Home Senior Products Are Power Lift Chairs for Seniors a Good Idea?

Are Power Lift Chairs for Seniors a Good Idea?

by Zac Martin

For anyone with mobility problems, power lift chairs for seniors can make the difference between feeling helplessly trapped in a chair and getting up with grace and ease. These chairs can make a tremendous difference in the life of a person with limited mobility, whether due to age or post-surgery.

However, you might have some concerns about the safety and expense of such a device. Or perhaps you are concerned that vital muscle tone will be lost over time as your loved ones rely on mechanical devices such as power lift chairs for seniors instead of their own strength. 

These are valid concerns and worth looking into. First, let’s define what a power lift chair does and why it might be just what the doctor ordered in certain situations.

What is a Power Lift Chair?

A power lift chair resembles an ordinary reclining chair with added features that allow seniors or anyone with limited mobility to rise to a standing position from a seated one easily and with dignity. 

What differentiates the power lift chair from the average reclining chair is that it allows the sitter to slant the seat and back of the chair forward. It works with push buttons and a motor instead of needing to be engaged manually. This repositing allows the sitter to stand without any discernable struggle.

Typically, a power lift chair has two primary positions. The first is a 45-degree angle, and the second is the lift-to-standing position. Some power lift chairs for seniors have a recline function as well. Optional features include lumbar support, massage, heat, battery-pack adapters, and a comfortable design for extended daily use.

Infinite position power lift chairs for seniors are ideal for someone who must have their legs elevated above their heart level to promote better circulation. This type of power lift chair is the best choice for individuals who need to nap or sleep in a specific position because of breathing difficulties.

What Features Do Power Lift Chairs for Seniors Have?

For total convenience, power lift chairs for seniors can be purchased in different sizes and styles and come with additional features. Various styles are available to reflect and complement the décor of your home. 

They come in sizes convenient for petite, average, and tall users. When ordering a power lift chair, consider whether there will be a pet snuggling in the chair with you. For some seniors, a pet can be the greatest source of comfort, but sharing your seat with your fur buddy may require a slightly larger seat.

You can purchase your power lift chair with different coverings, such as leather, cloth, or vinyl. Consider that for an incontinent senior, vinyl is an excellent choice. Vinyl is also optimal for anyone who eats and drinks in a chair because it can be cleaned without much effort.

Some power lift chairs for seniors even come with heat and massage options. However, for seniors, these are not necessarily luxuries. Such options can make the difference between comfort and pain, especially for anyone who has arthritis, sore muscles, or stiff joints. Post-surgery, these features of a power lift chair can come close to being life-saving.

senior in need of power lift chairs

Who Should Be Using a Power Lift Chair?

Difficulty with mobility can creep up on any individual gradually. For example, you notice that movements that came naturally only recently now take effort. Then, after a while, they become even more difficult and painful. When you struggle to move from a comfortable sitting position to standing on your feet, it may be time to consider the comforts of a power lift chair.

Lift chairs are ideal solutions for anybody with difficulty transitioning from a seated position to standing due to limited mobility or balance issues. However, the benefits extend far beyond assisting with sitting down and standing up.

Individuals with upper body injuries, especially shoulder, chest, and arm issues, may want to consider a lift chair during recovery. When we rise from a seated position, we use our arms to push off from the seat. Upper body injury means this motion is limited or impossible. Therefore, a lift chair in the upright position will allow the person to get their legs under them without needing to use their arms.

Features to Look for in Your Power Lift Chair

First, it’s important to understand that you need the best size for your body dimensions. No power lift chair design is one-size-fits-all.

  • Power lift chair seats come in sizes that range from 18 inches to 22 inches wide. Make sure to find a size that you are comfortable with.
  • Most models are suitable for individuals that weigh up to 350 pounds. However, some chairs have been designed specifically for heavier individuals, up to 700 pounds. Keep the weight restrictions in mind when considering different options.
  • The back of the chair can range from 22 inches to 29 inches. A petite user will want a smaller back, while a taller person needs a longer one.
  • The distance from the front of the seat to the floor can be crucial. This distance can vary from 18 inches to 21. Your choice will depend on the length of your legs. If you are a petite person, you might struggle to get up if the distance is 21 inches, even though this is a power lift chair.
  • Consider why you are using the power lift chair. If you are semi-mobile and simply need a little boost up, a two-position chair will meet your needs. You can use it to watch television, read, and then rise with ease. Someone with greater limited mobility might spend more time in that chair, including napping and sleeping. A three-position chair could prove to be a better option.
  • If you favor one hand over the other due to weakness or a stroke, ensure that the power lift chair controls can be placed on your “strong,” or preferred, side.
  • You want your power lift chair to be a part of the furnishing, so pick a color and fabric that helps it blend in with the rest of the room.
  • Most power lift chairs must be between 11 to 22 inches from the wall. If you don’t have that space, look for a wall-hugger model which only requires a six-inch distance. 
  • Most power lift chairs for seniors offer different types of warranties. Check what yours covers and does not cover.

How to Use a Power Life Chair

Your power lift chair will get you from seated to standing with tremendous ease. However, it has other uses, as well. For example, the chair can recline far back, so many seniors find it a comfortable place to sleep, as the angles of your lift chair can be modified to accommodate most positions.

Many individuals even opt to sleep in their lift chairs instead of their beds because of the many different positions available with the lift chair. Many models can be reclined to a flat position but can also be changed to a variety of different angles for maximum comfort. For example, if your legs need elevation, making the necessary adjustments in your power lift chair is easy. That is the beauty of a power lift chair. You pick your own most comfortable position, and you are set.

Power lift chairs for seniors are available in three reclining positions that can be adjusted with a handheld remote control. Some chairs also have an “infinite” position. That means they can be reclined until they are absolutely flat. Here, the back and the footrest work independently of each other.

This position is sometimes recommended by people who are under doctor’s orders to remain in a prone position or if the feet need to be elevated higher than the head. Some models have an actual mattress for added comfort. This add-on may sound convenient for sleeping, but it might not be the best idea as there is an increased chance of the person falling off and sustaining severe injuries.

How Expensive Are Power Lift Chairs for Seniors?

Deciding on whether or not to invest in a power lift chair for you or a loved one might boil down to cost. Two-position lift chairs are the least expensive, starting at about $600. Three-position models can range in price from $1200 to $2400, depending on the features you wish to have. Infinite-position power lift chairs price over $2500. 

If your condition is temporary, such as post-operative recovery, you may want to rent a power lift chair from a medical supply company rather than purchase one.

Will Medicare or Medicaid Pay for My Lift Chair?

In brief, Medicare may pay for about 80 percent of your power lift chair under certain conditions. Sometimes, it qualifies as Durable Medical Equipment under Medicare Part B. However, there are some limitations. For example, Medicare may only reimburse you for the price of the lift mechanism instead of the entire chair, typically under $300. Spring lift devices are not eligible for reimbursement. The lift chair also must be prescribed by your doctor, who will provide a certificate of medical necessity (CMN). 

The medical conditions that may qualify for reimbursement include:

  • Severe hip arthritis
  • Severe knee arthritis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Being unable to stand without assistance
  • Another condition that your doctor determines a power lift chair is a medical necessity.

Medicare will not pay for a power lift chair if you or your loved one is living in a skilled nursing home or hospital. If Medicare has already provided you with a motorized wheelchair or scooter, you may not qualify for reimbursement on a power lift chair. 

Medicaid coverage varies from state to state, so be sure to check the requirements for your area. However, just as with Medicare, Medicaid may cover the cost of a power lift chair in certain medical situations. Supplemental Medigap plans may also help cover more of the cost of a power lift chair in some instances.

How Dangerous are Power Lift Chairs for Seniors?

Studies have shown that seniors with cognitive impairment may not be able to use power lift chairs appropriately. In several unfortunate instances, seniors with cognitive impairment engaged their chair without determining it was safe to do so beforehand, leading to injury, falls, and even death. Other injuries have been reported resulting from mechanical failure, electrical shock, or body parts trapped in the chair’s moving parts. 

Another concern about power lift chairs for seniors is that individuals may become dependent on the device, which has negative health consequences. Muscle strength decreases over time because they are not called upon to lift the body upright. 

Power lift chairs are not recommended for seniors with balance issues or those who have difficulty standing upright correctly. In these instances, a power lift chair might cause severe injury instead of the boon to aging seniors it is meant to provide.

5 Best Power Lift Chairs for Seniors

Based on the criteria above and an examination of the market, we found the following power lift chairs for seniors suitable for most people.

Mcombo Electric Power Lift Recliner Chair Sofa

Mcombo Electric Power Lift Recliner Chair Sofa for Elderly, 3 Positions, 2 Side Pockets and Cup Holders, USB Ports, Fabric 7286 (Brown)
  • Power Lift Assistance: Counter-balanced lift mechanism with TUV certified actuator pushes the entire chair up to assist the user stand up easily without adding stress to back or knees, smoothly adjust to lift or reclining position you prefer by pressing two buttons on the remote control.
  • Comfortable and Durable Cloth Material: With overstuffed padding and simple lines sketched out the backrest, back with unexpected sense of the parcel, built-in springs in both of back and seat, overstuffed pillowtop arms, more comfortable. The treated cloth surface was characterized by silky hand, good elasticity, certain effect of anti-felting and anti-pilling.

The Mcombo Electric Power Lift Recliner Chair Sofa for Elderly has three different positions, pockets, and cup holders on both sides, with a seat and back made from fabric that comes in various colors. The lift mechanism lifts the entire seat to enable the sitter to rise without stress to the legs or back.

The arms of the chair are padded for additional comfort, and the pockets on the sides keep necessities within reach. There are dual USB outlets to keep iPhones and iPads charged.

Pros

  • Excellent appearance.
  • Sturdy construction.

Cons

  • Some assembly may be required, but tools are not needed.
  • The lift chair will be sent in two separate boxes and might not arrive on the same day, which may be inconvenient to some buyers.

Esright Power Lift Chair Electric Recliner

Esright Power Lift Chair Electric Recliner for Elderly Heated Vibration Massage Fabric Sofa Motorized Living Room Chair with Side Pocket and Cup Holders, USB Charge Port&Massage Remote Control, Brown
  • 【Power Lift Chair with Silent Motor】Esright lift chair is powered by UL certified actuator that can push the entire chair up to help the senior stand up easily without adding any stress to knees and back, and you could adjust the lift or reclining position(reclines up to 145°) you prefer with 2 buttons on the chair.
  • 【Vibration Massage & Lumbar Heating】The recliner chair comes with 8 vibration massage points and lumbar heating, which is controlled by the convenient remote control.

The Esright Power Lift Chair Electric Recliner comes with convenient side pockets and a cup holder. It is made with environmentally-friendly material, and the lift motor is silent. The chair reclines 150 degrees, with the back and footrest extending simultaneously.

This power lift chair can massage the head, shin, lumbar, and thigh. There are USB ports to charge your devices while reclining. The Esright Power Lift Chair makes it easy to nap or sleep. The back and cushion are comfortably overstuffed, leaving you feeling wrapped in comfort.

Pros

  • The side pockets are spacious enough to hold most of your necessities.
  • The chair is very comfortable.
  • This is recommended for anyone on the heavy side.

Cons

  • The chair may have a cup holder or side pockets, but not both features in the same chair. Check before buying.

Yodolla Electric Power Lift Chair

YODOLLA Larger Lift Chair for Elderly, Big and Tall Lift Recliner with Side Pockets,USB Port & Massage Remote Control, Lazyboy Power Rising Recliner with Heat&Vibration Massage,Cream Beige
  • 💺【Silent Lift Motor & Power Lift Assistance】 - YODOLLA power recliner chair is equipped with silent motor and the counter-balanced lift mechanism with TUV certified motor pushes the entire chair up to assist the senior stand up easily without adding stress to back or knees, you only need to press the button or remote to recline, it reclines up to 150 degrees.
  • 💺【Let the elderly lead a better life】 - Our professional design team analyzed the figures of most Americans, and we designed a wide power lift chair that is most suitable for most American seniors.The backrest length of 25.6 inches is suitable for most people of 5.2-6 ft. The depth of seat 20.5 inches can provide perfect support for your entire hips and legs.(Kindly note: Footrest & backrest are extended or retracted simultaneously.)

The Yodolla Electric Power Lift Chair reclines to 150 degrees. It is made from quality wood that is environmentally friendly and maintains a sturdy frame to accommodate up to 300 lbs. of weight.

The heat control and massage functions are easily activated. There are up to eight separate massage functions, including vibrations, for various parts of the body. The leather seat provides comfort when being seated for any length of time.

The chair has side pockets and cup holders on both sides and allows the sitter to charge devices while sitting or reclining. The recliner is easily cleaned with a damp cloth. It comes with a one-year warranty and 24/7 customer service assistance.

Pros

  • The Yodolla Power Lift Chair has amazing features such as massage and three-position capability. Still, it is available for under $400.00, making it less expensive than some power lift chairs with fewer features.

Cons

  • Does not fully recline into a sleep position

Irene House Power Lift Chair

Irene House Power Lift Chair Modern Transitional Chair Lifts for Elderly Up to 300 LBS Soft Linen Breath Suede Fabric Sofa Lift Chairs Recliners Power Lift Recliner with Side Pocket (Blue)
  • This recliner is powered by German Brand Okin motor,It serves two purposes,First,it offers a power lift function ideal for elderly individuals who have difficulty standing from a sitting position, It also works as reclining sofa chair that gently reclines the chair with a simple push of a button.
  • Supports up to 300 lbs,push the entire chair up to help seniors to stand up easily, it’s ideal for people who have leg/back problems or people who after surgery.

The Irene House Power Lift Chair can accommodate a weight of up to 300 lb. Its linen and suede fabric are comfortable and attractive. It also comes in leather.

The chair has convenient side pockets for TV remotes and phones. It reclines fully to allow the user to sleep and relax.

Pros

  • This chair is very comfortable for sitting all day as it has thick padding.
  • The seat can be lowered or raised to any comfort level.
  • The company provides superior customer service.

Cons

  • The chair might be more comfortable for a shorter person, 5’6” or under.

Good & Gracious Power Lift Chair

GOOD & GRACIOUS 27" Push Back Recliner Arm Chair Mid Century Morden Manual Reclining Single Sofa for Living Room Velvet Fabric Linen Cotton Gray
  • Comfy Recliner Chair: This manual recliner is filled with high-density sponge, which not only makes you have a more comfortable sitting feeling, but also provides good support for your neck, back and waist. The expandable footrest allows you to fully stretch and relax, and providing you optimal comfort.
  • Upgrade Material: The frame of this recliner sofa is made of hardwood and metal, which can provide higher stability and durability. Our recliner is equipped with skin-friendly breathable fabric, improve the sense of touch.

The Good & Gracious Power Lift Chair has three different positions, so it is the ideal chair for napping and sleeping. The overstuffed pillows increase the overall comfort level of this chair. 

There are two handy pockets on each side to keep small items nearby. The new slate gray color fits in easily with most decors. The mechanism lifts the entire chair, not just the seat, to allow the sitter to stand easily and without discomfort to the knees.

Pros

  • The recliner is easily adjustable
  • The seating is comfortable.
  • The side pockets are handy to keep necessities nearby.

Cons

  • This recliner does not have any new features except its design.

How to Maintain Your Power Lift Chair

Seniors with limited mobility rely on their power lift chair to help them get up and down easily. Keeping the chair in good repair is very important to ensure it remains functional when needed.

Power lift chairs for seniors are motorized devices, so be sure to read the owner’s manual before putting it to use. Ensure you understand the instructions and follow them to keep the chair in optimal condition. Keep in mind that if the chair is not functioning, you will not be able to use it.

When cleaning your power lift chair, unplug it from its outlet; and remove any batteries. The motor and controls should be cleaned and wiped with a moist cloth to prevent dust buildup. You can access the motor by putting the lift chair in the upright position.

Accidents happen, and sometimes drinks or food get spilled. Make sure no liquid makes contact with the motor or any other electrical component of the chair, as this may lead to injury to the sitter or damage to the mechanism. You might want to consider spill-proof cups if this is a safety concern.

When using the power lift chair, plug it directly into an outlet instead of an extension cord. Check the wiring periodically to make sure these are not frayed.

You want your battery backup to be at hand and working, so be sure to replace it at least once a year.

Keep the fabric on the chair clean by using a product specifically intended for this type of surface. Leather seats are easier to clean; you simply need to wipe them down.

Unplug the chair during cleaning. Do not allow any liquid cleaning products to come in contact with electrical components as you clean.

Conclusion

Mobility is a problem for many. A power lift chair can be indispensable when it comes to reclining comfortably and, more importantly, getting up and down easily and without risk of injury. On the other hand, seniors with cognitive impairment should be supervised when using a power lift chair to avoid injury.

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