Seniors Mobility Aids

Free Recliners for Seniors: Guide on How and Where to Get Them

Written by Rosey A
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I’m standing in the hospital room, looking at my sister-in-law who has been a part of my life for the better part of four decades, and wondering how did we get here?

Just a few months ago we were walking on the boardwalk alongside the beach, enjoying ice cream cones and the balmy, warm air.

Today, thankfully, is her last day here, but it’s going to be a long, hard ride for her when she gets home. All of the sudden, she’s having trouble standing on her own, and she is definitely having a difficult time getting up from a seated position.

I know she’s only living on Social Security and my funds are nothing to write home about, so what I’m wondering, while I painfully watch her struggle, is does Medicare cover recliners for seniors? How can I find out?

I’m certain my sister-in-law’s case is not the only challenge in the world like this one. I’m sure there are many people who would benefit from the knowledge of where to find free recliners for seniors, if that is even a thing.

I knew it was up to me to find out.

Especially true since I was slated (volunteered) to be her caretaker.

Long time divorcee, and no kids to call her own, the hospital said she could only go home if there was someone to care for her.

Otherwise, she was headed to a nursing home, and no way were we going to have that; I already knew from previous discussions that she would not be happy with that, not even for a short amount of time.

Check: Review of the Best Recliners for Seniors

Will Medicare or Medicaid Cover the Cost of an Adjustable Recliner?

Does medicare cover lift chairs for the elderly?

After a bit of research, I did find that there were resources that might help us to purchase the recliner we needed, or even to help us get one for free but it wasn’t going to be through Medicare.

According to an article on Caring.com, [1] “Medicare or Medicaid will not pay for a recliner or adjustable bed.” They might cover the cost of a hospital bed (great for deep sleep or helping to curtail restless nights), but there would have to be a proven medical need (it would have to be deemed as necessary medical equipment), and it would have to be signed off on by the attending physician. I contemplated the bed for a moment but wasn’t really convinced that was what she genuinely needed. 

With physical rehabilitation on the horizon, recovery was in our future. We weren’t going to need something with such a potentially permanent need as the hospital bed (though the zero-gravity position would admittedly have been helpful), just something to help us get her into a standing position and moving easier than I could do alone, by simply reaching down and trying to pull her up.

I may have been able to care for her, willingly and happily so, but knew that I was no spring chicken either, and lifting wasn’t as easy for me as it used to be.

It was imperative for me to ensure my friend’s safety, and in my heart of hearts, I knew it was an adjustable recliner that would be of the most help to her.

Not only would it help her to get to an upright position, but could also give her a relaxed recline when she wasn’t using it to try to stand. 

The mission to go in search of a lift chair recliner…

READ MORE: How to Keep Elderly From Falling Out of Recliner

Resources to Help Purchase Recliner Chairs or Get a Free One

One thing I’ve learned on this journey, even though it’s just begun, is that people in medical situations stick together. There are a whole plethora of resources available for people who are in the same proverbial boat as we are, and I intend to utilize every one of them.

We’ve already passed along a shower bench that was donated to us, but we think it might find a better home elsewhere.

We’ve also been offered the temporary use of a wheelchair by the manager who runs my sister-in-law’s apartment. That will be helpful in getting her from the car to the apartment, and vice versa.

What I’m hoping to find now is someone who is willing to part with their lifting or adjustable recliner, so she can be seated in a comfortable position but still have a boost to get help when needed.

A swivel recliner might be nice, but honestly, most any lift chair recliner would be welcome at this point. If you’re wondering, ‘Are recliners good for elderly individuals?’ you can find more information on this topic here.

We are looking at some free options, and then possibly some low cost ones as well.

I’ve also put out my own feelers, letting people know of our need for one because you can’t get help if you don’t ask for it. We came up with the following ideas:

Check: Best Sleep Chair for Elderly

5 Ways to Get a Free Recliner for Seniors

There are some options to explore for finding a  lift mechanism chair for free:

1 – Bulletin Boards

My sister-in-law said there is a bulletin board in her apartment building, in the reception area. We are also going to try to post at stores in the area, such as the local grocery stores, department stores, and others.

a couple looking over a bulletin board

2 – Churches

There are many churches close to us and many do offer help to people in their communities. We will be trying to reach out to as many of them as we can.

3 – Flyers

I’ve already started working on the flyer to ask if anyone can help. These will be posted in public areas and handed out to people who are leaving areas where seniors frequent (hoping someone has or knows someone who has a lift chair they no longer need).

4 – Social Media Groups

Social Media, especially Facebook, is a great place to look for free items. Facebook groups for seniors, local Facebook groups and the like are a great place to make inquiries about items like a power lift chair.

5 – Word of Mouth

Just making it known to friends and family that we need a chair to help with limited mobility (and asking them to mention it to the people in their circles as well) can be a great way to actually find one.

A lot of people understand that elderly people have a need for such items from time to time, so communication can go a long way in finding success.

Now let’s talk about the paid options! If the above options don’t pan out, we have the following paid ones to consider, if we can get them at a low or very reduced price.

5 Ways to Get a Cheap Recliner for Senior

1 – Emailing Organizations

I have e-mailed area organizations such as Salvation Army, Goodwill and local thrift stores to ask them to be on the lookout, and contact us if they see something in our price range.

These organizations have thrift stores and may already have one or be able to stay on the lookout for us to obtain one, at a low cost. 

2 – Contacting Manufacturers

While it might not be helpful most of the time to contact the manufacturer directly, there is no harm in trying, and maybe we will get lucky. You just never know and we are looking at all of our options.

a woman calling someone from the other line

3 – Social Media (again), Especially The Facebook Marketplace

In addition to the social media website itself (Facebook groups were mentioned above), there is also a bona fide Marketplace on Facebook where people sell items.

We came across one that was a perfect choice for us, that was for sale, but it was already gone when we reached out to the seller. We will, however, continue perusing that resource regularly.

4 – Craigslist

Most people have heard of Craigslist. They offer items for sale by the owner, in your local area. There was one that was listed for FREE, a classic style leather power lift recliner with a wide seat, and a remote control but it too was gone by the time I saw the ad.

Another that said it had comfortable long-term sitting was listed for sale, but it was marked as ‘sold.’ I do intend to scour Craigslist daily. It only takes a few moments and could prove to be very valuable to us.

5 – Newspaper Ad

A newspaper ad may seem a bit antiquated (you may ask, ‘who reads the newspaper anymore?’) but as I said, we are exploring all options.

I have a friend who still very much enjoys sitting at the table with her morning coffee and hard copy newspaper each day. This option may not be as obsolete as one might think, and it is worth a try.

Whatever the case may be, we are staying positive and moving forward one step at a time.

The Future Looks Bright

We have a bit of a struggle in front of us, of that, there is no doubt, but we’ll make it through together. I’ll be there for her every step of the way, even if my caretaking means I have to sleep on the couch.

If the shoe were on the other foot, I know she would do the same for me. Today, I’m keeping track of her appointments, ensuring she has her medicine when she needs it, and staying close in case she needs me for anything at all, AND I’m still looking for that chair.

a single recliner being displayed

Do you have any suggestions for where we can look that weren’t mentioned above? Share with us down in the comment section!


1. Barbara Steinberg. Where can I get assistance purchasing a recliner for my mother with diabetes? [Internet] 2011. [cited 2022 Mar 25].  Available from:  https://www.caring.com/questions/my-mother-was-diagnosed-with-diabetes-a-few-months-ago-she

About Author

Rosey A
Rosey A. is a teacher by day, a freelancer by night. She enjoys family, friends, travel, and writing. Follow her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

17 thoughts on “Free Recliners for Seniors: Guide on How and Where to Get Them”

    • Dear Sir/Madam, first, thank you so much for your comment. I would try asking local charities, your local church, bulletin boards, or even check out websites such as Freecycle.org and Craigslist for low-cost – not to mention free – options.

      Depending on your insurance plan, you might be able to get coverage. Further, it might be advised to ask your doctor for a certificate of medical necessity as this, in tandem with insurance, can help motivate a low-cost/free recliner for your insurance (if you have such) to subsidize it. If all else fails, ask around. You might be surprised to hear that there are people in your community willing to get rid of an old recliner. =)

      • Hi there,
        I’m really sorry to hear about your fall and the broken arm. That sounds tough, and I want to help you find a recliner to make you more comfortable.
        Medicare or Medicaid won’t cover recliners but don’t worry, there are still ways to get one for free or at a low cost. Here’s a quick rundown:
        For Free Recliners:
        Check Bulletin Boards: Look in your apartment or local community centers. People often post free or cheap items there.
        Contact Local Churches: They sometimes have resources or know people who can help out.
        Use Flyers: Make some flyers stating you need a recliner and post them around town.
        Join Social Media Groups: There are local groups on platforms like Facebook where people give away stuff for free or sell them cheaply.
        Spread the Word: Tell your friends and family what you need. Word of mouth can be powerful.
        For Low-Cost Recliners:
        Reach Out to Thrift Stores: Places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army often have affordable furniture.
        Try Manufacturers: It’s a bit of a long shot, but sometimes they offer discounts or can point you in the right direction.
        Monitor Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist: People list free or cheap furniture there all the time.
        Look at Newspaper Ads: It might seem old school, but it’s still a good resource.
        I hope this helps and that you find the recliner you need soon.

        If there’s anything else I can assist with, just let me know. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    • Hello,

      It’s indeed frustrating when necessary items like recliners aren’t covered by insurance, but there are several resources available to help seniors acquire a recliner, either for free or at a low cost.

      Here are some options:
      Bulletin Boards: Posting a request on local bulletin boards can help spread the word about the need.
      Churches: Many churches offer help to people in their communities and could be a good resource. Flyers: Distributing flyers in public areas and handing them out to people can help reach a wider audience.
      Social Media Groups: Groups for seniors or local community groups on platforms like Facebook can be a great place to ask about free items.
      Word of Mouth: Simply letting friends and family know about the need can help find a recliner.

      If these options don’t work out, the article also suggests some paid options like contacting manufacturers directly, checking out Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or even placing a newspaper ad. Remember, it’s important to communicate your needs. You might be surprised to find that there are people in your community willing to help. =)

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