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The importance of Specialist Chairs in Care Homes

When frail, elderly people sit in an asymmetrical and unsupported position, this can lead to skin and soft tissue damage. This often results in aches and even pressure wounds and injuries. If patients are sitting in bad chairs and slouched over, their overall function can be greatly restricted.

If a person’s abilities are reduced or compromised by illness, they are often unable to make voluntary movements. Where able-bodied people are able to take a break and stand up and walk about, impaired elderly people do not have this choice. Gravity can trap people in destructive postures. This impairs their breathing, their ability to speak, so communication is poor. People with kyphosis and many elderly people sit in chairs with their head slumped forward or to the side, chin to chest.  Many care home residents are bed-bound or have poor posture because ordinary chairs and wheelchairs do not give them enough support. Ensuring elderly residents are correctly seated in your care home is therefore extremely important.

With the right seating choice, residents can be more comfortable and are encouraged to be more sociable and active. Specialist seating can help offer people a better quality of life, also saving the NHS billions of pounds. A Gloucester care facility has recently praised an organisation called Your Mobility after the company supplied almost 20 specialist chairs to the care home. The chairs were designed to improve residents’ comfort and quality of life with better posture, pressure relief and fall prevention. The manager of the care home, Dan Bridges claimed “the proof was in the pudding. These chairs definitely work and resident’s quality of life improved.”

What is specialist seating?

Specialist seating provides residents with additional comfort and support when needed. The seating options offer the appropriate functionality and features to enable posture and body weight to be adjusted throughout the day. This prevents pressure build up in isolated areas. Seating can range from Bariatric chairs to effectively support user’s weight to high back and riser chairs to improve posture and comfort.

What are the different types of specialist seating?

>High Back Chairs


High back chairs provide increased head support, neck support, shoulder support and overall back support. Proper posture, even when residents are relaxing can help them feel more alert and focused. High back chairs can also support the lumber, an area on your lower back and torso sides. This section is protected from any strain.

The chairs were designed to keep the mind and body relaxed. High backed chairs not only prevent bodily injuries, they therefore also work to reduce any stress.


 > Rise & Recliner Chairs


Riser Recliners are infinitely adjustable, allowing you to find the perfect position of comfort. Whether you are rising, sitting, have your feet up or want to fully recline whilst relaxing and resting, a riser recliner adjusts around you. Leg raisers can be used to increase the height of a chair by between 2″ (50mm) and about 5″ (125mm). If the higher seat means that the user’s feet don’t rest flat on the floor, then a footstool can be used.


 > Low Back Chairs


Low-back chairs are built to offer support to your lower back. The backrest on these chairs is usually quite small and will flex backwards and forwards while you are sitting. The entire backrest, however, is designed to be a type of lumbar support.

Most low back chairs are created for people who sit the chairs for short periods of time, or who maintain movement while in the seated position. Although low back chairs are useful for residents who suffer from lower back problems, they are not recommended to be used by residents for long periods of time. If residents have problems in their upper back, neck or head, it may be necessary for them to use a high back chair. Low back chairs are, however, an economical option for seating.

 > Bariatric chairs


Bariatric chairs are designed to accommodate those with increased body weight and physical size. The chairs provide great seat depth to provide full support to the patient’s legs and in some cases their abdomen. The special design of the chairs reduces the effort of gravity pulling the body forward. This feature decreases the strain on the back musculature and spine that work to keep the individual upright. Bariatric seating increases surface area contact with chairs, reducing interface pressure.

Shop our bariatric arm chairs here to support residents with increased weight.


Do residents in your Care Home suffer from pressure sores and ulcers? Why not try our special pressure reducing mattresses to ensure your residents are provided with extra support? You can visit our pressure reducing mattresses here.