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How to Keep The Elderly From Falling Out of the Recliner (Tips)

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If you are a caregiver and are wondering how to keep the elderly from falling out of the recliner, I got you!

My experience showed me that the best ways are the ones that are humane. Elderly people need to be and feel respected.

I will teach you how you can implement these tips to take better care of patients and family members. Read more to learn!

ALSO READ: Where to Get Free Recliners For Seniors?

5 Humane Tips to Keep Seniors From Falling out of the Recliner

Elderly people face many challenges [1] that affect their posture and balance and increase their susceptibility to falling, including:

  • Visual changes that affect their ability to see things.
  • Diminished muscle mass that affects their posture and balance.

This calls for the need to give them good care, especially regarding where they sleep and where they stay during the day.

With these changes, you will need, as a smart caregiver, to ensure that the aged person you are looking after is well cared for.

Other reasons for sliding down of the recliner could be that they are wearing clothing that is too slippery, or the recliner not being tilted backward.

You could also have not adjusted the footrest to prevent their legs from sliding out.

Have a good recliner for the elderly with a nice seat cushion, and also ensure that you adopt practical measures to reduce the risk of falls while on their recliners.

Find out the perfect solution to keep the elderly from falling out of the recliner chairs below.

1. Position Their Legs and Feet Properly

As a caregiver, ensure that your elderly patients are well positioned having their legs on the footrest or footplates. The footrests or footplates will make it hard for them to slide out of the recliner chair.

A good recliner chair with good quality footrests will do the job well for you. Some chairs have been designed with the best footplates that offer support to the elderly or anyone with dementia or physical challenges.

2. Set up the Right Recline Position

Most of the modern recliners for seniors have a tilt-in-space function or an adjustable seat.

This works to position the chair in a reclining position where the elderly will sit while more of the bodyweight lies backward. This makes it difficult to fall.

Ensure to adjust the recliner chair to a good position tilting backward. Of course, the lever system in the chair will help you achieve the right backward posture that would make it difficult to fall out.

3. Get Extra Support

If the recliner features are not enough, for instance, if the headrest is not comfortable enough, I usually use pillows to comfort them on the neck and the head.

This video gives some more useful tips.

4. Adjust the Recliner Seat Depth

If you use a recliner with adjustable recliner seat depth, it is important to keep the depth at the lowest point. This will remove the feeling of hanging in the air and give them confidence.

Even if they fall while on the lowest, there will be a reduced risk of injury as compared to when the recliner is kept at the highest level.

5. Use Assistive Devices

Since restraints have raised controversies on whether they are humane, it would be prudent to use assistive devices that do not seem to lower the dignity of your senior.

These would include devices like foam wedge, pommel seat, chair alarms or pillows that can work for your recliner chair and help them adjust their hip angle for instance.

Watch this very helpful video from Physical Therapists.

If Nothing Else Works

Restraints

Use a physical restraint such as a seat belt or a harness only when you cannot avoid them. [2]

This is helpful for cases where your elderly falls from chairs often despite the efforts that you have made, or because of severe dementia or another cognitive impairment.

FAQs

How do you help an elderly person sit down?

To help the elder sit down, guide them to find a chair or a recliner. If they need help to move to where the chair is, guide them while holding their hands and their back to prevent falls while walking towards the chair.

How would you ensure that a patient with limited mobility is safe while sitting on a chair?

man pushing the wheelchair of his girlfriend in the snowy road

Help the patient sit in a proper backward position while their feet rest on the footrest of the chair — if you are using a recliner or a wheelchair. You can also use foam wedges and comfortable pommel cushions.

What is a tilt-in-space recliner?

Tilt-in-space recliners offer a backward, resting posture without changing the position of the body.
The recliner adjusts to achieve backward tilts so that the body exerts more weight on the center towards the back, becoming difficult to fall out.

Conclusion

These safety tips will help you know how to keep the elderly from falling out of the recliner.

As a caregiver, choose the appropriate care option for senior fall prevention and adjust these for your senior, depending on their condition and age.

Any of the above methods may work and reduce the risk of falls for different elderly cases.

man sleeping on a recliner

How would you help the elderly from falling off a recliner? Please share with us in the comment section below! 

References

  • 1. Jones D, Rader J, Miller L. Individualized Wheelchair Seating: For Older Adults [Internet]. Tornquist E, editor. 1998 [cited 2022 Mar 9]. Available from: http://www.thepostureworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IndividualizedWheelchairSeating_PartII_JonesRaderMiller.pdf
  • 2. Chaves ES, Cooper RA, Collins DM, Karmarkar A, Cooper R. Review of the Use of Physical Restraints and Lap Belts With Wheelchair Users. Assistive Technology. 2007;19:94–107.
About Liliane

Lilian Wamaitha is a passionate writer and avid cyclist with over 4 years of experience in blogging. As a lifelong learner, she is driven by her curiosity to discover and learn new things. This curiosity and passion eventually sparked a love for the senior writing niche. She has written countless articles to help seniors find their footing in this world through healthy and holistic living. She’s passionate about seeing the seniors in society live a more fulfilling life to the end. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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