited mobility, electric rise-and-recline chairs provide an opportunity for comfortable and independent use of chairs that may otherwise be difficult to get in and out of.

FAQs for Choosing Power Recliners for Aged Care Residents

Why consider power lift recliner chairs for elderly aged care residents?

Power lift recliner chairs offer assistance in transitioning from seated to standing positions, providing greater independence and reducing strain for individuals with limited mobility.

What are the key benefits of power lift recliner chairs for the elderly?

The key benefits include improved mobility, reduced fatigue, enhanced comfort, and increased independence for elderly individuals in aged care.

How do I know if a power lift recliner is suitable for a specific aged care resident?

Consider factors such as the individual’s mobility level, comfort preferences, and any specific medical needs. Opt for chairs that cater to their unique requirements.

What features should I look for in a power lift recliner for elderly residents?

Look for features like a smooth and quiet lifting mechanism, comfortable upholstery, easy-to-use controls, and additional features such as heat and massage options, depending on individual preferences.

Should I prioritize a particular type of power lift recliner, such as a single motor or dual motor chair?

The choice between single motor and dual motor depends on individual preferences and needs. Single motor chairs are simpler, while dual motor chairs offer more customization with independent controls for back and leg rest.

Are there specific safety features to consider in power lift recliner chairs for the elderly?

Yes, look for chairs with safety features such as anti-trap mechanisms, stable bases, and emergency battery backup systems to ensure the well-being of elderly users.

How important is it to choose Australian-made power lift recliner chairs for aged care residents?

Choosing Australian-made chairs supports local businesses and ensures that the furniture meets Australian standards. It may also contribute to the broader community by supporting local jobs.

Can power lift recliner chairs be customized to meet the specific needs of aged care residents?

Yes, many manufacturers offer customization options, allowing you to tailor the chair’s features, size, and upholstery to the specific needs and preferences of the aged care resident.

What is the warranty coverage for power lift recliner chairs, and why is it important?

Warranty coverage varies, but it’s crucial to choose chairs with adequate warranty periods. This ensures protection against potential defects and gives you peace of mind regarding the longevity of the investment.

How do I navigate the purchasing process and ensure the best fit for the elderly resident?

Begin by assessing the specific needs of the individual, research reputable manufacturers, and consider user reviews. Test the chairs when possible, and consult with professionals or caregivers for additional insights.

Can power lift recliner chairs contribute to the overall well-being of elderly residents in aged care?

Yes, by providing increased comfort, independence, and mobility, power lift recliner chairs can positively impact the overall well-being and quality of life for elderly residents in aged care.

Choosing the Best Power Lift Recliner Chair for Elderly Aged Care Residents

Elderly man in power recliner

How to choose the best Australian power lift recliner chair for aged care and retirement living

For some elderly aged care residents with limited mobility, traditional manual recliners can be difficult to use. They struggle with the effort to recline the chairs and then strain themselves when transitioning from a seated to a standing position.

For these reasons, Australian aged care facilities may be interested in replacing some of the manual recliners with power lift recliners.

Choosing Fit-For-Purpose Recliners

Buying power lift recliner chairs for elderly residents is a significant investment. You want to be sure that you understand the benefits of power recliner chairs and that you know what to consider when choosing them.

After all, your choice of chair is going to impact the health and wellbeing of aged care residents and the staff who care for them.

You want to make sure that the chairs you are selecting are fit-for-purpose and meet the Australian Aged Care Quality Standards, helping your aged care facility to pass organization service environment audits.

Finally, you want the power lift recliners to be Australian made. This ensures that you can rest easy, knowing you have quality furniture made to Australian standards, custom designed for the needs of the aged care community, and supporting the jobs of Australian families.

But first… what is a power lift recliner?

Power lift recliners are known by various names, such as lift chairs, rise-and-recline chairs, electric lift chairs, or medical recline chairs.

These recliners resemble manual recliners but offer an added functionality: in addition to reclining, they provide support to users by gently lifting and assisting them in standing up.

You can find power lift recliners in two main configurations: single motor chairs and dual motor lift chairs. Single motor chairs feature a singular control panel that manages both the back recline and leg rest. On the other hand, dual motor lift chairs offer independent controls for the backrest and leg rest, allowing for a more extensive range of seating positions.

Meeting Aged Care Quality Standards: Helping aged care facilities meet Aged Care Quality Standards by improving the organization service environment

Since the introduction of the standards in 2019, aged care organizations have been required to ensure that they “provide a safe and comfortable service environment that promotes the consumer’s independence, function and enjoyment”.

One of the key requirements within the standards is for “furniture, fittings and equipment to be safe, clean, well maintained and suitable for the consumer”.

Aged care organizations must be able to answer this question: “How does furniture design and the layout of furniture and fittings help consumers who are frail, less flexible and less mobile to be comfortable and independent?”

For those aged care residents who have limited mobility, rise-and-recline chairs tick a number of these boxes. They help people independently and comfortably go from a seated position to a standing position, reducing fatigue and possible injury.

Without the assistance of an electric lift chair, aged care residents may strain their shoulders, arms, or hips. Electric lift chairs also help protect aged care facility staff from back injuries associated with lifting people.

Benefits of Power Recliners: Ensuring the comfort and independence of aged care residents

Many aged care residents have restricted mobility which may make it difficult to get in and out of poorly designed chairs without asking for assistance first. Lack of independence due to poor chair design can lead to depression, reduced social interaction, an increase in the chance of falls and loss of confidence due to falling.

Mobility and independence of residents can be maintained with suitable aged care seating design and a popular seating choice within aged care lounge rooms are electric lift-and-recline chairs. These chairs have several health and therapeutic benefits including:

  • Reducing strain when transferring in and out of chairs by aiding with sit-to-stand transitions.
  • Preventing falls by allowing the user to be in full control of the seating and standing process. Sturdy arm rests that aged care residents can hold onto also assist in this process.
  • Reducing carer injuries because the user of the chair is more independently able to rise out of the chair.
  • Better oedema management by elevating the aged care resident’s feet. Raised leg positioning assists with lower limb oedema, promoting healthy circulation by keeping blood and oxygen flowing throughout legs, feet and body. This can help reduce swelling caused by excess fluid and reduces the risk of developing varicose veins.
  • Aiding recovery from injuries by reducing pressure on the body and providing full spine support and multiple position options to accommodate personal comfort.

Considerations when buying a power lift recliner: Meeting the seating needs of the aged care population by providing fit-for-purpose chairs

With a view to improving the comfort and independence of elderly aged care residents who are often frail, less flexible, and less mobile, what should you consider when buying lift-and-recliner chairs?

Safety: First and foremost, the user of the electric lift chair must be able to operate the chair safely. They must be able to safely maneuver themselves from a seated position without assistance and they must be able to operate the controls. Single motor chairs have one operating panel that controls both the back recline and leg rest which can be easier to operate due to the single control panel. Dual motor lift chairs have independent controls for the backrest and leg rest, offering a wider range of seating positions.

Suitability: Seek advice on whether power lift recliners are suitable for individual residents. A lift chair takes on much of the work that our muscles normally do when we transition from sitting to standing and this may cause muscles to weaken even further.

Size: Each chair should be fitted to individual aged care residents based on weight and height, with the seat being wide enough to accommodate the person’s hips while still allowing their arms to rest comfortably on armrests. People should be able to sit comfortably with their feet resting on the floor when in a standard seated position.

Space availability: Some recliners, such as the FHG Slimline Recliner, are designed to be placed closer to the wall and take up less space than standard chairs when in full recline mode. These are ideal for aged care facilities where space is at a premium.

Fabric: Upholstery fabric choice not only impacts the look of a chair but also the ability to keep the power recliner chair clean. With increased demands on aged care operators to maintain a hygienic service environment for residents, staff and family, upholstery fabric should look good and be easy to clean.

A few tips for choosing upholstery fabric include:

  • Avoid upholstery fabrics that have a high pile. High pile fabrics can be difficult to clean because contaminates get down into the pile and can’t just be wiped over.
  • Choose upholstery fabrics with a better pilling grade and avoid the formation of fuzzy balls on the surface of the fabric. Ask your furniture manufacturer about the piling grade of the fabric.
  • Look for a waterproof fabric. Upholstery fabrics must be waterproof, shielding against spills, liquids, and stains to keep chairs clean and hygienic.
  • Choose an antimicrobial fabric. Antimicrobial products kill or slow the spread of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Adding antimicrobials to upholstery fabrics offers a layer of protection, prolonging the life of the textile and protecting the fabric surface from microbes.

Australian made recliners: Better outcomes for all Australians

Replacing or buying new aged care furniture is a big investment and getting it right the first time is crucial. You don’t want to be replacing furniture a year after the fit-out because you chose to use lower priced, lower quality, imported furniture that wasn’t fit for purpose.

Australian made furniture is made to Australian standards, warranties and guarantees and Australian manufacturers are held to some of the highest manufacturing quality standards in the world.

Buying Australian made furniture supports local industries and jobs, boosting the Australian economy and keeping profits in Australia. Also, Australian furniture manufacturers and their employees pay tax to the Australian Government. This means there is more money to spend on things like hospitals, sporting facilities, and schools. According to 2020 ABS statistics, manufacturing contributes 6% of Australia’s GDP and supports 862,200 jobs. By choosing to buy Australian made furniture for your aged care facility, you are giving back to the community and supporting the jobs of families across Australia.

Aged Care Seating should be fit-for-purpose: striking a balance between comfort, ease of use and independence

Providing fit-for-purpose seating within aged care is an issue of equity and for aged care residents who have limited mobility, electric rise-and-recline chairs provide an opportunity for comfortable and independent use of chairs that may otherwise be difficult to get in and out of.

FAQs for Choosing Power Recliners for Aged Care Residents

Why consider power lift recliner chairs for elderly aged care residents?

Power lift recliner chairs offer assistance in transitioning from seated to standing positions, providing greater independence and reducing strain for individuals with limited mobility.

What are the key benefits of power lift recliner chairs for the elderly?

The key benefits include improved mobility, reduced fatigue, enhanced comfort, and increased independence for elderly individuals in aged care.

How do I know if a power lift recliner is suitable for a specific aged care resident?

Consider factors such as the individual’s mobility level, comfort preferences, and any specific medical needs. Opt for chairs that cater to their unique requirements.

What features should I look for in a power lift recliner for elderly residents?

Look for features like a smooth and quiet lifting mechanism, comfortable upholstery, easy-to-use controls, and additional features such as heat and massage options, depending on individual preferences.

Should I prioritize a particular type of power lift recliner, such as a single motor or dual motor chair?

The choice between single motor and dual motor depends on individual preferences and needs. Single motor chairs are simpler, while dual motor chairs offer more customization with independent controls for back and leg rest.

Are there specific safety features to consider in power lift recliner chairs for the elderly?

Yes, look for chairs with safety features such as anti-trap mechanisms, stable bases, and emergency battery backup systems to ensure the well-being of elderly users.

How important is it to choose Australian-made power lift recliner chairs for aged care residents?

Choosing Australian-made chairs supports local businesses and ensures that the furniture meets Australian standards. It may also contribute to the broader community by supporting local jobs.

Can power lift recliner chairs be customized to meet the specific needs of aged care residents?

Yes, many manufacturers offer customization options, allowing you to tailor the chair’s features, size, and upholstery to the specific needs and preferences of the aged care resident.

What is the warranty coverage for power lift recliner chairs, and why is it important?

Warranty coverage varies, but it’s crucial to choose chairs with adequate warranty periods. This ensures protection against potential defects and gives you peace of mind regarding the longevity of the investment.

How do I navigate the purchasing process and ensure the best fit for the elderly resident?

Begin by assessing the specific needs of the individual, research reputable manufacturers, and consider user reviews. Test the chairs when possible, and consult with professionals or caregivers for additional insights.

Can power lift recliner chairs contribute to the overall well-being of elderly residents in aged care?

Yes, by providing increased comfort, independence, and mobility, power lift recliner chairs can positively impact the overall well-being and quality of life for elderly residents in aged care.

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