When choosing recliner chairs for elderly relatives you will be faced with a myriad of options. This can be confusing if you’ve never bought a mobility chair before. So how do you choose the right chair for your loved one?

In this guide, we will cover the three main types of rise and recliner chairs available. We’ll look at the benefits and disadvantages of each enabling you to make an informed decision about which of the many mobility chairs available is right for you.

Riser chairs

Riser only chairs are the most compact type of chair making them suitable for smaller apartments or supported housing facilities. There are essentially two types of riser chair, manual and powered.

With a manual chair, it is important that the person using it has enough strength in their arms to lift themselves off the seat when operating the mechanism. They should also be comfortable standing and have good balance.

If they do not have enough upper body strength, a powered riser chair is more suitable and will provide greater variation in the seat rake. This reduces the risk of the person being left in an unstable seating position.

Riser chairs are not suitable for people with poor trunk (upper body) control. You should also carefully consider the future if the person has a degenerative condition. While a riser chair may be suitable today, that may not be the case twelve months from now. That’s why we recommend choosing a riser and recliner chair for most degenerative conditions.

Recliner chairs

Recliner chairs, as their name would suggest, only provide a recliner function. As with riser chairs, both manual and powered versions are available. With a manual version, the backrest and footrest are operated independently. This allows you to easily create a comfortable seating position but the user must have good balance and upper body control to operate it.

Powered versions are available with either single or double motors. Single motor versions operate the backrest and footrest at the same time. While double motor versions, allow the footrest and backrest to be operated independently. Double motor versions provide the same adjustment capability as manual versions but are much easier to operate for people with impaired mobility.

Rise and recliner chairs

Rise and recliner chairs provide the best of both worlds. They offer seat lift, tilt and recline functionality. These chairs provide a range of comfortable seating options and assist the person to stand by lifting the seat base up and tilting it forward.

As with recliner chairs, they are available with either single or multiple motors. Single motor versions operate the backrest and leg rest together. They are the simplest to use having just two buttons to operate. But they do not provide the same level of adjustment as a multi-motor version.

Multi-motor versions use independent motors for the footrest and backrest allowing them to be operated independently. They can be fitted with two or more motors depending on the size and functionality of the chair. The more motors a chair has the more adjustment options are available.

However, such chairs can be complicated to operate. The remote control has many different buttons which can easily confuse someone suffering from dementia. Therefore ease of use is something to think about when choosing a multi-motor model.

Rise and recliners are most suitable for Individuals with degenerative conditions or those with severe immobility. Generally speaking, the more immobile a person is the more automatic adjustment the chair should have.

A word about the size

Some recliner chairs are quite large and require space around the chair to operate safely. Generally speaking, most chairs require between 400mm to 600mm space behind the chair to recline safely. If space is at a premium compact versions of each type of chair are available. These only require around 150mm space, but they may not have the same level of adjustment as a full-size version.

If you would like more information about our range of rise and recline chairs. Contact our specialist team on 0800 8108816. Alternatively, complete our contact form and we’ll get back to you within 24hrs.